Associate Professor, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biology, University of Victoria

Dr. Lum obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa and pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. His research program is interested in understanding how cellular metabolism regulates tumorigenesis. He is studying how autophagy promotes tumour cell survival and studying whether these pathways can be used as novel targets for T cell therapy. Other areas include: cancer stem cells, metabolic control of T cells, and immunotherapy.


Dr. Lum’s translational research program has been focused on two main themes in cancer metabolism.

Reprogramming the immunometabolism of T cells in human cancer
The first theme is to understand how the metabolic ecosystem in tumors impact host antitumor immunity. Dr. Lum’s laboratory is using unique human tissue resources at BC Cancer to uncover new ways to understand intra- and inter-patient metabolic heterogeneity. In particular, they are interrogating the metabolomics features of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to identify pathways that could be genetically modified to enhance T cell responses.  The goal of this work is to use CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing enhance T cell metabolism as a means to overcome the suppressive metabolic environment in tumors Overall, his work will leverage the new BC Cancer Immunotherapy Program where several exciting T-cell therapy trials will be launching this year.

Preclinical and clinical investigations in the interaction of radiation and immunotherapy
The first area is to understand how radiation therapy alters immune responses to cancer. In particular, Dr. Lum is investigating new immunotherapy combinations with radiation (e.g. external bead, brachytherapy, radiotargeting ligands) including a Phase 1 trial of focal radiation and checkpoint blockade for ovarian cancer. Over the last 5 years, his team has found that radiation induces accumulation of numerous metabolites such as glycogen that are part of a radioresistance response pathway.

For more information about Dr. Lum’s lab and members please click here.


Dr. Lum received his B.Sc. with honors in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Ottawa. He moved to the University of Pennsylvania to complete his postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Craig B. Thompson. In 2008, Dr. Lum returned to Canada and accepted a position at BC Cancer as a Scientist and at the University of Victoria as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Senior Scientist and Associate Professor. He is a former CIHR New Investigator Recipient and serves as a reviewer for CIHR, CCS, CRS and PCC. Dr. Lum is Associate Editor at Biochemistry and Cell Biology and serves as reviewer for a number of journals including, Cell Metabolism, Immunity, Nature Communications, Science Translational Medicine and Science Immunology.

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