Joel B. Mason

Joel B. Mason, MD

Research/Areas of Interest:

Carbon nutrients (modulation of carcinogenesis); Obesity (modulation of carcinogenesis, colonic microbiome and carcinogenesis)


  • MD, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine


Dr. Joel Mason is Senior Scientist and Leader of the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Team at the HNRCA. He studies the cellular pathways by which 1-carbon nutrients, obesity, and the colonic microbiome alter the risk of cancer formation, and his team develops strategies based on this knowledge for the purposes of cancer prevention. Among Dr. Mason’s research accomplishments is the elaboration of cellular mechanisms by which abundant intake of folate protects against colon cancer, insights into how folate availability interacts with certain genetic traits and environmental factors in determining the risk of developing breast and colon cancer, and the demonstration—in both animal models and humans—that obesity incites inflammation and precancerous molecular changes in the lining of the colon. Dr. Mason has authored some of the most frequently cited papers in his field. He has been ranked as a Top Doctor in the U.S. (top 1% of all physicians) and top Cancer Doctor in the U.S. by Castle Connolly Limited, and is consistently rated by his peers as one of the top gastroenterologists in Boston, MA (Boston Magazine) and the U.S. as a whole (U.S. News & World Report). He is currently researching the combinations of pharmacologic, dietary, and microbiologic agents in the prevention of obesity-induced colon cancer. Dr. Mason is also a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He is a staff physician in the Divisions of Clinical Nutrition and Gastroenterology at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Mason is a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association and a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and American Society for Nutrition.