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BIlal M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Sorbonne University


Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, & Neuroscience


I am a molecular biologist by training, currently working in the US as a entrepreneur in biotech. In 2020, I obtained my PhD in neurosciences from Sorbonne University, in Paris. My work focused on creating gene therapies to slow down retinal neural degeneration. I completed a MSc in Systems & Synthetic Biology at Sorbonne University. As a graduate student, working at Institute Pasteur, I developed synthetic biology and microfluidic tools to prevent infection by pathogenic bacteria in humans. Prior to that, I completed a BSc at the California State University. My undergraduate research focused on studying co-evolution of flowering plants and pollinators.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Biotechnology to Solve Global Challenges

In this project, students will identify a real life problem. It can be a global challenge like famine, climate change, health issue, or a topic of personal curiosity. Together we will extend your understanding of the problem. Then I will guide you in developing your own original biotech solution to the problem. We will explore gene editing, gene therapy, synthetic biology, genomics, and genetics. At the end of the project, students will have a deeper understanding of the steps involved in developing biotech solutions or therapies. The students will have an original biotech solution for a global challenge.

Code of Life

In this project, we will explore how basic chemicals come together to create life with all its complexity. We will explore how DNA encodes for proteins, how proteins provide functionality that in turn generate complexity of life. We will examine how organisms perform complex tasks such as communicating, thinking, constantly evolving to survive, or gain a novel trait. We will address all these topics and link it back to their origin, the DNA. The topics include are Central Dogma of Biology, evolution, homeostasis, and embryology, and biodiversity.

Perception, Art, and the Human Brain

Interested to learn how we perceive the world? How our eyes captures the images and our human brain decodes it? Are you interested in learning how our brain functions? Do you want to learn how the brain evolves from childhood to adulthood? Or how does music, dance, art, or other creative art form effect the brain? In the project, I would like to explore the anatomy and the function of each of the brain's component. I want to describe the activity associated with each structure, how we perceive the world, and the understanding of brain diseases to better understand how to cure them. We will also explore how different creative art forms impact human brain and how it can be used to slow down neurodegenerative diseases.

Coding skills


Languages I know


Teaching experience

I have 3 years of tutoring experience with undergraduate and graduate students. I have tutored Biology and English at two Californian State Colleges as well as Sorbonne University in Paris. I tutored and trained graduate students in experimental laboratories. Since 2007, I am been a certified tutor in the State of California.


Work experience

College de France (2017 - 2020)
Pasteur Institute, Paris (2015 - 2016)
ESPCI (2014 - 2015)
California State University (2011 - 2013)
Research Associate


California State University Northridge (CSUN)
BS Bachelor of Science (2012)
Cell and Molecular Biology
Sorbonne University
MS Master of Science (2016)
System & Synthetic Biology
Sorbonne University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy

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