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. 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.
  2. 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 .
  3. 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; :. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-01122-z. PubMed PMID:34635840 .
  4. 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; :109839. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109839. PubMed PMID:34624208 PubMed Central PMC8481092.
  5. Rivas, MA, Durmaz, C, Kloetgen, A, Chin, CR, Chen, Z, Bhinder, B et al.. Cohesin Core Complex Gene Dosage Contributes to Germinal Center Derived Lymphoma Phenotypes and Outcomes. Front Immunol. 2021;12 :688493. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.688493. PubMed PMID:34621263 PubMed Central PMC8490713.
  6. Mammoliti, A, Smirnov, P, Nakano, M, Safikhani, Z, Eeles, C, Seo, H et al.. Orchestrating and sharing large multimodal data for transparent and reproducible research. Nat Commun. 2021;12 (1):5797. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25974-w. PubMed PMID:34608132 PubMed Central PMC8490371.
  7. Urbaniak, C, Grams, T, Mason, CE, Venkateswaran, K. Simulated Microgravity Promotes Horizontal Gene Transfer of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes between Bacterial Genera in the Absence of Antibiotic Selective Pressure. Life (Basel). 2021;11 (9):. doi: 10.3390/life11090960. PubMed PMID:34575109 PubMed Central PMC8468678.
  8. Simpson, AC, Urbaniak, C, Bateh, JR, Singh, NK, Wood, JM, Debieu, M et al.. Draft Genome Sequences of Fungi Isolated from the International Space Station during the Microbial Tracking-2 Experiment. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2021;10 (37):e0075121. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00751-21. PubMed PMID:34528817 PubMed Central PMC8444978.
  9. Foox, J, Tighe, SW, Nicolet, CM, Zook, JM, Byrska-Bishop, M, Clarke, WE et al.. Performance assessment of DNA sequencing platforms in the ABRF Next-Generation Sequencing Study. Nat Biotechnol. 2021;39 (9):1129-1140. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-01049-5. PubMed PMID:34504351 .
  10. Fang, LT, Zhu, B, Zhao, Y, Chen, W, Yang, Z, Kerrigan, L et al.. Establishing community reference samples, data and call sets for benchmarking cancer mutation detection using whole-genome sequencing. Nat Biotechnol. 2021;39 (9):1151-1160. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-00993-6. PubMed PMID:34504347 .
  11. Xiao, W, Ren, L, Chen, Z, Fang, LT, Zhao, Y, Lack, J et al.. Toward best practice in cancer mutation detection with whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing. Nat Biotechnol. 2021;39 (9):1141-1150. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-00994-5. PubMed PMID:34504346 PubMed Central PMC8506910.
  12. Wood, JM, Peres, JB, Bateh, J, Singh, NK, Aronson, HS, Hendrickson, R et al.. Draft Genome Sequences of Heat Shock-Tolerant Microbes Isolated from a Spacecraft Assembly Facility. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2021;10 (36):e0065321. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00653-21. PubMed PMID:34498924 PubMed Central PMC8428253.
  13. Nagy-Szakal, D, Couto-Rodriguez, M, Wells, HL, Barrows, JE, Debieu, M, Butcher, K et al.. Targeted Hybridization Capture of SARS-CoV-2 and Metagenomics Enables Genetic Variant Discovery and Nasal Microbiome Insights. Microbiol Spectr. 2021; :e0019721. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.00197-21. PubMed PMID:34468193 .
  14. Danko, D, Malli Mohan, GB, Sierra, MA, Rucker, M, Singh, NK, Regberg, AB et al.. Characterization of Spacesuit Associated Microbial Communities and Their Implications for NASA Missions. Front Microbiol. 2021;12 :608478. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.608478. PubMed PMID:34394013 PubMed Central PMC8358432.
  15. Sharkey, ME, Kumar, N, Mantero, AMA, Babler, KM, Boone, MM, Cardentey, Y et al.. Lessons learned from SARS-CoV-2 measurements in wastewater. Sci Total Environ. 2021;798 :149177. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149177. PubMed PMID:34375259 PubMed Central PMC8294117.
  16. Reddy, S, Mouchli, A, Bierle, L, Gerrard, M, Walsh, C, Mir, A et al.. Assessing Presenting Symptoms, Co-Morbidities, and Risk Factors for Mortality in Underserved Patients With Non-Hereditary Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer. Cureus. 2021;13 (7):e16117. doi: 10.7759/cureus.16117. PubMed PMID:34350080 PubMed Central PMC8325966.
  17. Echeverria, AP, Cohn, IS, Danko, DC, Shanaj, S, Blair, L, Hollemon, D et al.. Sequencing of Circulating Microbial Cell-Free DNA Can Identify Pathogens in Periprosthetic Joint Infections. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2021;103 (18):1705-1712. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.02229. PubMed PMID:34293751 .
  18. Bennett, TD, Moffitt, RA, Hajagos, JG, Amor, B, Anand, A, Bissell, MM et al.. Clinical Characterization and Prediction of Clinical Severity of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among US Adults Using Data From the US National COVID Cohort Collaborative. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4 (7):e2116901. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.16901. PubMed PMID:34255046 PubMed Central PMC8278272.
  19. Karlebach, G, Aronow, B, Baylin, SB, Butler, D, Foox, J, Levy, S et al.. Betacoronavirus-specific alternate splicing. bioRxiv. 2021; :. doi: 10.1101/2021.07.02.450920. PubMed PMID:34230929 PubMed Central PMC8259905.
  20. Grigorev, K, Foox, J, Bezdan, D, Butler, D, Luxton, JJ, Reed, J et al.. Haplotype diversity and sequence heterogeneity of human telomeres. Genome Res. 2021; :. doi: 10.1101/gr.274639.120. PubMed PMID:34162698 PubMed Central PMC8256856.
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