Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Thrombosis program in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute prides itself on performing clinical research in all areas of venous thromboembolic diseases. We are active participants in industry trials but our research focus is driven by our own funding from peer-reviewed sources. We currently conduct approximately 20 clinical trials conceived by our own scientist in the Thrombosis Program. Some of these projects are with our VECTOR (Venous ThromboEmbolism Clinical Trials Organization) partners , across Canada, which includes investigators Drs. Anderson, Kahn and Kovacs in Halifax, Montreal and London, respectively.
My own personal interests have been in the area of diagnosis of DVT and pulmonary embolism and this has led to the development of diagnostic algorithms and strategies, which are widely described as the Wells' Models or Wells' Scores. i am extremely proud that these tools are used world-wide but as with all research, I hope that these tools will one day be improved upon. I remain actively interested in performing research in the area of thrombophilia, but largely through partnerships with other investigators such as Dr. France Gagnon, Canada research Chair at the University of Toronto. I have also had an interest in improving the management of patients on Vitamin K antagonist and continue to perform studies looking at the influence of patients genotypes on dosing, both for initiation and maintenance of Vitamin K antagonist therapy. I am currently performing a large multi-centre study, funded by Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario. trying to establish a prediction tool for bleeding risk. our hope is to create a tool that will predict bleeding beyond 3 to 6 months of anticoagulant therapy, as this is a critical time when decisions must be made as to whether anticoagulants should be continued. The missing part of the equation (we have done extensive research led by Dr. Rodger in our group here in Ottawa on risk of recurrence), is the risk of major bleeding. The more recent focus of my research and collaboration, with Dr. Marc Carrier who leads the Cancer Thrombosis Program in the Dept. of Medicine, is thrombotic disorders associated with cancer. Patients with cancer have a very high risk of recurrent venous thrombosis despite standard therapy with low molecular weight heparin and we hope to establish which patients are likely to fail therapy and the ideal therapeutic modalities for patients who recur. Furthermore, we are very excited by the possibility of using published clinical prediction rules for risk of developing thrombosis in patients who recently had cancer diagnoses and have just started therapy. To date, prophylaxis for venous thrombosis is not standard therapy in cancer patients and it is our belief that with appropriate research, we will be able to target the appropriate patients in whom the risk-benefit profile of using anticoagulant therapy is such that therapy would be indicated. For our research in this area, we hope to be looking at the new oral anticoagulant medicines, such as Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban or Apixaban. The new oral anticoagulants represent great research opportunities for our group and we paln to perform many studies with these new medicines. one of the first studies that we hope to conduct is in the area of adherence to therapy, as there are some concerns that with the lack of monitoring, adherence to anticoagulant therapy may be less than ideal. This is just a snapshot of the research that I and my colleagues in Ottawa perform. I encourage you to look through this website for work that our group has published and for future projects.
M.D. (University of Ottawa, 1984).
F.R.C.P. Internal Medicine (University of Ottawa, 1989).
F.R.C.P. Hematology (McMaster University, 1991).
MSc Clinical Epidemiology (McMaster University, 1994).
Dr. Wells received his medical school education and specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He then studied Hematology at McMaster University, concentrating on the special problems of venous thrombosis (blood clots in the veins). He pioneered the concept of clinical prediction rules to assist in the diagnosis of patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. For each of these diseases he embodied these prediction rules in valuable algorithms and they are now known as the “Wells Model for DVT” and the “Wells Model for PE”. They are currently used world-wide in the diagnostic process for these illnesses and are incorporated into many National and Organizational guidelines. As part of building his clinical practice, he established the Thrombosis Treatment and Assessment Unit at The Ottawa Hospital. In March 2009 Dr. Wells assumed the position of Chief/Chair of the Department of Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa.