Ann Lam, PhD
Medical Research Program Director
Ann Lam, Ph.D., is the medical program research director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nationwide organization of physicians and laypersons that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research and advocates for more effective, efficient, and medical research, product testing, and training.
Dr. Lam and her colleagues work to advance biomedical research and applications that can be more effective, personalized, and safer for patients of all ethnicities and ages. To do so, she promotes human-specific nonanimal methods such as in vitro studies, organ-on-a-chip, biospecimen research, novel imaging, and computational methods. By utilizing human cells, tissues, processes, and data these methods are more human-relevant and ethical than animal studies given species differences and issues of sentience. As these technologies continue to mature, Dr. Lam works with scientists and advocacy groups to educate and engage policymakers and the next generation of scientists to broaden the use of these research tools.
Dr. Lam develops strategies, builds relationships with multiple stakeholder groups, and leads collaborations with scientists and policymakers. She has presented at numerous scientific conferences and seminars, organized workshops and roundtables to discuss the practical issues surrounding use of human-specific approaches in biomedical research. As human-specific research methods develop, numerous opportunities and ethical issues arise, such as in chimeric research, Dr. Lam engages policymakers to develop more rigorous and inclusive research strategies and proactively ethics standards.
With a background in Neurosciences, Anatomy and Cell Biology and Cognitive Sciences, Dr. Lam leads the Physicians Committee’s work to advance human specific research in Alzheimer’s disease, neuroscience and stem cell research. She urges the National Institutes of Health and other research bodies, to improve demographic representation in biospecimen banks, and address barriers to human-relevant research training and research funding priorities. Dr. Lam is also developing resources to help laboratories and companies utilizing stem cells to create protocols, cell lines, and approaches that are free from animal-based reagents.
During the pandemic, Dr. Lam collaborated in the CIAO Project, a crowd-sourced interdisciplinary scientific effort, to help expand the Adverse Outcomes Pathways framework to help better understand the biological-social determinants and neurological impacts of COVID-19. She continues to apply this knowledge framework to other major diseases so that researchers can better investigate multiscale mechanisms in biomedical research.
Dr. Lam is a member of the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment, the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the Society for Neuroscience, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.