Christopher Mason, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics

  • Director, WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction and WorldQuant Foundation Research Scholar
  • Associate Professor of Computational Genomics in Computational Biomedicinein the Institute for Computational Biomedicine
  • Associate Professor of Neuroscience, 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. Sapoval, N, Mahmoud, M, Jochum, M, Liu, Y, Elworth, RAL, Wang, Q et al.. Hidden genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2: implications for qRT-PCR diagnostics and transmission. Genome Res. 2021; :. doi: 10.1101/gr.268961.120. PubMed PMID:33602693 .
  2. Carrasco-Leon, A, Ezponda, T, Meydan, C, Valcárcel, LV, Ordoñez, R, Kulis, M et al.. Characterization of complete lncRNAs transcriptome reveals the functional and clinical impact of lncRNAs in multiple myeloma. Leukemia. 2021; :. doi: 10.1038/s41375-021-01147-y. PubMed PMID:33597729 .
  3. Alpert, T, Lasek-Nesselquist, E, Brito, AF, Valesano, AL, Rothman, J, MacKay, MJ et al.. Early introductions and community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 in the United States. medRxiv. 2021; :. doi: 10.1101/2021.02.10.21251540. PubMed PMID:33594373 PubMed Central PMC7885932.
  4. Mencia-Trinchant, N, MacKay, MJ, Chin, C, Afshinnekoo, E, Foox, J, Meydan, C et al.. Clonal hematopoiesis before, during, and after human spaceflight. Cell Rep. 2021;34 (6):108740. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108740. PubMed PMID:33567281 .
  5. Ng, DL, Granados, AC, Santos, YA, Servellita, V, Goldgof, GM, Meydan, C et al.. A diagnostic host response biosignature for COVID-19 from RNA profiling of nasal swabs and blood. Sci Adv. 2021;7 (6):. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe5984. PubMed PMID:33536218 PubMed Central PMC7857687.
  6. Robinson, JM, Pasternak, Z, Mason, CE, Elhaik, E. Forensic Applications of Microbiomics: A Review. Front Microbiol. 2020;11 :608101. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.608101. PubMed PMID:33519756 PubMed Central PMC7838326.
  7. Duy, C, Li, M, Teater, M, Meydan, C, Garrett-Bakelman, FE, Lee, TC et al.. Chemotherapy induces senescence-like resilient cells capable of initiating AML recurrence. Cancer Discov. 2021; :. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1375. PubMed PMID:33500244 .
  8. Rivas, MA, Meydan, C, Chin, CR, Challman, MF, Kim, D, Bhinder, B et al.. Smc3 dosage regulates B cell transit through germinal centers and restricts their malignant transformation. Nat Immunol. 2021;22 (2):240-253. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-00827-8. PubMed PMID:33432228 PubMed Central PMC7855695.
  9. Vernice, NA, Meydan, C, Afshinnekoo, E, Mason, CE. Long-term spaceflight and the cardiovascular system. Precis Clin Med. 2020;3 (4):284-291. doi: 10.1093/pcmedi/pbaa022. PubMed PMID:33391848 PubMed Central PMC7757439.
  10. Bezdan, D, Grigorev, K, Meydan, C, Pelissier Vatter, FA, Cioffi, M, Rao, V et al.. Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and Exosome Profiling from a Year-Long Human Spaceflight Reveals Circulating Biomarkers. iScience. 2020;23 (12):101844. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101844. PubMed PMID:33376973 PubMed Central PMC7756145.
  11. Rutter, L, Barker, R, Bezdan, D, Cope, H, Costes, SV, Degoricija, L et al.. A New Era for Space Life Science: International Standards for Space Omics Processing. Patterns (N Y). 2020;1 (9):100148. doi: 10.1016/j.patter.2020.100148. PubMed PMID:33336201 PubMed Central PMC7733874.
  12. Bell, LCK, Meydan, C, Kim, J, Foox, J, Butler, D, Mason, CE et al.. Transcriptional response modules characterize IL-1β and IL-6 activity in COVID-19. iScience. 2021;24 (1):101896. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101896. PubMed PMID:33319166 PubMed Central PMC7721347.
  13. Bell, LC, Meydan, C, Kim, J, Foox, J, Butler, D, Mason, CE et al.. Transcriptional response modules characterise IL-1β and IL-6 activity in COVID-19. bioRxiv. 2020; :. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.22.202275. PubMed PMID:33299992 PubMed Central PMC7724660.
  14. Yusufova, N, Kloetgen, A, Teater, M, Osunsade, A, Camarillo, JM, Chin, CR et al.. Histone H1 loss drives lymphoma by disrupting 3D chromatin architecture. Nature. 2021;589 (7841):299-305. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-3017-y. PubMed PMID:33299181 PubMed Central PMC7855728.
  15. Price, AM, Hayer, KE, McIntyre, ABR, Gokhale, NS, Abebe, JS, Della Fera, AN et al.. Direct RNA sequencing reveals m6A modifications on adenovirus RNA are necessary for efficient splicing. Nat Commun. 2020;11 (1):6016. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19787-6. PubMed PMID:33243990 PubMed Central PMC7691994.
  16. da Silveira, WA, Fazelinia, H, Rosenthal, SB, Laiakis, EC, Kim, MS, Meydan, C et al.. Comprehensive Multi-omics Analysis Reveals Mitochondrial Stress as a Central Biological Hub for Spaceflight Impact. Cell. 2020;183 (5):1185-1201.e20. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.11.002. PubMed PMID:33242417 PubMed Central PMC7870178.
  17. 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. 2020;183 (5):1162-1184. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.050. PubMed PMID:33242416 .
  18. Luxton, JJ, McKenna, MJ, Taylor, LE, George, KA, Zwart, SR, Crucian, BE et al.. Temporal Telomere and DNA Damage Responses in the Space Radiation Environment. Cell Rep. 2020;33 (10):108435. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108435. PubMed PMID:33242411 .
  19. Malkani, S, Chin, CR, Cekanaviciute, E, Mortreux, M, Okinula, H, Tarbier, M et al.. Circulating miRNA Spaceflight Signature Reveals Targets for Countermeasure Development. Cell Rep. 2020;33 (10):108448. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108448. PubMed PMID:33242410 .
  20. Gertz, ML, Chin, CR, Tomoiaga, D, MacKay, M, Chang, C, Butler, D et al.. Multi-omic, Single-Cell, and Biochemical Profiles of Astronauts Guide Pharmacological Strategies for Returning to Gravity. Cell Rep. 2020;33 (10):108429. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108429. PubMed PMID:33242408 .
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