Research and Scholarship
Mason has been designated as an elite Carnegie Research 1 (R-1) university since 2016. The world-class research, scholarship, and creative work conducted by our faculty and students is recognized by peers and stakeholders across the nation and around the world.
The university is advancing knowledge essential to economic and cultural prosperity in such areas as:
- Health and wellness among individuals and populations.
- Resilient and sustainable societies.
- Computing and informatics.
“World-class research universities attract world-class talent and solve the most pressing challenges of their time. We look forward to our role as a source of knowledge, insight and innovation in the region.”
— Mason President Ángel Cabrera
Mason researchers’ work has a global impact in a wide variety of fields. Some of the areas in which the university leads the way includes:
Mason scientists developed nanotechnology that measures a sugar molecule in urine that identifies tuberculosis with high sensitivity and specificity. This could lead to a rapid, highly accurate, and non-invasive urine test to detect the disease, which could be the difference between life and death in many underdeveloped parts of the world.
The Department of Homeland Security selected Mason to lead its Center of Excellence in Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis, awarding the university a 10-year, multimillion-dollar research grant. Mason will lead a consortium that will investigate patterns of criminal activities and forensics, and develop strategies to predict and disrupt transnational crime.
Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine is working on a diagnostic tool that could change the way we test for and treat brain injuries. The team uses nanoparticles to harvest low-abundance biomarkers in the saliva of athletes to discover and detect protein changes that could indicate potential problems.
Two grants from NASA are helping the Center for Air Transportation Systems Research in the Volgenau School of Engineering study airline accident-prevention strategies. The grants have led to the research and creation of technology that would advise pilots of potential accident situations.
The Departments of Bioengineering, Psychology, and the School of Dance collaborated on a project to study the neural processes underlying motor adaptation and memory consolidation with a grant from the National Science Foundation. They collected data from dancers using 3-D motion capture techniques, while developing the computer models to replicate the dancers’ movement.
A study on the impact of digital devices on African American teens and tweens, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, looked at how this population is using technology. Findings showed the importance of a supportive learning ecosystem of parents, teachers, community members, the creators of technology, and its users.
A team within Mason’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases is working on a new class of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that could eventually slow the spread of such diseases as HIV, Ebola and herpes. The researchers designed and developed molecules that have shown the ability to prevent viruses from replicating and spreading.
Inspired by Komodo dragon blood’s germ-fighting abilities, Mason researchers created a way to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria while spurring the body’s cells to heal cuts faster. The work is the result of a $7.57 million contract from the federal government’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency to discover new bacterial infection-defeating compounds.
Mason researchers patented a treatment that uses a malaria drug to stop breast cancer in its beginning stages. Chloroquine, a drug commonly given to prevent or treat malaria, targets ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, the most common type of pre-invasive breast cancer. DCIS is the main precursor to invasive, metastatic breast cancer.