Samuel F. Bakhoum MED'13



Samuel F. Bakhoum PHD'11, MED’13
Young Alumni

Assistant Professor, Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University



Dr. Samuel Bakhoum is a rising leader in the field of radiation-oncology. An assistant attending in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases in Manhattan, he holds assistant professorships at both the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University’s Graduate School of Medical Sciences.


Sam investigates chromosomal instability, which is present in 60–80% of all cancers and is associated with poor survival in many patients. Sam’s research—funded by the National Institutes of Health as well as private foundation awards—elucidates the role of chromosomal instabilities both in primary malignancies and in the process of metastasis. His findings have been published in Nature, Cancer Discovery, Cell Reports, Current Biology, and Nature Cell Biology, among others. In 2019, Sam co-founded Volastra Therapeutics Inc. to develop treatments to modulate the process of chromosomal instability and improve patient outcomes.


Sam’s foray into chromosomal instabilities in cancer began with his PhD research in the lab of Geisel School of Medicine Dean Duane Compton, PhD. In 2011, Sam received the Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Academy of Physicians. In 2018, he was honored with the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists, as well as the Blavatnik Family Foundation Regional Award for Young Scientists and the Radiological Society of America’s Roentgen Research Award. The same year he was also named a NextGen Star by the American Association for Cancer Research.


Sam has a longstanding commitment to rigorous training for the next generation of physician-scientists. In addition to the postdoctoral fellows and graduate students he currently advises, he has continuously advocated for the growth and rigor of Geisel’s MD-PhD program. Sam currently serves on an external advisory board for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Section of Radiation Oncology to help the section build strong research infrastructure. Since 2007, Sam has served as an external ad hoc student referee to the Faculty Promotions Committee for multiple Geisel departments. He also serves as a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Diversity in Science Council.


Following his graduation from the MD-PhD program at Geisel, Sam completed his internship in internal medicine at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA, a residency in radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and postdoctoral research at Weill Cornell Medical College.


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