Kit S. Lam, Ph.D., M.D. for UC Davis Health

Kit S. Lam, Ph.D., M.D.

Distinguished Professor

To see if Kit S. Lam is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).




Biological Chemistry

Molecular Biology/Medicine

Locations and Contact

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
2279 45th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817

Get Directions

Phone: 916-734-5959

Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Lam is an expert in combinatorial chemistry, chemical biology, drug development, molecular imaging, nanotheranostics and medical oncology. His laboratory is engaged in the development and application of combinatorial library methods for basic research and drug discovery. In addition to cancer drug development and drug delivery, he is also interested in exosomes, membrane active peptides, signal transduction, antibiotics development, molecular immunology, chemical microarray, and proteomics.

Dr. Lam is both a board-certified medical oncologist and a laboratory investigator. He is distinguished for revolutionizing cancer diagnosis and treatment and is acclaimed for his pioneering role in the field of combinatorial chemistry and developing the novel one-bead-one-compound technology, which rapidly screens millions of chemicals at one time to identify those that bind to diseased cells. The tool is advancing the early detection and precise delivery of treatments for brain, breast, prostate, pancreatic, lymphoma and other cancers. In addition, it is advancing the discovery of imaging agents that produce highly detailed molecular profiles of diseases for improved diagnosis and tracking medication effectiveness. His development and applications of combinatorial chemistry and other chemical methods look to solve many biomedical problems.

Dr. Lam invented the “one-bead-one-compound” (OBOC) combinatorial library method, filed the patents (the basic patents on the OBOC technology was issued in 1996, 1997, and 1999 by the US patent office), and published the technique in Nature in 1991. The OBOC combinatorial library approach is unique and truly an ultra-high throughput method, as thousands to millions of chemical compounds (peptides, peptidomimetics, small molecules, nucleic acids, and macrocyclic natural product like molecules) can be efficiently synthesized and screened in parallel in a relatively short time.

In addition to expanding the use of one-bead-one-compound technology, Dr. Lam's research also includes developing a blood test for ovarian-cancer detection, utilizing nanoparticle carriers for drug delivery and synthesizing cancer-fighting molecules with less-toxic side effects. He is currently collaborating with faculty from the Veterinarian School of Medicine on translating nanotherapeutic and nano-imaging agents in canine and feline patients.


Biological Chemistry
Hematology and Oncology

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Undergraduate School

B.A., Microbioogy, University of Texas, Austin TX 1975

Medical School

M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford CA 1984

Other School

Ph.D., Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 1980


Internal Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 1984-1987


Hematology/Oncology, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 1987-1989

Fellow of American College of Physicians, 2008

Award of the Society of Combinatorial Sciences for pioneering contribution to and remarkable scientific accomplishments in combinatorial sciences throughout my career (First International Symposium on Combinatorial Sciences held in Florence, Italy, 2007), 2007

Cathay Award (Chinese Peptide Symposium 1998), 1998

Stohlman Scholar (Leukemia Society of America), 1997

Upjohn Research Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research, 1989

Xiao K, Luo J, Li Y, Lee JS, Fung G, Lam KS. PEG-oligocholic acid telodendrimer micelles for the targeted delivery of doxorubicin to B-cell lymphoma. J Control Release. 2011 Oct 30;155(2):272-81. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.07.018. Epub 2011 Jul 19. PMID:21787818.

Li Y, Xiao K, Luo J, Xiao W, Lee JS, Gonik AM, Kato J, Dong TA, Lam KS. Well-defined, reversible disulfide cross-linked micelles for on-demand paclitaxel delivery. Biomaterials. 2011 Sep;32(27):6633-45. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.05.050. Epub 2011 Jun 11. PMID:21658763.

Yao N, Chen CY, Wu CY, Motonishi K, Kung HJ, Lam KS. Novel flavonoids with antiproliferative activities against breast cancer cells. J Med Chem. 2011 Jul 14;54(13):4339-49. doi:10.1021/jm101440r. Epub 2011 Jun 8. PMID:21599001.

Kumaresan PR, Wang Y, Saunders M, Maeda Y, Liu R, Wang X, Lam KS. Rapid discovery of death ligands with one-bead-two-compound combinatorial library methods. ACS Comb Sci. 2011 May 9;13(3):259-64. doi:10.1021/co100069t. Epub 2011 Feb 8. PMID:21302937.

Xiao K, Li Y, Luo J, Lee JS, Xiao W, Gonik AM, Agarwal RG, Lam KS. The effect of surface charge on in vivo biodistribution of PEG-oligocholic acid based micellar nanoparticles. Biomaterials. 2011 May;32(13):3435-46. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.01.021. Epub 2011 Feb 4. PMID:21295849.

Ding Y, Hong L, Nie B, Lam KS, Pan T. Capillary-driven automatic packaging. Lab Chip. 2011 Apr 21;11(8):1464-9. Epub 2011 Mar 7. doi:10.1039/C0LC00710B.

Chang PC, Fitzgerald LD, Hsia DA, Izumiya Y, Wu CY, Hsieh WP, Lin SF, Campbell M, Lam KS, Luciw PA, Tepper CG, Kung HJ. Histone demethylase JMJD2A regulates Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus replication and is targeted by a viral transcriptional factor. J Virol. 2011 Apr;85(7):3283-93. doi:10.1128/JVI.02485-10. Epub 2011 Jan 12. PMID:21228229.

Li J, Liu R, Lam KS, Jin LW, Duan Y. Alzheimer's disease drug candidates stabilize A-β protein native structure by interacting with the hydrophobic core. Biophys J. 2011 Feb 16;100(4):1076-82. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2010.12.3741. PMID:21320453.

Shi L, Fleming CJ, Riechers SL, Yin NN, Luo J, Lam KS, Liu GY. High-Resolution Imaging of Dendrimers Used in Drug Delivery via Scanning Probe Microscopy. J Drug Deliv. 2011;2011:254095. doi:10.1155/2011/254095. Epub 2011 Jun 13. PMID:21773043.

Berti L, Woldeyesus T, Li Y, Lam KS. Maximization of loading and stability of ssDNA:iron oxide nanoparticle complexes formed through electrostatic interaction. Langmuir. 2010 Dec 7;26(23):18293-9. Epub 2010 Nov 3. doi:10.1021/la103237e.