Professor Rebecca S Mason

Physiology, School of Medical Sciences
Bosch Institute

F13 - Anderson Stuart Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9351 2561
F: +61 2 9351 2510

Research interests

Professor Mason's research program has developed over many years in the fields of bone and skin. The link between them is vitamin D, which is made in skin and is important in bone, but, as this research has discovered, important in skin for photoprotection as well. The link between bone and skin is Vitamin D. In particular, her group’s studies in skin have shown that the active vitamin D hormone is synthesised locally by melanoma cells and causes their differentiation. The group also showed for the first time that Vitamin D compounds formed in skin by the action of UV light contribute to endogenous photoprotection, including a reduction in DNA damage and UV-induced immunosuppression, through a reduction in nitric oxide products and an increase in p53 expression. Professor Mason has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and on National Health and Medical Research Council Grant Review Panels for Endocrinology and Reproduction and Musculoskeletal diseases. She is a member of the Technical Committee of the Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage (International Commission of Illumination) on Sunlight, Health and Vitamin D. She serves on a committee updating Clinical Guidelines for melanoma prevention and management for the National Health and Medical Research Council.

bone and mineral metabolism; osteoporosis; sun-protection

Current national competitive grants*


Is CYP11A1 critical for the vitamin D photoprotective system in skin?
Mason R, Halliday G, Tuckey R, Dixon K, Reeve V
NHMRC: Project Grant ($500,746 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney


vitamin D; Endocrinology; Bone health; Cancer


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


  • Ke, L., Ho, J., Feng, J., Mpofu, E., Dibley, M., Feng, X., Van, F., Leong, S., Lau, W., Lueng, P., Kowk, C., Li, Y., Mason, R., Brock, K. (2014), Modifiable risk factors including sunlight exposure and fish consumption are associated with risk of hypertension in a large representative population from Macau. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 144, 152-155. [Abstract]
  • Abboud, M., Gordon-Thomson, C., Hoy, A., Balaban, S., Rybchyn, M., Cole, L., Su, Y., Brennan-Speranza, T., Fraser, D., Mason, R. (2014), Uptake of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D by muscle and fat cells. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 144, 232-236. [Abstract]
  • Girgis, C., Mokbel, N., Minn Cha, K., Houweling, P., Abboud, M., Fraser, D., Mason, R., Clifton-Bligh, R., Gunton, J. (2014), The Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) is Expressed in Skeletal Muscle of Male Mice and Modulates 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) Uptake in Myofibers. Endocrinology. 155(9), 3227-3237. [Abstract]
  • Lee, W., Loo, C., Young, P., Traini, D., Mason, R., Rohanizadeh, R. (2014), Recent advances in curcumin nanoformulation for cancer therapy. Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. 11(8), 1183-1201. [Abstract]
  • Sun, J., Lucas, R., Harrison, S., van der Mei, I., Whiteman, D., Mason, R., Nowak, M., Brodie, A., Kimlin, M. (2014), Measuring Exposure to Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Using a Dosimetric Technique: Understanding Participant Compliance Issues. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 90(4), 919-924. [Abstract]


