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Current MD-PhD Student - Mathieu Bakhoum

Mathieu Bakhoum

Name: Mathieu Bakhoum

Year in Program: MY3

Undergrad University: Simon Fraser University - Canada

Mentor: George R. Jackson, M.D., Ph.D.

Graduate Program: Neuroscience and Cell Biology


    Research Interests

  • Mathieu is currently working on developing a model to study the effect of neurodegeneration on sleep disturbance. He is also working on identifying autophagic pathologies that accumulate with aging in the iris epithelium. He plans to pursue residency training in ophthalmology.

    Honors & Awards

  • Central Society for Clinical Research Honorarium and Oral Presentation Award (2013)
  • The James E. Beall II Memorial Award in Anatomy and Neurosciences Award (2012)
  • The Robert Harrison, M.D. Memorial M.D./Ph.D. Scholarship Award (2012)
  • Central Society for Clinical Research Trainee Award (2012)
  • American Physician Scientist Association Travel Award (2012)
  • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Associates Scholarship (2011)
  • Jen Chieh and Katherine Huang Scholarship (2011)
  • Margaret Saunders Travel Award (2011)
  • Best Poster Award. The fifteenth Annual Forum on Aging, The Sealy Center on Aging (2011)
  • Central Society for Clinical Research Trainee Award (2011)
  • Passed with honor distinction in the Qualifying examination for the Neuroscience Graduate Program (2010)
  • Dr. and Mrs. Seymour Fisher Academic Excellence Awards in Neuroscience (2009)
  • Shrum International Entrance Full Scholarship, Simon Fraser University (2003-2007)
  • Honor Roll, Simon Fraser University (2004-2005)
  • Entrance Full Scholarship, United World College of the Pacific (2001-2003)


  • Bakhoum MF, Ding Z, Carlton SM, and Jackson GR. Rapamycin rescue of tauopathy is associated with increased accumulation of immature autophagosomes and gridlock of autophagic flux. Under Review
  • Phirke P, Efimenko E, Mohan S, Burghoorn J, Crona F, Bakhoum MW, Trieb M, Schuske K, Jorgensen EM, Piasecki BP, Leroux MR, Swoboda P. Transcriptional profiling of C. elegans DAF-19 uncovers a ciliary base-associated protein and a CDK/CCRK/LF2p-related kinase required for intraflagellar transport. Dev Biol. (2011) Sep 1;357(1):235-47.
  • Bakhoum MF and Jackson GR. Demise of the flies why Drosophila models still matter. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci (2011) vol. 100 pp. 483-98.
  • Chen N, Mah A, Blacque OE, Chu J, Phgora K, Bakhoum MW, Newbury CR, Khattra J, Chan S, Go A, Efimenko E, Johnsen R, Phirke P, Swoboda P, Marra M, Moerman DG, Leroux MR, Baillie DL, Stein LD. Identification of ciliary and ciliopathy genes in Caenorhabditis elegans through comparative genomics. Genome Biol (2006) 7(12):R126.


  • Pathology remini scent of autophagy gridlock in aging and neurodegeneration. The Central Society for Clinical Research Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (2013)
  • Autophagy gridlock in tauopathy, Final Dissertation. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UTMB, Galveston, TX (2012)
  • Autophagy gridlock in a Drosophila model of human tauopathy, The Mitchell Center for Neurodegeneration, UTMB, Galveston, TX (2012)
  • "Exploring the role of autophagy in Tau pathogenesis" UTMB, TX (2011)
  • "New insights into Alzheimer Disease progression from molecular behaviors of Aβ and Γ" Dr. and Mrs. Seymour Fisher Academic Excellence Awards in Neuroscience, UTMB, TX (2009)

    Hobbies or just something about yourself in general:

  • Mathieu's hobbies include reading, sailing, soccer and music (piano).

Career Development

The career development of an MD-PhD student is critically important and extends out well past the date of graduation with the dual degrees. The UTMB MD-PhD Program carefully guides and nurtures students throughout the Program. Early in the Program, critical issues are mentor selection and choice of a graduate program. MD-PhD students meet regularly with a faculty advisor, a student "big sibling" and members of the advisory committee. Opportunities to be exposed to research opportunities are provided through Program activities as well as the scientific activities on campus. Most students do their initial laboratory rotation during the summer before starting medical school. Additional laboratory rotations can be completed during the summer before the first and second years of medical school and after the second year of medical school. Once students are established in their labs, they are guided through their research by a mentor and dissertation committee.

For MD-PhD students, selection of the dissertation committee is essential and our Program requires students to include a member who is an MD scientist who can provide guidance on career progress and residency selections. As thesis defense approaches, students design their optimal clinical experiences with members of the MD-PhD committee to maximize chances to obtain the types of residency training that will be most compatible with further development as a physician scientist. The Program runs career guidance seminars to alert students to many of the important issues, pitfalls and milestones that they will need to navigate in the future. These include the pros and cons of short-track residencies, the need for additional postdoctoral training, and how to select and negotiate a first faculty appointment. The UTMB MD-PhD graduate is thus well positioned to make the most out of the advantages that MD-PhD careers offer.