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Dr Thomas Lam
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Thomas LAM

ADoCAF, ADoRCSV & Associate Professor

  • HJ537
  • +852 2766 6115
  • Dr Lam's main research interest is the study of protein expressions / regulations in different eye diseases or disorders using advanced omics and bioinformatics technologies. Postdoc and other research positions are open. Please email:


Dr Thomas Lam completed his undergraduate training with first-class honours in Optometry from PolyU. He was awarded a PhD scholarship to pursue his study on proteomics and animal myopia. He is among the first to pursue global retinal protein profiling and novel protein regulations in the chick myopia model using a mass spectrometry approach. Dr Lam started his academic career in 2008 as a Lecturer in the School of Optometry in PolyU and obtained his first competitive research grant from the RGC in the following year. In 2010, he relocated to Singapore and helped establish the first BSc Optometry degree programme offered by the University of Manchester (UK). He returned to Hong Kong in 2012 and he is currently an Associate Professor of the School of Optometry and serves as Director of PolyU Shenzhen centralized animal facility and Associate Director of PolyU centralized animal facility. 

Dr Lam has a good mix of academic and clinical experience. He obtained his fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) in 2009. He has more than 15 years experience in clinical supervision in various optometry clinics locally and overseas. He also actively serves in the profession as an editorial board member of international journals, an organizing committee member of international conferences, a councilor of The Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists (HKSPO), and a member of The Optometrists Board of Hong Kong, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He is currently a PI of Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR), HK Science Park, Research Centre for SHARP Vision, PolyU, Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation (RCMI), PolyU and Shenzhen Research Institute, PolyU. 

Research Overview

Dr Lam’s main research interest is the study of ocular proteomes and protein regulations in multifactorial diseases, including ocular surface disorders, myopia, and other retinal generations. His novel application of proteomics and bioinformatics platform in eye research has attracted a significant amount of collaborative research and equipment grants from PolyU, the University Grants Committee, Industries, Startup organizations, and Mainland China.

Proteomics has contributed dramatically to our understanding of gene function in the post-genomic era. Next-generation data-independent acquisition and targeted mass spectrometry platform have helped identify protein markers in many diseases for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Optometry, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professional Qualifications

  • Registered Optometrist (Part I)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

Academic and Professional Experience

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Bachelor of Science in Optometry, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
  • Registered Optometrist (Part 1)
  • Programme Committee member, International conference of vision and eye research
  • Chair, scientific committee, The 10th Asia Cornea & Contact lens Conference
  • International Advisory Committee member of ARVO-Asia
  • Chairman, the working group on publication of report, Optometrists Board, The Government of HKSAR
  • Member, Optometrists Board, The Government of HKSAR
  • Member, The International Association of Contact Lens Educators
  • Member, The Singapore Optometric Association
  • Member, The Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists
  • Member, The Hong Kong Society of Mass Spectrometry
  • Member, Innovation Advisory Board, AB SCIEX, US

Research Interests

  • Myopia mechanism
  • Quantitative proteomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Glaucoma
  • Tear fluid biomarker
  • Dry eye
  • Clinical trial

Research Output

  1. H. Guo, Y. Yang, Q. Zhang, J.R. Deng, Y. Yang, S. Li, P.K. So, T.C. Lam, M.K. Wong, Q. Zhao, Integrated Mass Spectrometry Reveals Celastrol As a Novel Catechol-O-methyltransferase Inhibitor, ACS Chem Biol (2022).

  2. L Pan, Y.H. Sze, M.l. Yang, J. Tang, S Zhao, I. Yi, C.H. To, T.C. LAM, D. F. Chen, K.S. CHO and C.W. Do, Baicalein - a Potent Pro-homeostatic Regulator of Microglia in Retinal Ischemic Injury. Front. Immunol. 13 (2022)

  3. Y Zhu, J. F Bian, D. Q. Lu, C. H. To, C. S. Yin. Lam, K. K. Li, F. J. Yu, B. T. Gong, Q. Wang, X. W. Ji, H. M. ZHANG, H. Nian, T. C. Lam*, R. Wei*, Alteration of EIF2 signaling, glycolysis, and dopamine secretion in form-deprived myopia in response to 1% atropine treatment: Evidence from interactive iTRAQ-MS and SWATH-MS proteomics using a guinea pig model, Front. pharmacol. 13 (2022) 814814 

  4. J.W.M. Yuen, K.K. Li, T.C. Lam*, Preparation of Hard Tissues Like Bone or Cartilage for Shotgun Mass Spectrometry Analysis of the Proteome, Current Protocols 1(10) (2021) e282.

  5. Y.H. Sze, Q. Zhao, J.K.W. Cheung, K.K. Li, D.Y.Y. Tse, C.H. To, T.C. Lam*, High-pH reversed-phase fractionated neural retina proteome of normal growing C57BL/6 mouse, Sci Data 8(1) (2021) 27.

