Christopher Mason, Ph.D.

Professor of Physiology and Biophysics

  • Director, WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction and WorldQuant Foundation Research Scholar
  • Professor of Computational Genomics in Computational Biomedicine in the Institute for Computational Biomedicine
  • Professor of Neuroscience in the Brain and Mind Institute (secondary appointment)


1305 York Avenue, Room Y-13.15
New York, NY 10021


Research Areas

Research Summary:

We utilize computational and experimental methodologies to identify and characterize the essential genetic elements that guide the function of the human genome, with a particular emphasis on the elements that orchestrate the development of the human brain. Our lab creates detailed cell-specific molecular maps of genetic, epigenetic, transcriptional, and translational activity, creating a draft of the molecular recipe for the creation of the brain. We also develop methods to detect, catalog and functionally annotate variants in the genetic pathways that control developmental processes and how they are perturbed to create disease. We aim to understand of the functional elements of the human genome well enough to enable, eventually, the ability to repair, re-engineer, or fortify these genetic networks within human cells.

Recent Publications:

  1. Parker, CW, Teixeira, MM, Singh, NK, Raja, HA, Cank, KB, Spigolon, G et al.. Genomic Characterization of Parengyodontium torokii sp. nov., a Biofilm-Forming Fungus Isolated from Mars 2020 Assembly Facility. J Fungi (Basel). 2022;8 (1):. doi: 10.3390/jof8010066. PubMed PMID:35050006 PubMed Central PMC8778116.
  2. Amundarain, A, Valcárcel, LV, Ordoñez, R, Garate, L, Miranda, E, Cendoya, X et al.. Landscape and clinical significance of long noncoding RNAs involved in multiple myeloma expressed fusion transcripts. Am J Hematol. 2021; :. doi: 10.1002/ajh.26450. PubMed PMID:34961980 .
  3. Foox, J, Nordlund, J, Lalancette, C, Gong, T, Lacey, M, Lent, S et al.. Author Correction: The SEQC2 epigenomics quality control (EpiQC) study. Genome Biol. 2021;22 (1):350. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02573-y. PubMed PMID:34949218 PubMed Central PMC8705091.
  4. Kissler, SM, Fauver, JR, Mack, C, Tai, CG, Breban, MI, Watkins, AE et al.. Viral Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Persons. N Engl J Med. 2021;385 (26):2489-2491. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2102507. PubMed PMID:34941024 PubMed Central PMC8693673.
  5. Singh, NK, Lavire, C, Nesme, J, Vial, L, Nesme, X, Mason, CE et al.. Comparative Genomics of Novel Agrobacterium G3 Strains Isolated From the International Space Station and Description of Agrobacterium tomkonis sp. nov. Front Microbiol. 2021;12 :765943. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.765943. PubMed PMID:34938279 PubMed Central PMC8685578.
  6. Aguiar-Pulido, V, Wolujewicz, P, Martinez-Fundichely, A, Elhaik, E, Thareja, G, Abdel Aleem, A et al.. Systems biology analysis of human genomes points to key pathways conferring spina bifida risk. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021;118 (51):. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2106844118. PubMed PMID:34916285 PubMed Central PMC8713748.
  7. Hockstein, NG, Moultrie, L, Fisher, M, Mason, RC, Scott, DC, Coker, JF et al.. Assessment of a Multifaceted Approach, Including Frequent PCR Testing, to Mitigation of COVID-19 Transmission at a Residential Historically Black University. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4 (12):e2137189. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.37189. PubMed PMID:34902039 PubMed Central PMC8669565.
  8. Foox, J, Nordlund, J, Lalancette, C, Gong, T, Lacey, M, Lent, S et al.. The SEQC2 epigenomics quality control (EpiQC) study. Genome Biol. 2021;22 (1):332. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02529-2. PubMed PMID:34872606 PubMed Central PMC8650396.
