Mathieu Bakhoum is a physician scientist with clinical training in ophthalmology and vitreoretinal surgery. At the Yale Eye Center, he cares for patients with complex retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, epiretinal membrane and retinal artery and vein occlusions.
His laboratory at the Yale School of Medicine focuses on two research areas with direct clinical applications. The first is to determine mechanisms that drive metastasis in uveal melanoma, a lethal eye cancer. His goal is to translate this knowledge to develop non-invasive biomarkers for diagnosis and metastatic surveillance, and to identify druggable targets that can be employed to treat the primary and metastatic disease. His work has identified a novel mechanism by which cancer cells evolve to become more aggressive. The second area of focus capitalizes upon the ability to visualize the individual cellular layers of the retina during routine eye examination, and utilizes this information to detect underlying systemic diseases. Dr. Bakhoum has demonstrated that retinal ischemic perivascular lesions (RIPLs) can be used as a biomarker for underlying cardiovascular disease. Early detection of cardiovascular disease allows early implementation of therapy or lifestyle modification, thereby slowing disease progression or averting catastrophic events such as a stroke or heart attack.