Chatham Views

Alumna Carol Mason '67 elected to National Academy of Sciences

Alumna Carol Mason, PhD, ’67 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on May 1, in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. She was one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates to receive the honor.

The NAS acts as an advisory body to the federal government and other organizations. Membership is considered among the highest honors in science.

Dr. Mason, who majored in biology at Chatham,  is one of the world’s leading authorities on the development of the visual system and cerebellum in mammals. She is Professor of the Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology at Columbia University. Her research has helped to reveal the processes that guide the growth and trajectory of the visual system’s neurons—opening up the possibility of repairing damage to the visual system caused by injury or disease.

Dr. Mason, second from right, received the Distinguished Alumna Award at Reunion 2017.

Dr. Mason has served as a co-director of the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior, and the Vision Sciences Training Program. She was president of the Society for Neuroscience from 2013 to 2014 and is currently a member of the NIH National Eye Institute’s Advisory Council and the NIH BRAIN Initiative’s Multi-Council Working Group. She is also currently a principal investigator and chair of Interschool Planning in Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute.

Dr. Mason is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Simons Foundation Senior Fellow. She has received numerous awards during her career, including the Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) from the Society for Neuroscience; the Champalimaud Vision Award (2016) from the António Champalimaud Foundation; and the Stevens Triennial Prize (2013) from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.