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Greg Wells

Title: Associate Scientist, Translational Medicine
Designations: PhD
U of T Positions: Associate Professor


Dr. Wells has developed a research program based on the concept of using exercise as medicine. In his research, he studies the use of exercise to prevent, diagnose, and treat chronic disease in children using advanced imaging techniques. His research focuses on the relationship between physical activity, fitness and health outcomes in children with chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, obesity and leukemia. 


The objectives of Dr. Wells’ research program are:

  1. to determine the physiological mechanisms that can explain exercise intolerance in patients with chronic disease and
  2. to develop a knowledge base for evidence-based specific exercise and activity interventions for these patients. 

To accomplish this, Dr. Wells and his team use traditional exercise testing in combination with novel non-invasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging techniques. This approach of traditional exercise testing with advanced imaging allows the lab team to determine not only the magnitude of exercise intolerance in children with chronic disease, but also investigate pathophysiology at the metabolic level. 

Education and experience

  • 1999–2004: PhD, Respiratory Physiology, Exercise Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Supervisor(s): James Duffin 
  • 19971999: M.Sc., Exercise Physiology, Community Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Supervisor(s): Michael Plyley 
  • 1989–1993: BPE. Kinesiology, Faculty of Physical Education, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 20042007: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Physiology & Experimental Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Supervisor(s): Allan Coates, Ingrid Tein 


  1. Sarah L. West, Gillian White, Jessica E. Caterini, Tammy Rayner, Tal Schechter, Paul C. Nathan, Greg D. Wells. Skeletal Muscle Dyfunction and Exercise Intolerance in Children Post-Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant; a Feasibility Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. May 4, 2019. Trainee Publication. Senior Responsible Author. 
  2.  Sarah L West, Laura Banks, Jane E Schneiderman, Jessica Caterini; Samantha Stephens, Gillian White; Shilpa Dogra, Greg D Wells. Physical Activity for Children with Chronic Disease; a Narrative Review and Practical Applications. BMC Pediatrics. 2019 Jan 8;19(1):12. Available from: (Trainee publication). Senior Responsible Author. 
  3. Jessica E. Caterini, Sarah L. West, Laura Banks, Jane E. Schneiderman, Samantha Stephens, Gillian White, Shilpa Dogra, Greg D. Wells PhD. Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Children with Chronic Illnesses. BMC Pediatrics. 2018 May 14. (Trainee publication). Senior Responsible Author. 
  4.  Jane S Thornton, Pierre Frémont, Karim Khan, Paul Poirier, Jonathon Fowles, Greg D Wells, Renata J Frankovich. Physical activity prescription: a critical opportunity to address a modifiable risk factor for the prevention and management of chronic disease: a position statement by the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Clin J Sport Med. 2016 Jul;26(4):259-65. Available from: Coauthor. 
  5.  Greg D. Wells, Laura Banks, Sara Thompson, Jessica Caterini, Michael Noseworthy, Tammy Rayner, Catriona Syme, Brian McCrindle, Jill Hamilton. The association among skeletal muscle phosphocreatine recovery, adiposity, and insulin resistance in children. Pediatric Obesity. 2016 Feb 24. Impact Factor 4.573. Principal Author. 
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