Dr. Hanh Lam

Position: (Co-Chair from 2019, Chair for the year of 2018), University of California - Santa Cruz, USA


  • August 2008-present, MS/PhD Student, Plant -Microbe Biology; Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University
  • September 2001- November 2005: B.S., Biotechnology, Nong Lam University (formerly University of Agriculture and Forestry), Vietnam.

Graduate Advisor: Samuel Cartinhour

Research Focus

My long-term research interest is to study biological system in a holistic sense using computational and experimental tools. Living things are composed of many interconnected components that cannot be understood completely by studying each component separately. Computational tools may play many roles to support biologists from giving predictions, analyzing results to modeling the whole system. Moreover with the rapid advance of high-throughput sequencing and other molecular techniques, the amount of data is exceeding the level we can handle without help from computational tools.

My current project is to understand how Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 regulates its Type III secretion system (T3SS) to defeat multiple layers of plant defense. HrpL, an alternative sigma factor, is the direct regulator of the T3SS. ChIPseq, RNAseq results and HrpL motif search reveal that HrpL binds at several interesting and unexpected sites, suggesting that the scope of HrpL-regulation is, in fact, not exhaustively known. These binding sites potentially implicate genes that were thought to be unrelated to pathogenesis or which were not even annotated as genes when the P. syringae genome was fully sequenced. Monitoring the effect on in planta growth and hypersensitive response of new members of the hrpL regulon may provide insight into the interaction of the bacterium and its host.

Professional Experience

Research and training:

  • Summer 2012: High Performance Computing Summer Institute at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.
  • Spring 2009-present: Graduate Research assistant, Cornell University (Advisor: Dr. Samuel Cartinhour). I study Hrp regulon in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas Syringage pv. tomoto DC3000.
  • Spring 2009: Rotation Student, Cornell University (Advisor: Dr. Samuel Cartinhour)
  • Fall 2008: Rotation Student, Cornell University (Advisor: Dr. Alan Collmer)
  • 2005-2008: Apprentice Lecturer. Nong Lam University (University of Agriculture and Forestry) in Vietnam. I worked as a research assistant and an instructor of Molecular Biology experiments.
  • 2004 – 2005: Student at University of Agriculture and Forestry, Vietnam. In my undergraduate thesis, I conducted a diagnosis and surveyed the prevalence of Tobacco Mosaic VirusCucumber Mosaic Virus and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus using Enzyme linked Immuno – Sorbent Assay (ELISA) and Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).


  • Fall 2011: Teaching Assistant for BTRY6700 Applied Bioinformatics and Systems Biology.
  • 2005-2008: Apprentice Lecturer. Nong Lam University (University of Agriculture and Forestry) in Vietnam. I supervised senior undergraduate students to conduct thesis.

Awards and Honors

  • 2012 NSF Summer Institute- High Performance Computing in the Life/Medical Sciences at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.
  • 2008, Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) fellowship.

Professional Societies and Working Groups

  • 2012-present: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • July 2013- present: The American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Filiatrault MJ, Stodghill PV, Myers CR, Bronstein PA, Butcher BG, Lam H, Grills G, Schweitzer P, Wang W, Schneider DJ, Cartinhour SW. Genome-wide identification of transcriptional start sites in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato str. DC3000. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e29335.