Department of Urology

Ming Lam

Research Associate Professor




Dr. Ming Lam is a Research Associate Professor at the GU Cancer Research Lab. Dr. Lam’s research program is to uncover the biology underlying distant metastases and treatment response, and identify actionable targets for castration-resistant prostate cancer and bladder cancer, with a goal to rationally devise novel therapeutic strategies to improve survivorship of patients affected by cancer. Her focus areas include:

  1. Tumor interaction with microenvironment at metastatic sites. Prostate cancer can remain dormant for years or even decades before it relapses as a clinically evident, fetal metastatic disease. Disseminated tumor cells (DTC) in the bone have been discovered as early as before the primary tumor is removed. However, no information is available to differentiate whether these DTC are dormant or are dividing/prone to divide at the distant site.  We optimized a single cell transcriptome profiling technology and identified that individual DTC in patients with no evidence of disease (dormant DTC) were significantly different from patients with advanced disease (active DTC). Additionally, through modeling using patient-derived xenograft cells, cellular adhesion with the microenvironment was key to dormancy escape.  We are interested in investigating how microenvironment regulates tumor dormancy and support tumor growth in distant metastases.
  1. Identification of treatment response and resistance. Treatment response is diverse among patients or even within different metastatic sites of patients, suggesting tumor heterogeneity. We have access to both clinical specimens and patient-derived xenografts which allow systematic analyses of treatment targets, response, and resistance. Our prostate and bladder cancer rapid autopsy programs provide a valuable resource for identifying emerging treatment resistant phenotype.

NIH Publications List