Professor Wells graduated from Gonville & Caius College in the University of Cambridge with a PhD and obtained a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Nottingham, UK in 2004. Previous awards and appointments include the Max Planck Fellowship (MPI für Biochimie, Munich), Merck Post-Doctoral Fellowship, BBSRC Advanced Fellowship (University of Cambridge) and Sainsbury Life Sciences Management Fellowship. In 1993 he was the co-founder of a spin-out company, Microbial Technics Ltd, established in the University of Cambridge. Together with Dr Le Page he established the Cortecs Centre for Vaccine Discovery in the University of Cambridge and was a co-Director of the Centre from 1996 to 2000. In 2000 he took up a new position at the Institute of Food Research where he was Head of Bacterial Infection & Immunity research group and Deputy Head of the Food Safety Department. In 2008 he was appointed as full Professor in The University of Wageningen, as the Chair of the Host-Microbe Interactions Group.
He has been a tutor and lecturer at the University of Cambridge and University of Wageningen and has more than 20 years research experience since obtaining his PhD. His major research interests are in the field of host-microbial interactions, mucosal immunology, bacterial infection and immunity, intestinal-health related research. He is an inventor on 18 patent applications and has authored more than 150 articles, including articles in Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Reviews Microbiology and PNAS.