  6. J.S.H. Tse, J.K.W. Cheung, G.T.K. Wong, T.C. Lam*, K.Y. Choi, K.H.Y. So, C.D.M. Lam, A.Y.H. Sze, A.C.K. Wong, G.M.C. Yee, H.H.L. Chan*, Integrating Clinical Data and Tear Proteomics to Assess Efficacy, Ocular Surface Status, and Biomarker Response After Orthokeratology Lens Wear, Transl Vis Sci Technol 10(11) (2021) 18.

  7. J.M.K. Kwong, J. Caprioli, Y.H. Sze, F.J. Yu, K.K. Li, C.H. To, T.C. Lam*, Differential Retinal Protein Expression in Primary and Secondary Retinal Ganglion Cell Degeneration Identified by Integrated SWATH and Target-Based Proteomics, Int J Mol Sci 22(16) (2021).

  8. S.W. Shan, C.W. Do*, T. C. Lam*, H.L. Li, W.D. Stamer, C.H. To, Thrombospondin-1 mediates Rho-kinase inhibitor induced increase in outflow-facility, J Cell Physiol (2021).

  9. Q. Wang, S. Banerjee, C. So, C. Qiu, Y. Sze, T.C. Lam, C.H. To, F. Pan, The Effect of Low-Dose Atropine on Alpha Ganglion Cell Signaling in the Mouse Retina, Front Cell Neurosci 15 (2021) 664491.

  10. J. Bian, Y.H. Sze, D.Y. Tse, C.H. To, S.A. McFadden, C.S. Lam, K.K. Li, T.C. Lam*, SWATH Based Quantitative Proteomics Reveals Significant Lipid Metabolism in Early Myopic Guinea Pig Retina, Int J Mol Sci 22(9) (2021).

  11. B.S.Kang, T.C. Lam, J.K.W. Cheung, K.K. Li, C.S.Kee, Corneal proteome and differentially expressed corneal proteins in highly myopic chicks using a label-free SWATH-MS quantification approach, Sci Rep Sci Rep 11(1) (2021) 5495.

  12. J.Y.W. MA, Y.H.Sze, J.F. Bian, T.C. Lam*, Critical role of mass spectrometry proteomics in tear biomarker discovery for multifactorial ocular diseases (Review), Int J Mol Med 47(5) (2021).

  13. Y.H. Sze, Q. Zhao, J.K.W. Cheung, K.K. Li, D.Y.Y. Tse, C.H. To, T.C. Lam*, High-pH reversed-phase fractionated neural retina proteome of normal growing C57BL/6 mouse, Sci Data 8(1) (2021) 27.

  14. W. Li, L. Xu, Z. Liang, S. Wang, J. Cao, T.C. Lam, X. Cui, JDGAN: Enhancing generator on extremely limited data via joint distribution, Neurocomputing 431 (2021) 148-162.

  15. F.J. Yu, T.C. Lam*, A.Y. Sze, K.K. Li, R.K. Chun, S.W. Shan, C.H. To, Alteration of retinal metabolism and oxidative stress may implicate myopic eye growth: Evidence from discovery and targeted proteomics in an animal model, J Proteomics (2020) 103684.
  1. PI: HK$ 3M. PolyU Research Centre for SHARP Vision (2022-2023) -The Mechanism of Light-mediated Regulation of Myopic Eye Growth
  2. Co-PI: HK$ 3M. PolyU Research Centre for SHARP Vision (2022-2023) - Exploration of the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying TREM2 in Glaucoma
  3. PI: HK$ 2M. Innovative and Technology Commission (2020-2025) - Research grant on Tear Film & ocular surface
  4. Co-PI: HK$2.9M.  Collaborative Research Fund (CRF)-Equipment, UGC (2020/2023)- An Ultra-speed Mass Spectrometer for High-throughput Omics Studies
  5. PI: HK$ 4.2M. Menicon Co. Ltd., Japan (Collaborative) (2019-2023) - Accrued Effect of Orthokeratology for Myopia Control in Children and the Effectiveness of Myopia Control Using an Innovative Orthokeratology Modality
  6. PI: HK$ 1,04M. General Research Fund, Hong Kong SAR. (2020-23) - Atropine mediated proteins in myopia control: Insights from a new mammalian guinea pig model using an integrated next-generation proteomics strategy
  7. PI: RMB$ 2M深圳市基礎研究計畫, 深圳市科技創新委員會 (2019-2022) - ‘青光眼蛋白質體及轉錄體組學研究’
  8. Co-PI: HK$ 11.5M. Research Impact Fund, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong SAR - Effectiveness of Bright Light Therapy, Myopic Defocus, Atropine alone and in Combinations for Controlling Myopic Eye Growth in Schoolchildren: A Randomized Control Trial’
  9. Co-PI: HK$ 2.5M. PolyU Industry Collaborative Research Grant (2018-2022) - Effectiveness of Myopia Control by Breath-0 Correct Orthokeratology Lenses in Different Myopia Progression Groups: A 2-year Randomized Clinical Trial
  10. PI: HK$ 969,500. General Research Fund, Hong Kong SAR. (2016-19) – A comprehensive retinal proteome and phosphoproteome analysis in lens-induced myopia in mammalian guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) using a next generation hybrid TripleTOF mass spectrometer with SWATH acquisition

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