Academic Rank:
Professor, UBC
Distinguished Scientist, BC Cancer Research Centre
Short Bio:

Dr. Lam is Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, and Director, Interdisciplinary Oncology Program at the University of British Columbia. He is also a Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Research Centre.

Dr. Lam completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Microbiology) at the University of Alberta and completed his Ph.D. (Biochemistry) at Dalhousie University. Dr. Lam was a student of Dr. W. Ford Doolittle, a member of the National Academy of Sciences. As a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University he trained with Dr. Walter Gilbert, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. His laboratory at the BC Cancer Research Centre is known for multi-dimensional approaches to develop combinatorial detection and treatment strategies. His team has developed whole-genome technologies and bioinformatics tools for tracking genetic, epigenetic, and gene expression events in order to identify genes and pathways critical to cancer progression and treatment responses. His research team focuses on (1) the biology of lung cancer and COPD in smokers and non-smokers, (2) molecular mechanisms of environmental carcinogenesis, (3) the involvement of developmental genes in cancer, (4) immune cells in the tumour microenvironment, and (5) the genetic basis of aggressiveness, metastasis, and treatment response.

Current Appointments

Academic background

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (Molecular and Cellular Biology) Harvard University. 1994-1998
  • MRC Postdoctoral Fellow (Cellular and Developmental Biology) Harvard University. 1991-1994
  • PhD (Biochemistry) Dalhousie University. 1991
  • BSc and MSc (Microbiology), University of Alberta. 1983, 1986


Publications are listed at

  • Ishkanian AS, Malloff CA, Watson SK, DeLeeuw RJ, Chi B, Coe BP, Snijders A, Albertson DG, Pinkel D, Marra MA, Ling V, MacAulay, C, Lam WL (2004) A tiling resolution DNA microarray with complete coverage of the human genome. Nature Genetics 36: 299-303.
  • Weber M, Davies JJ, Wittig D, Haase M, Lam WL, Schübeler D (2005) Chromosome-wide and promoter-specific analyses reveal sites of differential DNA methylation in normal and transformed human cells. Nature Genetics 37: 853-62.
  • Aviel-Ronen S, Coe BP, Lau SK, da Cunha Santos G, Zhu CQ, Strumpf D, Jurisica I, Lam WL, Tsao MS (2008) Genomic markers for malignant progression in pulmonary adenocarcinoma with bronchioloalveolar features. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105: 10155-60.
  • Starczynowski D, Kuchenbauer F, Argiropoulos B, Sung S, Morin R, Muranyi A, Hirst M, Hogge D, Marra M, Wells R, Lam W, Humphries K, Karsan A (2010) Identification of miR-145 and miR-146a as mediators of the 5q- syndrome phenotype. Nature Medicine 16: 49-58.
  • Vucic, EA, Thu KL, Robison K, Rybaczyk L, Chari R, Alvarez CE, Lam WL (2012) Translating cancer omics to outcomes. Genome Research 22:188-95.
  • Pikor LA, Lockwood WW, Thu KL, Vucic EA, Chari R, Gazdar AF, Lam S, Lam WL (2013) YEATS4 is a novel oncogene amplified in non-small cell lung cancer that regulates the p53 pathway. Cancer Research 73:7301-12.
  • Martinez VD, Vucic EA, Thu KL, Hubaux R, Enfield KSS, Pikor LA, Becker-Santos DD, Brown CJ, Lam S, Lam WL (2015) Unique somatic and malignant expression patterns implicate PIWI-interacting RNAs in cancer-type specific biology. Scientific Reports 5:10423, 1-17.
  • Conway EM, Pikor LA, Kung SHY, Hamilton M, Lam S, Lam WL, Bennewith KL (2016) Macrophages, inflammation and lung cancer. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 193:116-30.
  • Becker-Santos DD, Thu KL, English JC, Pikor LA, Martinez VD, Zhang M, Vucic EA, Luk MT, Carraro A, Korbelik J, Piga D, Lhomme NM, Tsay MJ, Yee J, MacAulay CE, Lam S, Lockwood WW, Robinson WP, Jurisica I, Lam WL (2016) Developmental transcription factor NFIB is a putative target of oncofetal miRNAs and is associated with tumour aggressiveness in lung adenocarcinoma. Journal of Pathology 240:161-72.
  • Minatel BC, Sage AP, Anderson C, Hubaux R, Marshall EA, Lam WL, Martinez VD (2017) Environmental arsenic exposure: genetic and epigenetic contributions to carcinogenesis. Environment International 112:183-197.
  • Ng KW, Marshall EA, Bell JC, Lam WL (2018) The emerging tumorigenic capacity of cGAS-STING. Trends in Immunology 39:44-54.
Primary Research Area
Molecular Pathology and Cell Biology
Secondary Research Area
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
Genetics genomics proteomics and related approaches
Biomedical studies and clinical applications

Research Interest

  • Cancer progression
  • Genome biology
  • Epigenetics
  • Molecular Systems Biology
  • Lung Cancer
  • Technology Development
  • Dr. Lam’s primary research interest is in understanding the events leading to cancer progression. Early detection and treatment is key to a favorable prognosis in cancer. His laboratory at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre ( has developed novel whole genome approaches for tracking genetic, epigenetic and gene expression changes in order to identify genes and pathways critical to cancer progression and signatures for treatment response.