Dr. Kit Lam was born in Hong Kong, obtained his B.A. in Microbiology in 1975 at the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his Ph.D. in Oncology in 1980 from McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, and his M.D. in 1984 from Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training and Medical Oncology Fellowship training at the University of Arizona. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He was on the faculty of the University of Arizona until June 1999, when he joined UC Davis School of Medicine as the Division Chief of Hematology/Oncology, a position he continues to hold until very recently. Beginning April 1, 2010, he became the Chair of Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. He is both a practicing medical oncologist and a laboratory investigator.
Dr. Lam is recognized as one of the pioneers who started the field of synthetic combinatorial chemistry in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He invented the “one-bead one-compound” (OBOC) combinatorial library method, which was first published in Nature in 1991. The article has since been cited over 1,200 times.
DHe is a founding scientist of the Selectide Corporation, one of the first start-up companies to specialize in combinatorial chemistry. He has published over 238 scientific publications and is an inventor on 12 patents. He was a Council member of the American Peptide Society from 2003-2009, and has served as a member of National Cancer Institute review panels for cancer center support grants and program project grants relating to drug discovery. He is currently serving on the editorial board of the following journals: Peptide Science, Journal of Combinatorial Sciences, Combinatorial Chemistry & High-throughput Analysis, Chemical Biology & Drug Design, Current Pharmaceutical Design, Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery, and IDrugs-the Ivestigational Drugs Journal. He has also been a Leukemia Scholar and Stohlman Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. He received the Cathay Award in 1998 and the Combinatorial Science Award in 2007. In addition to contributing to the development of the field of combinatorial chemistry, he was active in disseminating the technology in its early days. He was the Conference and Program Chairman of the First and Second International Conference on Combinatorial Library Methods for Basic Research and Drug Discovery in 1995 and 1999, both in Tucson, with over 250 participants from all over the world.
DHis research encompasses the development and applications of combinatorial chemistry to basic research and drug development. On-going projects in his laboratory include the development of novel encoding techniques and screening methods for OBOC combinatorial libraries, development of cancer cell surface targeting agents for cancer therapy and in vivo imaging, development of novel nanotherapeutics, identification of substrates and development of inhibitors for protein kinases, protein tyrosine sulfotransferases and proteases, applications of OBOC combinatorial library methods and chemical microarrays for cancer proteomics and enzyme profiling, development of novel glyco-markers for cancer diagnosis, development of novel technologies for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, development of imaging and therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease, and development of antiviral agents.