For 25 years, Mason has worked on the cellular mechanisms of pain modulation. Since 2008, she has turned her energies to the biology of empathy and pro-social behavior.
Mason is committed to spreading the word of neurobiology through teaching. In 2018 she was honored with a Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. She has taught medical students since her arrival at UChicago, with the exception of a two-year hiatus during which she wrote a textbook, Medical Neurobiology (2011). She also teaches a popular Coursera course that has attracted more than 100,000 students to date.