I'm Massa and I work at the interface of Biophysics, Bioengineering, and Genomics. Currently, I am an Arnold O. Beckman and AHA Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.
My projects are focused on understanding the fundamentals of how multicellular organisms process information and respond to genetic and environmental change. This, in turn, requires identification and analysis of intercellular variation. Cellular heterogeneity is evident from the various cell types that make up our bodies, yet elements that manifest genomic diversity are seldom annotated and questions of their biogenesis and function remain largely unanswered. Thus, we often assume that all cells within an organism operate according to the same static genome. My work, a fusion of biophysics and genomics, challenges this assumption by providing evidence for cell-type-specific, programmed genomic heterogeneity at a number of previously assumed-to-be static genomic elements.
Future work is focused on the following questions:
How much variation is there between differentiated cells in a single organism and among individuals?
Which variations drive functional diversity and competition between stem cells within a single lineage?
How do differentiated cells program differential chromosome dynamics?
Which variants facilitate repeated adaptations to new environments?
The outcome will be novel tools in synthetic biology, single-cell biophysics, and mathematical modelling. By combining these tools with expertise in physics, bioengineering, and human and model-system genomics, my future group will aim to lay the necessary groundwork for elucidating how cells collectively perform systems-level functions in healthy and diseased states.
Science Benefits from Diversity!!
The quality of the scientific-research enterprise, and its ability to meet the needs of, and positively impact the lives of individuals, communities, nations, and the world is inextricably linked to the individuals/scientists involved. Each person’s unique life experiences yields a unique approach to novel problems. As a result, diversity is essential to success in the sciences, yet there have been systemic barriers to minorities (underrepresented with respect to race, ethnicity, or gender) who wish to enter STEM careers. My commitment to and philosophy of diversity and inclusion is a reflection of my experiences as a woman, as an immigrant, and as a researcher, who has worked in multiple laboratories and collaborated with scientists of different backgrounds. It is also a product of my commitment to social justice.
What's on my mind?
“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.” –George R.R. Martin
Stanford University Medical School
Stanford Medicine Dean's and Arnold O. Beckman Fellow
Face Recognition or Phrenology is a pseudoscience. Technologies based on this pseudoscience will never be accurate. Current applications of this "technology" exacerbate social injustice and has no place in a democratic society.