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About Us

Patrick Tam Deputy Director and Head, Embryology Unit


Professor Patrick Tam BSc(Hons) MPhil PhD CBiol FAA FAHMS FRSB, FRS — heads the Embryology Research Unit and is Deputy Director of Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI). He is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and holds a conjoint appointment as Professor in the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology, School of Medical Sciences, Sydney Medical School of the University of Sydney and Mok Hing-Yiu Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong.   

Professor Tam's research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms, the gene network activity and signalling pathway function underpinning lineage development and tissue patterning during mouse development and the application of the developmental biology principles to study the biological attributes of embryo-derived stem cells. He pioneered the application of micromanipulation and embryo culture for analyzing mouse embryos and examining the development of the head and embryonic gut. The embryological analysis undertaken by his team at CMRI has enabled the construction of a series of fate-maps revealing the organization of the basic body plan of the early embryo. The in-depth knowledge of cell differentiation during early embryogenesis laid the foundation for directing the differentiation of stem cells into clinically useful cell types for therapy in regenerative medicine. His other current research also covers the genetic models of X-linked diseases and the molecular controls of eye development. In recognition of his research achievement, Professor Tam was awarded the President’s Medal of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cell and Developmental Biology in 2007 and the Distinguished Professorial Acheivement Award of the Sydney Medical School in 2017 and Fellowship of the Institute of Biology (UK) in 1989, the Australian Academy of Science in 2008, the Royal Society of Biology in 2009, the Royal Society of London in 2011, and the Australian Academy of Medical and Health Science in 2016.
 
Professor Tam is an editor of the scientific journal “Development” and formerly an editor of “International Journal of Developmental Biology”, "Mechanisms of Development", “Gene Expression Patterns" and "Anatomy and Embryology", and serves on the editorial board of several other journals including Developmental Cell and Developmental Biology. He has co-edited two major multi-authored books with Janet Rossant of the University of Toronto on “Mouse Development. Patterning, Morphogenesis and Organogenesis” published in 2002 and with James Nelson (Stanford University) and Janet Rossant on “Mammalian Development: Networks. Switches and Morphogenetic Processes” published in 2013. He serves as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Stem Cell Australia, Advisory Council of RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology and the Scientific Advisory Board of the School of Biomedical Sciences and several Theme-Based Research Consortium at the University of Hong Kong.

Professor Tam was motivated to join CMRI and establish the Embryology Research Unit by the Institute’s strong commitment to conduct basic scientific research in cell and developmental biology that is relevant to child health and development, the interactive and vibrant scientific environment and the first-rate research facilities.


Visit the Embryology Unit page.