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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Greg D. Wells, PhD

Research Institute
Associate Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Physical Education and Health

Associate Professor
Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine

Associate Professor
Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education

Email: greg.wells@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:


Brief Biography

Dr. Greg Wells is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Physical Education and Health and in the Department of Anaesthesia at the University of Toronto. He is also an associate scientist in Translational Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children. As a researcher, Wells is working in a field of investigation called exercise medicine, where he uses specific exercise protocols to test the limitations of the human body in various diseases – mostly related to muscle and lung conditions. He has been using advanced MRI technologies to measure these limitations, as MRI does not require any radiation or drugs and can offer a look inside the human body without the use of needles or other invasive measures.

Research Interests

Physical activity, fitness and health outcomes are strongly related, especially in children with chronic disease. Chronically ill children often suffer from exercise intolerance, have poor fitness, participate in fewer activities, spend less time exercising and they are often deconditioned. Fortunately, exercise and physical activity may attenuate chronic disease and its associated disability. Therefore the objectives of Wells' research program are 1) to determine the physiological mechanisms of exercise intolerance in patients with chronic disease and to test our Impaired Perfusion and Muscle Metabolism hypotheses and 2) to develop a knowledge base for evidence-based specific exercise and activity interventions. To accomplish this he uses traditional exercise testing, and also non-invasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging techniques to investigate the pathophysiology of exercise intolerance in children with chronic disease.


West SL, Rajapakse CS, Rayner T, Miller R, Slinger MA, Wells GD. The reproducibility of measuring trabecular bone parameters using a commercially available high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging approach: a pilot study. Bone Rep. 2018 Apr 26;8:180-186. doi: 10.1016/j.bonr.2018.04.006. eCollection 2018 Jun. 

Caterini JE, Banks L, Wells GD, Cifra B, Slorach C, McCrindle BW, Seed M. Magnetic resonance imaging reveals elevated aortic pulse wave velocity in obese and overweight adolescents.  Clin Obes. 2017 Dec;7(6):360-367. doi: 10.1111/cob.12206. Epub 2017 Aug 23.

Thompson SJ, Riazi S, Kraeva N, Noseworthy MD, Rayner TE, Schneiderman JE, Cifra B, Wells GD. Skeletal muscle metabolic dysfunction in patients with malignant Hyperthermia susceptibility. Anesth Analg. 2017 Aug;125(2):434-441. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002232.

Urban KJ, Riggs L, Wells GD, Keightley M, Chen JK, Ptito A, Fait P, Taha T, Sinopoli KJ. Cortical thickness changes and their relationship to dual-task performance following mild traumatic brain injury in youth.  J Neurotrauma. 2017 Feb 15;34(4):816-823. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4502. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Banks L, Wells GD, Clarizia NA, Jean-St-Michel E, McKillop AL, Redington AN, McCrindle BW. Short-term remote ischemic preconditioning is not associated with improved blood pressure and exercise capacity in young adults.  Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Aug;41(8):903-6. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2016-0024. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Thornton JS, Frémont P, Khan K, Poirier P, Fowles J, Wells GD, Frankovich RJ. 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.  Br J Sports Med. 2016 Sep;50(18):1109-14. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096291. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

Wells GD, Banks L, Caterini JE, Thompson S, Noseworthy MD, Rayner T, Syme C, McCrindle BW, Hamilton J. The association among skeletal muscle phosphocreatine recovery, adiposity, and insulin resistance in children.  Pediatr Obes. 2017 Apr;12(2):163-170. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12123. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Sussman D, Lye SJ, Wells GD. Introductory editorial: effects of maternal physical activity on the fetus.  Early Hum Dev. 2016 Mar;94:31. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 2. No abstract available.

Sussman D, Lye SJ, Wells GD. Impact of maternal physical activity on fetal breathing and body movement--A review.  Early Hum Dev. 2016 Mar;94:53-6. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Jan 23. Review.

