James P. Tam is the Director of the Drug Discovery Laboratory at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was the founding dean of the School of Biological Sciences, founding director of the double-degree program in Biomedical Science and Chinese Medicine, and the founding director of NTU Biological Research Center.
His research focuses on synthetic methodology, drug design of metabolic-stable peptidyl biologics and intracellular delivery of peptides. He developed peptide dendrimers as synthetic vaccines. His current research also includes herbalomics in traditional medicines to discover novel peptides as potential therapeutics.
He 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.
Professor Tam 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 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 for his outstanding contributions to peptide and protein sciences. In addition to his scientific research, he has also been active in the peptide community. Besides serving on many editorial boards, he organized 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.
James P. Tam