  9. Mzava, O, Cheng, AP, Chang, A, Smalling, S, Kounatse, LD, Lenz, J et al.. A metagenomic DNA sequencing assay that is robust against environmental DNA contamination. bioRxiv. 2021; :. doi: 10.1101/2021.11.22.469599. PubMed PMID:34845444 PubMed Central PMC8629186.
  10. Afshinnekoo, E, Scott, RT, MacKay, MJ, Pariset, E, Cekanaviciute, E, Barker, R et al.. Fundamental Biological Features of Spaceflight: Advancing the Field to Enable Deep-Space Exploration. Cell. 2021;184 (24):6002. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.11.008. PubMed PMID:34822785 PubMed Central PMC8674844.
  11. Foox, J, Bezdan, D, Vijay, P, Getz, K, Ratanachai, K, Davis, JW et al.. Epigenetic Forensics for Suspect Identification and Age Prediction. Forensic Genom. 2021;1 (3):83-86. doi: 10.1089/forensic.2021.0005. PubMed PMID:34806083 PubMed Central PMC8596498.
  12. Mirzayi, C, Renson, A, Genomic Standards Consortium, Massive Analysis and Quality Control Society, Zohra, F, Elsafoury, S et al.. Reporting guidelines for human microbiome research: the STORMS checklist. Nat Med. 2021;27 (11):1885-1892. doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01552-x. PubMed PMID:34789871 .
  13. Zhao, Y, Fang, LT, Shen, TW, Choudhari, S, Talsania, K, Chen, X et al.. Whole genome and exome sequencing reference datasets from a multi-center and cross-platform benchmark study. Sci Data. 2021;8 (1):296. doi: 10.1038/s41597-021-01077-5. PubMed PMID:34753956 PubMed Central PMC8578599.
  14. Mercer, TR, Xu, J, Mason, CE, Tong, W, MAQC/SEQC2 Consortium. The Sequencing Quality Control 2 study: establishing community standards for sequencing in precision medicine. Genome Biol. 2021;22 (1):306. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02528-3. PubMed PMID:34749795 PubMed Central PMC8574019.
  15. Tong, X, Leung, MHY, Shen, Z, Lee, JYY, Mason, CE, Lee, PKH et al.. Metagenomic insights into the microbial communities of inert and oligotrophic outdoor pier surfaces of a coastal city. Microbiome. 2021;9 (1):213. doi: 10.1186/s40168-021-01166-y. PubMed PMID:34724986 PubMed Central PMC8562002.
  16. Liu, Y, Rosikiewicz, W, Pan, Z, Jillette, N, Wang, P, Taghbalout, A et al.. DNA methylation-calling tools for Oxford Nanopore sequencing: a survey and human epigenome-wide evaluation. Genome Biol. 2021;22 (1):295. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02510-z. PubMed PMID:34663425 PubMed Central PMC8524990.
  17. Beheshti, A, McDonald, JT, Hada, M, Takahashi, A, Mason, CE, Mognato, M et al.. Genomic Changes Driven by Radiation-Induced DNA Damage and Microgravity in Human Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22 (19):. doi: 10.3390/ijms221910507. PubMed PMID:34638848 PubMed Central PMC8508777.
  18. Wu, J, Danko, D, Afshinnekoo, E, Bezdan, D, Bhattacharyya, M, Castro-Nallar, E et al.. Annotating unknown species of urban microorganisms on a global scale unveils novel functional diversity and local environment association. Environ Res. 2021; :112183. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112183. PubMed PMID:34637759 .
  19. Foox, J, Tighe, SW, Nicolet, CM, Zook, JM, Byrska-Bishop, M, Clarke, WE et al.. Author Correction: Performance assessment of DNA sequencing platforms in the ABRF Next-Generation Sequencing Study. Nat Biotechnol. 2021;39 (11):1466. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-01122-z. PubMed PMID:34635840 .
  20. McDonald, JT, Enguita, FJ, Taylor, D, Griffin, RJ, Priebe, W, Emmett, MR et al.. Role of miR-2392 in driving SARS-CoV-2 infection. Cell Rep. 2021;37 (3):109839. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109839. PubMed PMID:34624208 PubMed Central PMC8481092.
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