Dr. Christopher Mason is a Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction. He is also co-Founder and global director at Biotia, co-Founder and scientific director at Onegevity, Director of Genomics at Tempus Labs, and recently published The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds.
Dr. Mason develops and deploys computational and experimental methodologies to identify the functional genetic elements of the human genome and metagenome. To do this, we perform research in three principal areas: (1) molecular profiling in patients with extreme phenotypes, including brain malformations, aggressive cancers, and astronauts, (2) creating new biochemical and computational techniques in DNA/RNA sequencing and DNA/RNA base modifications, and (3) the development of new cell and genome modifications. In the very long term, we believe these systems-based methods will enable an understanding of the functional elements of the human genome and embedded metagenome, such that we can begin to repair or re-engineer these genetic networks for ameliorating disease and lay the foundation to enable long-term human spaceflight.
Dr. Mason has won the NIH’s Transformative R01 Award, the NASA Group Achievement Award, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Young Investigator award, the Hirschl-Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, the Vallee Scholar Award, the International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development Award, the CDC Honor Award for Standardization of Clinical Testing, and the WorldQuant Foundation Scholar Award. He was named as one of the “Brilliant Ten” Scientists by Popular Science, featured as a TEDMED speaker, and called “The Genius of Genetics” by 92Y. He has written 2 books and >300 peer-reviewed papers, featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Microbiology, and Neuron, as well as legal briefs cited by the U.S. District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. Coverage of his work has also appeared on the covers of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME, The LA Times, and across many media (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, PBS, NASA, NatGeo). He is an inventor on four patents, co-creator of five FDA-authorized diagnostic tests, founded five biotechnology companies, and he serves as an advisor to 21 others, as well as 3 non-profits. He lives with his daughter and wife in Brooklyn, NY.