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Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
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Jim Wells, PhD

Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry


James (Jim) Wells is a professor at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and is the chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Wells focuses on understanding and modulating signaling processes in human cells through protein and small molecule design. His lab seeks activators as well as inhibitors of signaling molecules, including proteases and kinases, and uses them to study the consequences of triggering specific nodes of signaling circuits. He is especially interested in the inter-protein circuitry of pathways involved in cell death and inflammation and the intra-protein allosteric circuitry that governs how distant functional sites in one protein communicate.

Education & Training

  • 1973: University of California, Berkeley, CA, BA, Biochemistry
  • 1979: Washington State University, WA, PhD, Biochemistry
  • 1980: Washington State University, WA, Postdoc, Chemistry
  • 1982: Stanford University Medical School, CA, Postdoc, Biochemistry

Awards & Honors

  • 1998: Vincent du Vignead Award, American Peptide Society
  • 1998: Christian B. Anfinsin Award, Protein Society
  • 1990: Pfizer Award (given by the American Chemical Society for achievements in enzyme chemistry)
  • 1981: Damon M. Runyon - Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellowship