top of page

Our Research

Reg_001_GFAP(r)_AQP4(g)_Amyloid(b)_Iba1(c)_TMEM119(m)_Composite-1 (RGB).jpg

Our Mission

The Mason laboratory is working on a ten-phase, 500-year plan for the survival of the human and other species on Earth, in space, and on other planets. To that end, we develop and deploy new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and human physiology. We focus on novel techniques in next-generation sequencing and algorithms for tumor evolution, genome evolution, DNA and RNA modifications, and genome/epigenome engineering. We work closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards for these methods and ensure clinical-quality genome measurements and editing. We also collaborate with NASA, SpaceX, and other agencies to build integrated molecular portraits of genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, and metagenomes for astronauts, which help establish molecular foundations and genetic defenses for long-term human spaceflight. 


Our Philosophy

At the core of the Mason lab lies an unwavering commitment to scientific rigor, transparency, and innovation. We embrace skepticism and welcome scrutiny, recognizing that robust science thrives in an environment where claims are tested and validated through rigorous experimentation. We are committed to openness in all facets of our work to not only promote accountability, but also facilitate collaboration and constructive critique that will ultimately enrich the scientific discourse. We aim to constantly push the boundaries of conventional wisdom through pioneering new methodologies, discovering novel phenomena, or reimagining existing paradigms. In our lab, we amplify our capacity for innovation to tackle complex scientific challenges by cultivating an inclusive environment that fosters collaboration across diverse perspectives, disciplines, and institutions.


These principles serve as guiding stars that illuminate our path towards meaningful discovery, societal impact, and advancement in the realm of science. As stewards of scientific inquiry, we recognize that the pursuit of knowledge is a noble endeavor and are committed to upholding these principles with unwavering dedication and integrity.

"The only limiting factors are sleep and determination." 
 Dr. Chris Mason, Laboratory Leader

Current Projects


Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA)

The SpaceX Inspiration4 mission provided a unique opportunity to study the impact of spaceflight on the human body. We collected biospecimen samples from the crew at different stages of the mission and created the SOMA initiative. This details a robust framework for obtaining and preserving high-quality human, microbial, and environmental samples for aerospace medicine.

Spaceflight on Mouse and Human Gut-Brain-Axis


The Cornell Aerospace Medicine Biobank or "CAMbank" is a cutting-edge repository dedicated to the preservation of specimens obtained during spaceflight experiments. These invaluable samples are meticulously cataloged for molecular profiling and sequencing, offering a treasure trove of data for the next frontier of aerospace medical research.

This study is investigating biomarkers (short-chain fatty acids - SCFAs, cytokines, neurotransmitters) of cognitive and metabolic dysfunction in astronauts and mice, understanding the dysbiosis-cognition connection through irradiated and microgravity-simulating hind-limb unloading (HU) murine models, and exploring cognitive impairment interventions by targeting the gut microbiome. 

8-oxoG Prediction Model using Nanopore Sequencing Data

Space Exploration & Research Agency

SERA was founded to build a global community dedicated to space exploration and research. Its mission is to create a space agency for everyone. 

Learn more here!

This project focuses on optimizing the protocol to produce a training dataset that covers 8-oxoG modifications in all contexts to call the modification with single-nucleotide resolution. Using the sequencing data, train a model to detect the modification with high sensitivity and specificity.

Space Satellite
bottom of page