Mason, Rebecca

Prof Rebecca Mason

Registered Medical Practitioner, Researcher in Vitamin D; Internationally recognised leader in the role of Vitamin D; Professor, University of Sydney
Professor Rebecca Mason is a physician with clinical experience in endocrinology and a scientist who leads a research program in the fields of bone and skin, with a particular interest in the study of vitamin D, calcium and phosphate. She notes, the link between bone and skin is vitamin D, which is synthesised in skin and is critical for bone health, but, as our research has discovered, also important in skin for photoprotection. Her research interest in calcium underpins her team’s studies on the role of calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) in bone health. Professor Mason is internationally recognised for major contributions to the field of vitamin D research. She developed one of the first assays in Australia for measuring vitamin D compounds in blood and was one of the first scientists to demonstrate extra-renal production of the active hormone made from vitamin D, and among the first to study the role of vitamin D compounds in skin. Her group discovered the ability of vitamin D metabolites to reduce UV-induced DNA damage in skin. Professor Mason’s research has substantially influenced health policy, including the revision of sun exposure guidelines in Australia, which have moved away from total sun avoidance and advise some sun exposure to synthesise vitamin D. She led the process of updating the Vitamin D position statement for Australia and New Zealand and contributed to the revised Vitamin D statement for pregnancy, infants and children. She has received an award from the International Workshop on Vitamin D, recognising her ‘career contributions to vitamin D research’. Professor Mason is Board member of Osteoporosis Australia and a Past President of the ANZ Bone and Mineral Society.

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