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. Van Metre, PC, Qi, S, Deacon, J, Dieter, C, Driscoll, JM, Fienen, M et al.. Prioritizing river basins for intensive monitoring and assessment by the US Geological Survey. Environ Monit Assess. 2020;192 (7):458. doi: 10.1007/s10661-020-08403-1. PubMed PMID:32594332 PubMed Central PMC7320945.
  2. Bijlani, S, Singh, NK, Mason, CE, Wang, CCC, Venkateswaran, K. Draft Genome Sequences of Tremellomycetes Strains Isolated from the International Space Station. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2020;9 (26):. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00504-20. PubMed PMID:32586865 PubMed Central PMC7317102.
  3. Yang, L, Zhang, X, MacKay, M, Foox, J, Hou, Q, Zheng, X et al.. Identification of Radioresponsive Genes in Esophageal Cancer from Longitudinal and Single Cell Exome Sequencing. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 2020; :. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.06.015. PubMed PMID:32561500 .
  4. Bijlani, S, Singh, NK, Mason, CE, Wang, CCC, Venkateswaran, K. Draft Genome Sequences of Sphingomonas Species Associated with the International Space Station. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2020;9 (25):. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00578-20. PubMed PMID:32554796 PubMed Central PMC7303416.
  5. Zook, JM, Hansen, NF, Olson, ND, Chapman, L, Mullikin, JC, Xiao, C et al.. A robust benchmark for detection of germline large deletions and insertions. Nat. Biotechnol. 2020; :. doi: 10.1038/s41587-020-0538-8. PubMed PMID:32541955 .
  6. Chang, E, Fu, C, Coon, SL, Alon, S, Bozinoski, M, Breymaier, M et al.. Resource: A Multi-species Multi-timepoint Transcriptome Database and Webpage for the Pineal Gland and Retina. J. Pineal Res. 2020; :e12673. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12673. PubMed PMID:32533862 .
  7. Chng, KR, Li, C, Bertrand, D, Ng, AHQ, Kwah, JS, Low, HM et al.. Cartography of opportunistic pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes in a tertiary hospital environment. Nat. Med. 2020;26 (6):941-951. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-0894-4. PubMed PMID:32514171 PubMed Central PMC7303012.
  8. Butler, DJ, Mozsary, C, Meydan, C, Danko, D, Foox, J, Rosiene, J et al.. Shotgun Transcriptome and Isothermal Profiling of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Reveals Unique Host Responses, Viral Diversification, and Drug Interactions. bioRxiv. 2020; :. doi: 10.1101/2020.04.20.048066. PubMed PMID:32511352 PubMed Central PMC7255793.
  9. Madin, JS, Nielsen, DA, Brbic, M, Corkrey, R, Danko, D, Edwards, K et al.. A synthesis of bacterial and archaeal phenotypic trait data. Sci Data. 2020;7 (1):170. doi: 10.1038/s41597-020-0497-4. PubMed PMID:32503990 PubMed Central PMC7275036.
  10. Anava, S, Neuhof, M, Gingold, H, Sagy, O, Munters, A, Svensson, EM et al.. Illuminating Genetic Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Cell. 2020;181 (6):1218-1231.e27. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.046. PubMed PMID:32492404 .
  11. Béguelin, W, Teater, M, Meydan, C, Hoehn, KB, Phillip, JM, Soshnev, AA et al.. Mutant EZH2 Induces a Pre-malignant Lymphoma Niche by Reprogramming the Immune Response. Cancer Cell. 2020;37 (5):655-673.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.04.004. PubMed PMID:32396861 PubMed Central PMC7298875.
  12. Schmidt, MA, Meydan, C, Schmidt, CM, Afshinnekoo, E, Mason, CE. The NASA Twins Study: The Effect of One Year in Space on Long-Chain Fatty Acid Desaturases and Elongases. Lifestyle Genom. 2020;13 (3):107-121. doi: 10.1159/000506769. PubMed PMID:32375154 .
  13. McIntyre, ABR, Gokhale, NS, Cerchietti, L, Jaffrey, SR, Horner, SM, Mason, CE et al.. Limits in the detection of m6A changes using MeRIP/m6A-seq. Sci Rep. 2020;10 (1):6590. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63355-3. PubMed PMID:32313079 PubMed Central PMC7170965.
  14. Sierra, MA, Danko, DC, Sandoval, TA, Pishchany, G, Moncada, B, Kolter, R et al.. The Microbiomes of Seven Lichen Genera Reveal Host Specificity, a Reduced Core Community and Potential as Source of Antimicrobials. Front Microbiol. 2020;11 :398. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00398. PubMed PMID:32265864 PubMed Central PMC7105886.
  15. Nangle, SN, Wolfson, MY, Hartsough, L, Ma, NJ, Mason, CE, Merighi, M et al.. The case for biotech on Mars. Nat. Biotechnol. 2020;38 (4):401-407. doi: 10.1038/s41587-020-0485-4. PubMed PMID:32265561 .
  16. Zhang, Z, Zhou, C, Li, X, Barnes, SD, Deng, S, Hoover, E et al.. Loss of CHD1 Promotes Heterogeneous Mechanisms of Resistance to AR-Targeted Therapy via Chromatin Dysregulation. Cancer Cell. 2020;37 (4):584-598.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.03.001. PubMed PMID:32220301 PubMed Central PMC7292228.
  17. Tomoiaga, D, Aguiar-Pulido, V, Shrestha, S, Feinstein, P, Levy, SE, Mason, CE et al.. Single-cell sperm transcriptomes and variants from fathers of children with and without autism spectrum disorder. NPJ Genom Med. 2020;5 :14. doi: 10.1038/s41525-020-0117-4. PubMed PMID:32133155 PubMed Central PMC7035312.
  18. Klimenko, NS, Tyakht, AV, Toshchakov, SV, Shevchenko, MA, Korzhenkov, AA, Afshinnekoo, E et al.. Co-occurrence patterns of bacteria within microbiome of Moscow subway. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2020;18 :314-322. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2020.01.007. PubMed PMID:32071708 PubMed Central PMC7016200.
  19. Mische, SM, Fisher, NC, Meyn, SM, Sol-Church, K, Hegstad-Davies, RL, Weis-Garcia, F et al.. A Review of the Scientific Rigor, Reproducibility, and Transparency Studies Conducted by the ABRF Research Groups. J Biomol Tech. 2020;31 (1):11-26. doi: 10.7171/jbt.20-3101-003. PubMed PMID:31969795 PubMed Central PMC6959150.
  20. MacKay, M, Afshinnekoo, E, Rub, J, Hassan, C, Khunte, M, Baskaran, N et al.. The therapeutic landscape for cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors. Nat. Biotechnol. 2020;38 (2):233-244. doi: 10.1038/s41587-019-0329-2. PubMed PMID:31907405 .
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