Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Doris Lam

Pronouns: she/her


Biosciences and Biotechnology Division

January 21, 2022

What do you like about working at the Lab?

I enjoy having the opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary team of biologists, engineers, and computational scientists on cutting-edge research and technology that advance our understanding of the human brain and how its activity evolves in neurodegenerative diseases or injury—a personal research interest of mine!

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

For the most part, my current experiments determine my day-to-day activities, from designing or running experiments to analyzing data. When I am not working on experiments, I fill my time with project management tasks and writing proposals or manuscripts.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

The 3D brain-on-a-chip system. It was a remarkable moment when our team recorded electrical activity, for the first time, throughout a reconstructed 3D neural tissue. As a postdoc, I led the development of the 3D neural tissue, optimizing cell culture conditions that would allow brain cells to form networks in a 3D space; and when integrated with a novel prototype of a 3D multi-electrode array developed by our team, we were able to monitor the engineered brain activity for days to weeks. I remember thinking that we were probably one of a handful of teams to witness this and should start writing up the manuscript for publication ASAP!

What is your educational or career background?

My scientific background is in neuroscience. I obtained a BS in life sciences from the University of Toronto, an MS in physiology from the University of Saskatchewan, and a PhD in physiology from the University of Toronto. I joined LLNL 4 years ago as a postdoc and was converted to a staff scientist in 2020.

What inspired you to go into science?

Curiosity of the human brain and behavior and some courses along the way during my undergraduate studies.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Join the PLS Buddy Program! Being paired with a staff member or postdoc who will help you settle in at the Lab is a great opportunity.

What are your hobbies/what do you do in your free time?

If I am not spending time with family and friends, I am exploring the Bay area, hiking, or traveling.

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