The Mason lab develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics, and metagenomics. The group also works closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards. These methods are also being integrated for longitudinal multi-omic profiling of NASA astronauts and for genetic and epigenetic diagnostics on the International Space Station. Dr. Mason has won awards from the NIH, the CDC and the WorldQuant Foundation. He was named as one of the “Brilliant Ten” Scientists by Popular Science, and featured as a TEDMED speaker. His work represents 150+ peer-reviewed articles and has been featured on the covers of Nature, Science or Nature Biotechnology. Dr. Mason completed his dual post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School in genetics and a fellowship at Yale Law School. He obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University, and his dual B.S. in Genetics and Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Large-scale genomic sequencing efforts are of ever-increasing importance especially in the context of early pathogen detection, disease outbreak prevention, and establishing a predictive and efficient public health response. Rapid generation and access to genomic sequence data for viruses and other pathogens, which could cause a pandemic or serious outbreak, enables the tracking of variants and emerging pathogens (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, influenza, enterovirus D68, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, etc.), and thus the expedient development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics essential to supporting public health responses. This very important subject will be the focus of this session.