Lawrence Lum completed his BA in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley (1993) and then matriculated in the Tri-Institutional M.D. Ph.D. program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He completed his Ph.D. at Sloan-Kettering Institute (New York City, 1999) with a focus on Cellular Biochemistry in the lab of Dr. Carl Blobel.
Rather than completing his M.D. degree, he pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medical School in the lab of Dr. Philip Beachy. There he established high-throughput screening methods for genome-scale evaluation of gene function in cultured cells.