Deputy Director and Head, Embryology Unit
Professor Patrick Tam BSc(Hons) MPhil PhD CBiol EurProBiol FAA FSB, 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 Medicine, Sydney Medical School of the University of Sydney and an Honorary Professorship at the University of Hong Kong.
Professor Tam's research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of body patterning during mouse development and the biology of 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 Fellowships of the Institute of Biology (UK) in 1989, the Australian Academy of Science in 2008, Society of Biology (UK) in 2009 and the Royal Society of London in 2011.
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 a major multi-authored book with Janet Rossant of the University of Toronto on “Mouse Development. Patterning, Morphogenesis and Organogenesis” published in 2002. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Australian Stem Cell Centre, the ARC Centre of Excellence on Biotechnology and Development, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin Germany, Genome Institute of Singapore, RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe Japan and Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conferences.
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.
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