  • Brock, K., Liang, K., Tseng, M., Clemson, L., Koo, F., Jang, H., Seibel, M., Mpofu, E., Fraser, D., Mason, R. (2013), Vitamin D status is associated with sun exposure, vitamin D and calcium intake, acculturation and attitudes in immigrant East Asian women living in Sydney. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 136, 214-217. [Abstract]
  • Song, E., Gordon-Thomson, C., Cole, L., Stern, H., Halliday, G., Damian, D., Reeve, V., Mason, R. (2013), 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) reduces several types of UV-induced DNA damage and contributes to photoprotection. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 136, 131-138. [Abstract]
  • Mason, R., Reichrath, J. (2013), Sunlight Vitamin D and Skin Cancer. Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 13(1), 83-97. [Abstract]
  • Xavier, S., Gordon-Thomson, C., Wynn, P., McCullagh, P., Thomson, P., Tomkins, L., Mason, R., Moore, G. (2013), Evidence that Notch and Delta expressions have a role in dermal condensate aggregation during wool follicle initiation. Experimental Dermatology. , 659-662. [Abstract]
  • Sequeira, V., Rybchyn, M., Gordon-Thomson, C., Tongkao-On, W., Mizwicki, M., Norman, A., Reeve, V., Halliday, G., Mason, R. (2013), Opening of Chloride Channels by 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) Contributes to Photoprotection against UVR-Induced Thymine Dimers in Keratinocytes. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 133(3), 776-782. [Abstract]
  • Nowson, C., Mason, R. (2013), Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand. Medical Journal of Australia. , 394. [Abstract]
  • Abboud, M., Puglisi, D., Davies, B., Rybchyn, M., Whitehead, N., Brock, K., Cole, L., Gordon-Thomson, C., Fraser, D., Mason, R. (2013), Evidence for a Specific Uptake and Retention Mechanism for 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) in Skeletal Muscle Cells. Endocrinology. 154 (9), 3022-3030. [Abstract]
  • Jang, H., Koo, F., Ke, L., Clemson, L., Cant, R., Fraser, D., Seibel, M., Tseng, M., Mpofu, E., Mason, R., Brock, K. (2013), Culture and Sun Exposure in Immigrant East Asian Women Living in Australia. Women & Health. 53(5), 504-518. [Abstract]
  • Lee, W., Loo, C., Bebawy, M., Luk, F., Mason, R., Rohanizadeh, R. (2013), Curcumin and its derivatives: their application in neuropharmacology and neuroscience in the 21st century. Current Neuropharmacology. 11(4), 338-378. [Abstract]
  • Brodie, A., Lucas, R., Harrison, S., van der Mei, I., Armstrong, B., Kricker, A., Mason, R., McMichael, A., Nowak, M., Whiteman, D., Kimlin, M. (2013), The AusD Study: A Population-based Study of the Determinants of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration Across a Broad Latitude Range. American Journal of Epidemiology. 177(9), 894-903. [Abstract]
  • Paxton, G., Teale, G., Nowson, C., Mason, R., McGrath, J., Thompson, M., Siafarikas, A., Rodda, C., Munns, C. (2013), Vitamin D and health in pregnancy, infants, children and adolescents in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. The Medical Journal of Australia. 198(3), 142-143. [Abstract]
  • Gordon-Thomson, C., Tongkao-on, W., Mason, R. (2013), Vitamin D and Its Role in Photoprotection of the Skin. In: Vitamin D: Oxidative Stress, Immunity, and Aging. (pp.165-184).United States: Taylor & Francis LLC.
  • Boughton, P., Roger, G., Rohanizadeh, R., Mason, R., Ruys, A. (2013), Functional gradients in natural and biomimetic spinal disk structures. In: Biomimetic biomaterials: Structure and applications. (pp.127-150).United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing Limited.
  • Dixon, K., Tongkao-On, W., Sequeira, V., Carter, S., Song, E., Rybchyn, M., Gordon-Thomson, C., Mason, R. (2013), Vitamin d and death by sunshine. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 14(1), 1964-1977. [Abstract]
  • Tongkao-On, W., Gordon-Thomson, C., Dixon, K., Song, E., Luu, T., Carter, S., Sequeira, V., Reeve, V., Mason, R. (2013), Novel vitamin D compounds and skin cancer prevention. Dermato-Endocrinology. 5(1), 20-33. [Abstract]


