Rebecca Wells, MD


Department of Medicine


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The Wells lab is interested in the relationship between the extracellular matrix, mechanics, and cell and tissue behavior in liver and biliary disease. Specific projects include: 1) Determining the role of mechanics in progression of fatty liver disease to fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, in particular the role of lipid droplets as mechanical stressors and the role of fatty liver-specific tissue-level mechanical stresses; 2) collagen-proteoglycan interactions and higher order collagen organization; and 3) mechanisms of injury and repair in biliary atresia and other cholangiopathies.


Nuclear deformation seen adjacent to lipid droplets (green) in lipid-loaded hepatocytes.


Collagen organization in adult mouse bile duct, imaged by second harmonics generation microscopy.

Bile duct damage (white arrow) in the epithelial layer (teal) of bile duct of P5 mouse pup whose mother received a biliary toxin during pregnancy.