- Grace Lam

Grace Lam entered the MD/PhD Program in 2006 after receiving her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of British Columbia. In 2012, she completed her PhD dissertation under the guidance of Dr. John H. Brumell, where she explored the intracellular interaction between host innate immune defenses and L. monocytogenes. Through both in vitro and in vivo models, Grace demonstrated, for the first time, the unique ability of the L. monocytogenes toxin, Listeriolysin O (LLO) to inhibit host production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), an anti-bacterial compound. Next, she helped to show the role of ROS in activating LC3-associated phagocytosis, a pathway that targets foreign intracellular organisms to the lysosome for degradation. Finally, she proved that LC3-associated phagocytosis was involved in targeting L. monocytogenes during intracellular infections. Thus, taken together, Grace's work provides a picture of the complex interplay between host and bacteria where the innate defense mechanisms of ROS direct clearance of L. monocytogenes and indirect clearance via activation of the LC3-associated phagocytosis pathway is subverted by the pathogen through the production of LLO. Grace has received a number of accolades for her work, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research Doctoral Research Award, and has been invited to present her research in both national and international settings. Outside of her academic pursuits, Grace has been involved in the student-run initiative, Toronto Notes, in a number of capacities over the years as the Production Manager and Member of the Board, as well as the Associate Editor for the Internal Medicine chapters. In her spare time, Grace is enjoys reading, live theater, visiting the AGO, and painting. She is an avid fan of the Vancouver Canucks, Doctor Who, and strategy based board games.