  • Gordon-Thomson, C., Gupta, R., Tongkao-On, W., Ryan, A., Halliday, G., Mason, R. (2012), 1α,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) enhances cellular defences against UV-induced oxidative and other forms of DNA damage in skin. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. 11(12), 1837-1847. [Abstract]
  • Dixon, K., Sequeira, V., Deo, S., Mohan, R., Posner, G., Mason, R. (2012), Differential photoprotective effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and a low calcaemic deltanoid. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. 11(12), 1825-1830. [Abstract]
  • Nowson, C., McGrath, J., Ebeling, P., Haikerwal, A., Daly, R., Sanders, K., Seibel, M., Mason, R. (2012), Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. The Medical Journal of Australia. 196(11), 686-687. [Abstract]
  • Sequeira, V., Rybchyn, M., Tongkao-On, W., Gordon-Thomson, C., Malloy, P., Nemere, I., Norman, A., Reeve, V., Halliday, G., Feldman, D., Mason, R. (2012), The role of the vitamin D receptor and ERp57 in photoprotection by 1??,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Molecular Endocrinology. 26(4), 574-582. [Abstract]
  • Winzenberg, T., van der Mei, I., Mason, R., Nowson, C., Jones, G. (2012), Vitamin D and the musculoskeletal health of older adults. Australian Family Physician. 41(3), 92-99. [Abstract]
  • Mason, R. (2012), Vitamin D: one size does not fit all. Clinical Endocrinology. 76(3), 326-327. [Abstract]
  • Sambrook, P., Cameron, I., Chen, J., Cumming, R., Durvasula, S., Herrmann, M., Kok, C., Lord, S., Macara, M., March, L., Mason, R., Seibel, M., Wilson, N., Simpson, J. (2012), Does increased sunlight exposure work as a strategy to improve vitamin D status in the elderly: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Osteoporosis International. 23(2), 615-624. [Abstract]
  • Wilson, N., Hilmer, S., March, L., Chen, J., Gnjidic, D., Mason, R., Cameron, I., Sambrook, P. (2012), Associations between drug burden index and mortality in older people in residential aged care facilities. Drugs & Aging. 29(2), 157-165. [Abstract]
  • Dixon, K., Sequeira, V., Camp, A., Mason, R. (2012), Vitamin D and Skin Cancer. In: Handbook of Diet, Nutrition and the Skin. (pp.394-411).Netherlands: Springer.
  • Zavgorodniy, A., Mason, R., LeGeros, R., Rohanizadeh, R. (2012), Adhesion of a chemically deposited monetite coating to a Ti substrate. Surface and Coatings Technology. 206(21), 4433-4438.
  • Brock, K., Mason, R., Ke, L., Koo, F., Jang, H., Clemson, L., Mpofu, E., Tseng, M., Fraser, D., Seibel, M. (2012), Vitamin D and Metabolic Syndrome in Immigrant East Asian Women Living in Sydney, Australia: A Pilot. Journal of Metabolic Syndrome. 1(1), 103.


  • Mason, R., Sequeira, V., Gordon-Thomson, C. (2011), Vitamin D: the light side of sunshine. European journal of clinical nutrition. 65(9), 986-93. [Abstract]
  • Dixon, K., Norman, A., Sequeira, V., Mohan, R., Rybchyn, M., Reeve, V., Halliday, G., Mason, R. (2011), 1{alpha},25(OH)2-vitamin D and a non-genomic vitamin D analog inhibit ultraviolet radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.). 4(9), 1485-94. [Abstract]
  • Brock, K., Huang, W., Fraser, D., Ke, L., Tseng, M., Mason, R., Stolzenberg-Solomon, R., Michal Freedman, D., Ahn, J., Peters, U., McCarty, C., Hollis, B., Ziegler, R., Purdue, M., Graubard, B. (2011), Diabetes prevalence is associated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in US middle-aged Caucasian men and women: a cross-sectional analysis within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. The British journal of nutrition. 106(3), 339-44. [Abstract]
  • Rybchyn, M., Slater, M., Conigrave, A., Mason, R. (2011), An Akt-dependent increase in canonical Wnt signalling and a decrease in sclerostin protein levels are involved in strontium ranelate-induced osteogenic effects in human osteoblasts. The Journal of biological chemistry. 286(27), 23771-9. [Abstract]
  • Wilson, N., Hilmer, S., March, L., Cameron, I., Lord, S., Seibel, M., Mason, R., Chen, J., Cumming, R., Sambrook, P. (2011), Associations Between Drug Burden Index and Falls in Older People in Residential Aged Care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 59(5), 875-880. [Abstract]
  • Mason, R. (2011), Vitamin D: a hormone for all seasons. Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society. 14(2), 197-203. [Abstract]
  • Mak, J., Mason, R., Klein, L., Cameron, I. (2011), Improving mobility and reducing disability in older people through early high-dose vitamin D replacement following hip fracture: A protocol for a randomized controlled trial and economic evaluation. Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation. 2(3), 94-99.
  • Wilson, N., Hilmer, S., March, L., Cameron, I., Lord, S., Mason, R., Sambrook, P. (2011), Physical functioning measures and risk of falling in older people living in residential aged care facilities. Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease. 3(1), 9-15.
  • Mason, R., Dixon, K., Sequeira, V., Gordon-Thomson, C. (2011), Sunlight Protection by Vitamin D Compounds. In: Vitamin D, 3rd Ed. (pp.1943-1945).United States: Elsevier Inc..


