Professor TAM Siu Cheung, Michael


Tel (852) 3943 9301
Education & Qualifications
BSc, MSc, PhD (U. Toronto, Canada)
Research Interests Genetic adaptation to high altitude and mechanism of trichosanthin action
Researcher ID/ Publons ID F-5392-2018
ORCID 0000-0002-1230-3821
Scopus ID 15744864400


Professor Michael Tam received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Toronto, Canada. He was the former Associate Director (Medical Education) of the School of Biomedical Sciences, and the former Associate Dean (Student Affairs) of the Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).  He now teaches nursing programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels of the Nethersole School of Nursing.

Professor Tam’s research areas include genetic adaptation in high altitude. He studies the genetic difference between Tibetans and Hans and looks for genes contributing to better survival at high altitude. Professor Tam’s team is the first group to identify the natural selection of the gene EPAS1 that enables Tibetans to better adapt to high altitude. Professor Tam is also deeply committed to examining the mechanism of trichosanthin action. Trichosanthin is a type I ribosome-inactivating protein with antiviral activity. It inhibits replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as well as herpes simplex virus (HSV). The mechanism is unknown. Found results support the hypothesis that trichosanthin selectively induces apoptosis in viral infected cells while sparing uninfected cells. Infected cells die prematurely and therefore limit viral replication. The mechanism appears to involve the MAPK signal pathway.

Hwang, I., Tam, M., Lam, S. L., Lam, P. (2012). Review of use of animation as a supplementary learning material of physiology content in four academic years. Electronic Journal of eLearning, 10(4), 368-377.
He, D. X., Zheng, Y. T., Tam, S. C. (2012). The anti-herpetic activity of trichosanthin via the nuclear factor-kappa B and p53 pathways. Life Sciences, 90(17-18), 673-681.
He, D. X., Mao, A. Q., Li, Y. R., Lu, C. X., Gu, X. T., Zhang, G. Y., ... Ambudkar, I. S. (under review). TRPC1 participates in the HSV-1 infection process by facilitating viral entry. Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Ji, L. D., Qiu, Y. Q., Xu, J., Irwin, D. M., Tam, S. C., Tang, N. L., & Zhang, Y. P. (2012). Genetic adaptation of the hypoxia-inducible factor pathway to oxygen pressure among Eurasian human populations. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 29(11), 3359-3370.
He, D. X., Yau, K. H., He, X. H., Shi, H. J., Zheng, Y. T., Tam, S. C. (2011). Conversion of trichosanthin-induced CD95 (Fas) type I into type II apoptotic signaling during Herpes simplex virus infection. Molecular Immunology, 48(15-16), 2000-2008.
Long, J., Zhang, D. H., Zhang, G. H., Rao, Z. K., Wang, Y. H., Tam, S. C., ... & ZHENG, Y. T. (2010). The anti-HIV activity of three 2-alkylsulfanyl-6-benzyl-3, 4-dihydropyrimidin-4 (3H)-one derivatives acting as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in vitro. Yao Xue Xue Bao, 45, 228-234.
He, D. X., & Tam, S. C. (2010). Trichosanthin affects HSV-1 replication in Hep-2 cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 402(4), 670-675.
Beall, C. M., Cavalleri, G. L., Deng, L., Elston, R. C., Gao, Y., Knight, J., ... Montgomery, H. E. (2010). Natural selection on EPAS1 (HIF2α) associated with low hemoglobin concentration in Tibetan highlanders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(25), 11459-11464.
Sun, Y., Ouyang, D. Y., Pang, W., Tu, Y. Q., Li, Y. Y., Shen, X. M., ... & Zheng, Y. T. (2010). Expression of syncytin in leukemia and lymphoma cells. Leukemia Research, 34(9), 1195-1202.
Wang, R. R., Yang, L. M., Wang, Y. H., Pang, W., Tam, S. C., Tien, P., & Zheng, Y. T. (2009). Sifuvirtide, a potent HIV fusion inhibitor peptide. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 382(3), 540-544.
Wang, J. H., Nie, H. L., Tam, S. C., Huang, H., & Zheng, Y. T. (2002). Anti‐HIV‐1 property of trichosanthin correlates with its ribosome inactivating activity. FEBS letters, 531(2), 295-298.
Zheng, Y. T., Chan, W. L., Chan, P., Huang, H., & Tam, S. C. (2001). Enhancement of the anti‐herpetic effect of trichosanthin by acyclovir and interferon. FEBS letters, 496(2-3), 139-142.
Tam, S. C., Blumenstein, J., & Wong, J. T. (1976). Soluble dextran-hemoglobin complex as a potential blood substitute. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 73(6), 2128-2131.