Dr. Lam is a physician-scientist-engineer whose research interests involve developing micro/nanosystems to investigate the cellular mechanics of hematologic processes at the micro-to nanoscales. Accordingly, the Lam laboratory takes a multidisciplinary approach spanning medicine, cellular biology, physics, and engineering to develop new tools such as microfluidic and microchip-based systems to answer questions in hematology that are technologically infeasible with current assays. For example, the laboratory has developed “endothelialized” microfluidic devices as research-enabling in vitro models of the microcirculation and has applied those microvasculature-on-a-chip systems to investigate pathologic cellular interactions in sickle cell disease and thrombotic microangiopathies as well as the underlying biophysics of leukocyte margination/demargination. In addition, Dr. Lam’s laboratory has developed microchip-based assays used to quantitatively and mechanistically dissect, at the single cell level, how platelets sense and physiologically respond to their biophysical microenvironment. As these microengineered devices can be further adapted to function as drug discovery platforms and diagnostic assays, Dr. Lam and his laboratory are also dedicated to clinically translating the technologies they invent – including a simple, color-based anemia test that patients may use at home as to self-monitor their blood hemoglobin levels and several smartphone-based diagnostics. Recently, the laboratory has also applied their fundamental biophysical findings into enabling novel drug delivery systems and methods for blood diseases. Overall, the Lam laboratory has adopted a “basement-to-bench-to-bedside” approach in which the invention, development, translation, and clinical assessment of novel diagnostic and therapeutic microtechnologies takes place under one scientific “roof” with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of patients with hematologic disorders.
Wilbur A. Lam, MD, PhD