  • Damian, D., Kim, Y., Dixon, K., Halliday, G., Javeri, A., Mason, R. (2010), Topical calcitriol protects from UV-induced genetic damage but suppresses cutaneous immunity in humans. Experimental dermatology. 19(8), e23-30. [Abstract]
  • Mason, R., Sequeira, V., Dixon, K., Gordon-Thomson, C., Pobre, K., Dilley, A., Mizwicki, M., Norman, A., Feldman, D., Halliday, G., Reeve, V. (2010), PHOTOPROTECTION BY 1alpha,25-DIHYDROXYVITAMIN D AND ANALOGS: FURTHER STUDIES ON MECHANISMS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR UV-DAMAGE. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 121(1-2), 164-8. [Abstract]
  • Brock, K., Huang, W., Fraser, D., Ke, L., Tseng, M., Stolzenberg-Solomon, R., U Peters, Z., Ahn, J., Purdue, M., Mason, R., McCarty, C., Ziegler, R., Graubard, B. (2010), Low vitamin D status is associated with physical inactivity, obesity and low vitamin D intake in a large US sample of healthy middle-aged men and women. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 121(1-2), 462-6. [Abstract]
  • Dixon, K., Sequeira, V., Camp, A., Mason, R. (2010), Vitamin D-fence. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. 9(4), 564-70. [Abstract]
  • Mak, J., Stuart-Harris, J., Cameron, I., Mason, R. (2010), Oral vitamin D replacement after hip fracture: a comparative review. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. , 382-383. [Abstract]
  • Durvasula, S., Kok, C., Sambrook, P., Cumming, R., Lord, S., March, L., Mason, R., Seibel, M., Simpson, J., Cameron, I. (2010), Sunlight and health: Attitudes of older people living in intermediate care facilities in southern Australia. Archives of gerontology and geriatrics. 51(3), e94-9. [Abstract]


  • Brennan, T., Rybchyn, M., Green, W., Atwa, S., Conigrave, A., Mason, R. (2009), Osteoblasts play key roles in the mechanisms of action of strontium ranelate. British journal of pharmacology. 157(7), 1291-300. [Abstract]
  • Huang, H., Brennan, T., Muir, M., Mason, R. (2009), Functional alpha1- and beta2-adrenergic receptors in human osteoblasts. Journal of cellular physiology. 220(1), 267-275. [Abstract]
  • Dixon, K., Mason, R. (2009), Vitamin D. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 41(0), 982-5. [Abstract]
  • McCombie, A., Mason, R., Damian, D. (2009), Vitamin D deficiency in Sydney skin cancer patients. The Medical Journal of Australia. , 102. [Abstract]
  • Sequeira, V., Dixon, K., Mason, R. (2009), Resisting the sun with Vitamin D. Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 9, 126-136.
  • Diamond, T., Mason, R. (2009), Understanding the importance of vitamin D for bone and systemic health. Medicine Today. 10, 1.


  • Javeri, A., Huang, X., Bernerd, F., Mason, R., Halliday, G. (2008), Human 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase 1 protein and gene are expressed more abundantly in the superficial than basal layer of human epidermis. DNA repair. 7(9), 1542-50. [Abstract]
  • Rohanizadeh, R., Swain, M., Mason, R. (2008), Gelatin sponges (Gelfoam( (R) )) as a scaffold for osteoblasts. Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine. 19(0), 1173-82. [Abstract]
  • Sanchez Riera, L., Wilson, N., Sambrook, P., Kok, C., Cumming, R., Cameron, I., Chen, J., Simpson, J., Mason, R., Seibel, M., March, L. (2008), Trends in calcium and vitamin D usage among older people in nursing care facilities in Australia: still falling short of the guidelines. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. 11, 430-434.