Jessica Wells is an Associate Professor, tenured, and received a PhD from Emory University in 2012, along with a Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in 2015 at Emory University. She earned a BSN from Howard University in 2006. Dr. Wells’ overarching focus is cancer control and prevention in HIV infected and vulnerable populations. She recently completed a K01 Career Development Award where she examined individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood factors of adherence to follow up after an abnormal anal Pap test in HIV infected individuals. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

Areas of Expertise

Womens Health
Health Disparities
Cancer Prevention


Wells, J., Holstad, M., Thomas, T., Bruner, D. (2014). An Integrative Review of Guidelines for Anal Cancer Screening in HIV-Infected Persons. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 28(7), 350-7. Doi: 10.1089/apc.2013.0358.



Dr. Wells is building a robust program of research in adherence to cancer screening and prevention in vulnerable populations, such as high risk HIV infected individuals. Dr. Wells was a recipient of a pre-doctoral NRSA award (F31NR011414) which provided scientific knowledge and skills in research design, implementation and basic statistical methods related to cancer research. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Wells discovered the alarmingly high and disproportionate incidence of HPV related cancer in HIV infected individuals. Thus, she sought to examine the individual-level, interpersonal-level, and neighborhood-level factors that predict adherence to follow up after anal cancer screening in HIV infected men and women in a NIH funded Career Development Award (K01NR15733-01A1). During this Career Development Award, Dr. Wells received a supplement award (5U01AI103408) to examine knowledge and perception of risks for anal cancer in a sample of HIV infected women from the WIHS study. Additionally, an American Cancer Society Pilot Grant (IRG-14-188-01) to characterized the anal microbiome and explore associations between the anal microbiome and risk for anal cancer in HIV infected women. She was awarded a competitive Robert Woodruff Health Sciences Synergy Award as Co-PI for "Advancing Cancer Screening and Early Detection Among People Living with HIV/AIDS."


Recipient, NIH Loan Repayment Program

Top Poster, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Students and Fellows Research Day

American Cancer Society Doctoral Scholarship

Jean Stone Megenity Research Award, Sigma Theta Tau