Tam, James


Tam, James

Tam, James

Office: 03s-73
Telephone: 6316 7042
Email: JPTam@ntu.edu.sg

Orcid Researcher ID: 0000-0003-4433-198X


Professional Experience

James P. Tam is currently the Lee Wee Nam Professor and the Director of the Synzymes and Natural Products Center (SYNC). He served as the Founding Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, the Founding Director of Biological Research Center and the Founding Director of the double-degree program in Biomedical Science and Chinese Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 

Professor Tam received his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA and held appointments as Associate Professor at The Rockefeller University, USA (1982-1991), Professor at Vanderbilt University, USA (1991-2004) and The Scripps Research Institute, USA (2004-2008). He has been active in research for the past 30 years and continued to maintain part of his research program in the United States. In 2005, he continued his research work as a Professor in The Scripps Research Institute, Biomedical Sciences, Florida to head the HIV Therapeutics and vaccines Program.​ His research work focuses on the discovery, design and development of therapeutics, particularly orally active biologics, immunologics and anti-infectives.

Current research interests:

1. Peptide and protein chemistry; abiotic protein synthesis, peptide chips for proteomics.

2. Design and engineering of peptides, proteins, protein mimetics, and biopolymers with unusual architectures for bioactive molecules, antimicrobial peptides, growth factors, cytokines, vaccines, enzymes and synthetic antibody.

3. Intracellular delivery of small peptides as inhibitors of signal transduction.

He has published more than 330 papers in these areas of research. He received the Vincent du Vigneaud Award in 1986, the Rao Makineni Award by American Peptide Society (APS) in 2003, the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2005, and the Merrifield Award by American Peptide Society in 2013, the Akabori Memorial Award by Japanese Peptide Society in 2016 and the Josef Rudinger Memorial Award by The European Peptide Society and Science China Chemistry Award by the China Peptide Society in 2018, for his outstanding contributions to peptide and protein sciences. The Merrifield and Hirschmann Awards, administered by the APS and ACS respectively, recognize the highest achievements in the chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics of peptides at an international level.  Professor Tam was elected as a Fellow by the Singapore National Academy of Science in 2018.

In addition to his scientific research, he has also been active in the peptide community. Besides serving on many editorial boards, he organizes international peptide and protein symposia and was co-founder of the past ten International Chinese Peptide Symposia. He received the Cathay Award from the Chinese Peptide Society, China in 1996. He was also honored as Honorary Professor by Peking University and Peking Union Medical College. ​​