Associate Professor James Wells

Principal Research Fellow

Frazer Institute
Faculty of Medicine

Associate Professor

Frazer Institute
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 344 36983


Associate Professor James Wells leads the Novel Cancer Therapeutics Group at Frazer Institute and is the Director of Immunology at the Dermatology Research Centre, University of Queensland. He is also the Vice President of the Molecular and Experimental Pathology Society of Australasia (MEPSA), and a mentee of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS). He received his PhD in cancer immunotherapy from King's College London, UK, and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, USA, where he received an award for research excellence and was promoted to Faculty as an Instructor. In 2011, he was awarded a prestigious 5-year Perpetual Trustees Fellowship and was appointed as a Group Leader at the University of Queensland’s Frazer Institute.

Associate Professor Wells is passionate about delivering effective new treatments to combat cancer through the translation of his research. To achieve this, he collaborates with medicinal chemists, imaging specialists, clinical research teams and industry partners to identify and target pathways and mechanisms that allow cancer cells to grow within the body.

In collaboration with the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative, he has recently developed and patented a drug (Q2361) designed to prevent and treat skin cancer in immune-suppressed solid organ transplant recipients. Q2361 is a first-in-class drug candidate capable of reactivating anti-tumour CD8 T cells in the skin of organ transplant recipients on the immunosuppressive drugs Tacrolimus (FK506), Sirolimus (rapamycin), and Everolimus. He is currently striving to bring Q2361 across the ‘valley of death’ and into clinical trials.

James would like to thank the granting bodies and philanthropic partnerships that make his goal of delivering new and effective cancer drugs possible.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University College London
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh


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