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. 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; :. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.02229. PubMed PMID:34293751 .
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Wilkins, D, Tong, X, Leung, MHY, Mason, CE, Lee, PKH. Diurnal variation in the human skin microbiome affects accuracy of forensic microbiome matching. Microbiome. 2021;9 (1):129. doi: 10.1186/s40168-021-01082-1. PubMed PMID:34090519 PubMed Central PMC8180031.
  6. Danko, D, Bezdan, D, Afshin, EE, Ahsanuddin, S, Bhattacharya, C, Butler, DJ et al.. A global metagenomic map of urban microbiomes and antimicrobial resistance. Cell. 2021;184 (13):3376-3393.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.05.002. PubMed PMID:34043940 PubMed Central PMC8238498.
  7. Elhaik, E, Ahsanuddin, S, Robinson, JM, Foster, EM, Mason, CE. The impact of cross-kingdom molecular forensics on genetic privacy. Microbiome. 2021;9 (1):114. doi: 10.1186/s40168-021-01076-z. PubMed PMID:34016161 PubMed Central PMC8138925.
  8. Micklethwaite, KP, Gowrishankar, K, Gloss, BS, Li, Z, Street, JA, Moezzi, L et al.. Investigation of product derived lymphoma following infusion of piggyBac modified CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cells. Blood. 2021; :. doi: 10.1182/blood.2021010858. PubMed PMID:33974080 .
  9. Vogels, CBF, Breban, MI, Ott, IM, Alpert, T, Petrone, ME, Watkins, AE et al.. Multiplex qPCR discriminates variants of concern to enhance global surveillance of SARS-CoV-2. PLoS Biol. 2021;19 (5):e3001236. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001236. PubMed PMID:33961632 PubMed Central PMC8133773.
  10. McDonald, JT, Enguita, FJ, Taylor, D, Griffin, RJ, Priebe, W, Emmett, MR et al.. The Great Deceiver: miR-2392's Hidden Role in Driving SARS-CoV-2 Infection. bioRxiv. 2021; :. doi: 10.1101/2021.04.23.441024. PubMed PMID:33948587 PubMed Central PMC8095194.
  11. Feola, M, Zamperone, A, Moskop, D, Chen, H, Casu, C, Lama, D et al.. Pleckstrin-2 is essential for erythropoiesis in β-thalassemic mice, reducing apoptosis and enhancing enucleation. Commun Biol. 2021;4 (1):517. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02046-9. PubMed PMID:33941818 PubMed Central PMC8093212.
  12. Simpson, AC, Urbaniak, C, Singh, NK, Wood, JM, Debieu, M, O'Hara, NB et al.. Draft Genome Sequences of Various Bacterial Phyla Isolated from the International Space Station. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2021;10 (17):. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00214-21. PubMed PMID:33927037 PubMed Central PMC8086211.
  13. Xiang, C, Frietze, KK, Bi, Y, Li, Y, Dal Pozzo, V, Pal, S et al.. RP58 Represses Transcriptional Programs Linked to Nonneuronal Cell Identity and Glioblastoma Subtypes in Developing Neurons. Mol Cell Biol. 2021;41 (7):e0052620. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00526-20. PubMed PMID:33903225 .
  14. Alpert, T, Brito, AF, Lasek-Nesselquist, E, Rothman, J, Valesano, AL, MacKay, MJ et al.. Early introductions and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 in the United States. Cell. 2021;184 (10):2595-2604.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.03.061. PubMed PMID:33891875 PubMed Central PMC8018830.
  15. Jones, W, Gong, B, Novoradovskaya, N, Li, D, Kusko, R, Richmond, TA et al.. A verified genomic reference sample for assessing performance of cancer panels detecting small variants of low allele frequency. Genome Biol. 2021;22 (1):111. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02316-z. PubMed PMID:33863366 PubMed Central PMC8051128.
  16. Gong, B, Li, D, Kusko, R, Novoradovskaya, N, Zhang, Y, Wang, S et al.. Cross-oncopanel study reveals high sensitivity and accuracy with overall analytical performance depending on genomic regions. Genome Biol. 2021;22 (1):109. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02315-0. PubMed PMID:33863344 PubMed Central PMC8051090.
  17. Deveson, IW, Gong, B, Lai, K, LoCoco, JS, Richmond, TA, Schageman, J et al.. Evaluating the analytical validity of circulating tumor DNA sequencing assays for precision oncology. Nat Biotechnol. 2021; :. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-00857-z. PubMed PMID:33846644 .
  18. Brune, Z, Kuschner, CE, Mootz, J, Davidson, KW, Pena, RCF, Ghanem, MH et al.. Effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 Decontamination and Containment in a COVID-19 ICU. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18 (5):. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18052479. PubMed PMID:33802332 PubMed Central PMC7967612.
  19. Blachowicz, A, Singh, NK, Wood, JM, Debieu, M, O'Hara, NB, Mason, CE et al.. Draft Genome Sequences of Aspergillus and Penicillium Species Isolated from the International Space Station and Crew Resupply Vehicle Capsule. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2021;10 (13):. doi: 10.1128/MRA.01398-20. PubMed PMID:33795349 PubMed Central PMC8104057.
  20. Danko, DC, Sierra, MA, Benardini, JN, Guan, L, Wood, JM, Singh, N et al.. A comprehensive metagenomics framework to characterize organisms relevant for planetary protection. Microbiome. 2021;9 (1):82. doi: 10.1186/s40168-021-01020-1. PubMed PMID:33795001 PubMed Central PMC8016160.
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