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Francis Wells



Francis Wells developed a novel way to repair damaged hearts after being inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s medical drawings. Using this method, he has successfully completed over two thousand mitral valve repairs.

Francis is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Papworth Hospital, where he has worked since 1986, and Associate Lecturer at the University of Cambridge. His specialist area of cardiac surgical interest is the management of all forms of heart valve disease, especially mitral valve reconstruction, the development of the lung cancer service, and thoracic oncology in general; and has always taken an interest in the benign conditions of the chest such as Hypherdrosis.

He organised and set up the first two stop lung cancer service in the UK approximately 2 years ahead of the Calman proposals.


Francis completed his medical training at Charing Cross Hospital and the Brompton Hospital prior to moving to Cambridge for surgical training, where he gained the final fellowship. He took a year as senior research fellow at the University of Alabama, where his work resulted in a Master of Surgery and Hunterian professorship at the Royal College of Surgeons.


Francis has a significant profile within the Arts, and is completing many years work on the Anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, focussing particularly on the Heart. The da Vinci drawings allowed him to work out how to restore normal opening and closing function of the mitral valve, and he encourages significant interaction between artists and scientists.

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Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Author