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Faculty Biographies

Lance C. Kam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information
Department of Biomedical Engineering
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Columbia University
351 Engineering Terrace (Mail Code 8904)
1210 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027 USA
Phone: +1 212-854-8611
Fax: +1 212-854-8725
Web site:

Research Theme

Micro- and Nanoscale Biocomplexity
Proper development, function, and repair of tissues relies on how cells to a complex presentation of extracellular cues. My laboratory focuses on the understanding how cells interpret this complex environment at multiple spatial scales. The distribution of multiple proteins at the scale of single to hundreds of micrometers directs cellular coordination into functional tissues. At the nanoscale, the assembly, configuration, and dynamics of signaling ligands influences how cells respond to these powerful signals. Through the use of advanced techniques for patterning lipid bilayers (figure 1, movie 1, figure 2) and presenting biomolecules on a substrate (figures 3 and 4), my laboratory seeks to understand how these factors drive key functions of cells, ultimately leading to improved understanding of organism behavior and implantable devices.

Background and Education

Lance Kam is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering. He earned his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering in 1999 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, developing tools that will lead to fine control over the attachment and growth of neurons on engineered surfaces. His interest in incorporating highly instructive proteins into these surfaces continued in his postdoctoral training at Stanford University through his work in supported lipid bilayers. Dr. Kam's laboratory builds upon these tools towards the investigation of cell interaction with spatially, temporally, and biomolecularly complex surfaces.

Selected Publications

Kam L, Boxer, SG.
Spatially selective manipulation of supported lipid bilayers by laminar flow: steps towards biomembrane microfluidics.
Langmuir. 2003;19:1624-1631.

Kam, L, Shain W, Turner JN, Bizios R.
Selective adhesion of astrocytes to surfaces modified with immobilized peptides.
Biomaterials. 2002;23:511-515.

Ajo-Franklin CM, Kam L, Boxer, SG.
High refractive index substrates for fluorescence microscopy of biological interfaces with high z-resolution.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2001;98: 13643-13648.

Kam L, Boxer SG.
Cell adhesion to protein-micropatterned supported lipid bilayer membranes.
J Biomed Materials Res. 2001;55:487-495.

Kam, L, Shain W, Turner JN, Bizios, R.
Axonal outgrowth of hippocampal neurons on microscale networks of polylysine-conjugated laminin.
Biomaterials. 2001;22:1049-1054.

Kam L, Boxer SG.
Formation of supported lipid bilayer composition arrays by controlled mixing and surface capture.
J Am Chem Soc. 2000;122:12901-12902.

Turner AMP, Dowell N, Turner SWP, Kam L, Isaacson M, Turner JN, Craighead HG, and Shain W.
Attachment of astroglial cells to microfabricated pillar arrays of different geometries.
J Biomed Materials Res. 2000;51:430-441.

Kung LA, Kam L, Hovis JS, Boxer SG.
Patterning hybrid surfaces of proteins and supported lipid bilayers.
Langmuir. 2000;16:6773-6776.

James CD, Davis RC, Meyer M, Perez A, Turner S, Withers G, Kam L, Banker G, Craighead, HG, Isaacson M, et al.
Aligned microcontact printing of micrometer scale polylysine structures for controlled growth of cultured neuronson planar microelectrode arrays.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2000;47:17-21.

Kam L, Shain W, Turner JN, Bizios R.
Correlation of astroglial cell function on micropatterned surfaces with specific geometric parameters.
Biomaterials. 1999;20:2343-2350.

Lu L, Kam L, Hasenbein M, Nyalakonda K, Bizios R, Gpferich A, Young JF, Mikos AG.
Retinal Pigment epithelial cell function on substrates with chemically micropatterned surfaces.
Biomaterials. 1999;20:2351-2361.

James CD, Davis RC, Kam L, Craighead HG, Isaacson M, Turner JN, Shain W.
Patterned protein layers on solid substrates by thin stamp microcontact printing.
Langmuir. 1998;14:741-744.

Craighead HG, Turner SW, Davis RC, James C, Perez AM, St. John PM, Isaacson MS, Kam L, Shain W, Turner JN, Banker G.
Chemical and topographical surface modification for control of central nervous system cell adhesion. J Biomed Microdevices. 1998;1: 49-64.

St. John P, Kam L, Turner SW, Craighead HG, Issacson M, Turner JN, Shain W.
Preferential glial cell attachment to microcontact-printed surfaces.
J Neurosci Methods. 1997;75:171-177.

Manipulation of lipid bilayers

Research Examples