Christine Wells


Professor Christine Wells is the chair of Stem Cell Systems, an ARC Future Fellow and Founding Director of the University of Melbourne Centre for Stem Cell Systems. Christine is a genome biologist interested in tissue injury and repair. She leads a program of research across three pillars of impact and output: (1) collaboration platforms for data integration and visualisation for the stem cell community; (2) bioinformatics method development; and (3) stem cell models of inflammation.
Christine leads the stem cell collaboration resource which hosts the largest compendium of curated stem cell data with >300 public stem cell datasets consisting of ~10,000 stem cell samples, used to generate definitive signatures of stem cell subsets and their differentiated progeny.

Abstract: Computational platforms to define and predict cell behaviour.

The identity of a cell relies on the molecular program that defines phenotype and function. This is intuitive in a developmental and anatomical context, where phenotype is measured relative to the tissue context in which a cell is found. One of the challenges for the stem cell community is in assessing the equivalency of stem cell or differentiated progeny derived in vitro, to their in vivo counterparts. The stem cell atlas provides a curated collection of more than 10,000 independently derived stem cell datasets, encompassing transcriptome, proteome, chromatin and metabolic platforms. This allows users to visually explore their own data, and benchmark molecular patterns and potential biomarkers of lineage/function against relevant public data. The meta-analysis of related stem and progenitor cell types can provide a robust predictor of a cell’s identity, disease phenotype, or potential response to drug.