Yun Wah Lam


Country of origin

Hong Kong

List of publications

Dr. Yun Wah Lam received his PhD training in the lab of Dr. Davina Opstelten at the University of Hong Kong. After receiving his PhD in 1996, he joined the group of Prof. Angus Lamond in Dundee, Scotland, where he developed an interest in the relationship of the architecture of mammalian cell nucleus and the regulation of gene expression. Lam uses live-cell imaging techniques and classical biochemical approaches to study protein localization and interactions in the cell nucleus. In parallel, he is involved in an international effort to characterise the human nucleolus proteome. In 2007, he joined the Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong. His multi-disciplinary team uses quantitative mass spectrometry to measure the flux of proteins through subcellular spaces and to track the proteomic changes within cellular complexes through time. In complement, they record these dynamic cellular behaviours in live cells using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. From these two angles, they aim at building coherent pictures of intracellular events under different growth and metabolic conditions. Projects that have emerged from his lab in recent years include the characterization of protein flux through the nucleolus, the plasma membrane, the mitochondrion, and the extracellular matrix under various physiological conditions.


Retro-endo-symbiosis: the liberation of mitochondria from the eukaryotic life 

This project contemplates and commemorate endosymbiosis, one of the most important moments in the evolutionary history, by liberating mitochondria from human cells and coculturing them with free-living bacteria. As a result, two long-lost relatives, separated in the remote past and since then leading two totally different forms of existence, will encounter again. What reactions will this confrontation trigger? How will they communicate? What materials and information will they exchange? In this speculative and playful study, we want to document this encounter and the experiments leading to it. At the same time, a scientist (YW Lam) and an artist (MP Bobadilla), from two disciplines that are long-lost relatives too, will use this project to learn each other’s methodology, approaches and discourses.