West SL, O'Gorman CS, Elzibak AH, Caterini J, Noseworthy MD, Rayner T, Hamilton J, Wells GD. Skeletal muscle microvascular function in girls with Turner syndrome.  BBA Clin. 2014 Dec 9;3:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2014.12.002. eCollection 2015 Jun.

Rodan LH, Wells GD, Banks L, Thompson S, Schneiderman JE, Tein I. L-arginine affects aerobic capacity and muscle metabolism in MELAS (mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes) syndrome. PLoS One. 2015 May 20;10(5):e0127066. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127066. eCollection 2015.

Caterini JE, Elzibak AH, St Michel EJ, McCrindle BW, Redington AN, Thompson S, Noseworthy MD, Wells GD. Characterizing blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response following in-magnet quadriceps exercise.  MAGMA. 2015 Jun;28(3):271-8. doi: 10.1007/s10334-014-0461-4. Epub 2014 Sep 24 

West SL, Gassas A, Schechter T, Egeler RM, Nathan PC, Wells GD. Exercise intolerance and the impact of physical activity in children treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2014 Aug;26(3):358-64. doi: 10.1123/pes.2013-0156. Epub 2014 Apr 10. Review.

Banks L, Wells GD, McCrindle BW. Cardiac energy metabolism is positively associated with skeletal muscle energy metabolism in physically active adolescents and young adults.  Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Mar;39(3):363-8. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2013-0312. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Schneiderman JE, Wilkes DL, Atenafu EG, Nguyen T, Wells GD, Alarie N, Tullis E, Lands LC, Coates AL, Corey M, Ratjen F. Longitudinal relationship between physical activity and lung health in patients with cystic fibrosis.  Eur Respir J. 2014 Mar;43(3):817-23. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00055513. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Wells GD, Wilkes DL, Schneiderman JE, Thompson S, Coates AL, Ratjen F. Physiological correlates of pulmonary function in children with cystic fibrosis.  Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014 Sep;49(9):878-84. doi: 10.1002/ppul.22928. Epub 2013 Oct 25.

Wells GD, O'Gorman CS, Rayner T, Caterini J, Thompson S, Bradley T, Hamilton J. Skeletal muscle abnormalities in girls and adolescents with Turner syndrome.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jun;98(6):2521-7. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-4016. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

O'Gorman CS, Syme C, Lang J, Bradley TJ, Wells GD, Hamilton JK. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). An evaluation of early cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents with Turner syndrome.  2013 Jun;78(6):907-13. doi: 10.1111/cen.12079. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Wells GD, Wilkes DL, Schneiderman JE, Rayner T, Elmi M, Selvadurai H, Dell SD, Noseworthy MD, Ratjen F, Tein I, Coates AL. Skeletal muscle metabolism in cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia.  Pediatr Res. 2011 Jan;69(1):40-5. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181fff35f.

Wilkes DL, Schneiderman JE, Nguyen T, Heale L, Moola F, Ratjen F, Coates AL, Wells GD. Exercise and physical activity in children with cystic fibrosis.  Paediatr Respir Rev. 2009 Sep;10(3):105-9. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2009.04.001. Epub 2009 Jul 21. Review.

Wells GD, Heale L, Schneiderman JE, Wilkes DL, Atenafu E, Coates AL, Ratjen F. Assessment of body composition in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis.  Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008 Oct;43(10):1025-32. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20913.

Wells GD, Noseworthy MD, Hamilton J, Tarnopolski M, Tein I. Skeletal muscle metabolic dysfunction in obesity and metabolic syndrome.  Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 Mar;35(1):31-40. Review. Erratum in: Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 Jul;35(3):402.

Wells GD, Wilkes DL, Schneiderman-Walker J, Elmi M, Tullis E, Lands LC, Ratjen F, Coates AL. Reliability and validity of the habitual activity estimation scale (HAES) in patients with cystic fibrosis.  Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008 Apr;43(4):345-53. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20737.