Carol Mason investigates visual system development. Her work has revealed molecular signals for the differentiation and guidance of retinal ganglion cells during the formation of the circuit for binocular vision. To understand development in the normal brain, she is probing retinal development in the albino visual system, in which the absence of pigment in the eye leads to a disruption of retinal ganglion cell specification, alteration of the binocular pathways and stereovision.
Mason received her B.S. from Chatham College and Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley. Mason is a professor of pathology and cell biology, neuroscience and ophthalmology at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons.
At Columbia, she is co-director of the graduate program in neurobiology and director of the Vision Sciences Training Program. She is on the scientific advisory board of the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Munich and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. She is a fellow of the AAAS and the Institute of Medicine. Until November, 2014, she was President of the Society for Neuroscience.