Dr. Andy Mason


Department of Medicine

Division of Gastroenterology
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Dr. Mason is a Professor of Medicine and an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Senior Scholar. He trained at the Liver Unit, Kings College Hospital, in London, England and then moved to Washington University, St. Louis as a Gastroenterology Fellow to train in molecular virology. At Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans he became the Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Tulane University Medical Center. He relocated to the University of Alberta in 2002; he is currently the Director Research for the Division of Gastroenterology and Director of The Applied Genomics Centre. In the laboratory, he has identified a human betaretrovirus in patients with the autoimmune liver disease, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC). His laboratory studies are now focused on investigating the prevalence of the human betaretrovirus in patients with PBC. A causal association of virus and disease is being investigated using an in vitro model of PBC and a mouse model of disease, which is also being used to find novel combination antiviral therapies for patients with PBC. Dr. Mason is also principal investigator for an international, multi-center, double blind, randomized controlled trial using highly active anti-retroviral therapy to treat patients with PBC. Other viral cloning studies are underway with identification of a novel retrovirus associated with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Dr. Mason also co-directs a viral discovery program in collaboration with Dr. Gane KS Wong, University of Alberta using a metagenomic, deep sequencing approach. The targeted diseases include autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, SLE, sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis as well as neoplastic disorders, such as breast cancer, lymphoma and colon cancer.

Additional positions that I hold:
•Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
•Director of Research for Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
•Director of The Applied Genomics Core (TAGC)
•Co-Director, Centre of Excellent for GastroIntestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR)
•Hepatologist, Alberta Health Services


Currently funded topics of interest:

•Anti-retroviral therapies for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis
•Viral discovery in samples from transplant recipients with recurrent liver disease and other idiopathic disorders
•Betaretroviral induction of autoimmune biliary disease
•Diagnostic assay development to detect immune responses to betaretrovirus infection in patients with primary biliary cholangitis

Research Keywords

Anti-retroviral therapy, digital droplet PCR, Human betaretrovirus, Linker mediated PCR, Metagenomics, Primary biliary cholangitis, Retroviral Integrations, T lymphocyte assays, Viral ELISA, Virus discovery