Selma Masri

picture of Selma  Masri

Assistant Professor, Biological Chemistry
School of Medicine

Ph.D., Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, 2009, Cancer Biology

Phone: (949) 824-3855

University of California, Irvine
Sprague Hall 328
Mail Code: 1700
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Cancer Biology, Circadian Rhythms, Epigenetics and Metabolism
Academic Distinctions
2002 Graduation with honors from Pomona College, B.A. in Molecular Biology
2006 California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) fellowship, awarded but declined
2006-2009 NIH/NCI NRSA Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
2007 Rachmiel Levine Graduate Student Award - City of Hope
2010-2011 NIH/NCI T32 Institutional Research Training Grant
2011-2013 NIH/NIGMS F32 NRSA Post-Doctoral Fellowship
2017-2020 NIH/NCI K22 Career Development Award
2018 V Foundation Scholar Award
Research Abstract
Research in the Masri lab is aimed at understanding the relationship between disruption of circadian rhythms and tumorigenesis. We are interested in two research questions. The first question relates to how genetic disruption of the circadian clock in mouse models alters tumorigenesis both at the level of initiation and disease progression. The second question is aimed at elucidating the systemic crosstalk between tumors and peripheral tissues and how cancer cells are able to rewire circadian metabolism at a distance. The Masri lab utilizes genetic mouse models, basic molecular and cell biology, as well as genome-wide ‘omics’ approaches to determine changes in gene expression programs, histone modifications, and alterations in metabolites using metabolomics.
Awards and Honors
2018 V Foundation Scholar Award
2020 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award - Finalist
2020 UC Irvine Medical Education Excellence in Teaching Award

Chun SK and Masri S*. Circadian control of transcriptional and metabolic rhythms in primary hepatocytes. Methods in Molecular Biology, In press. *Corresponding Author.

Greco CM, Koronowski KB, Smith JG, Shi J, Kunderfranco P, Carriero R, Chen S, Samad M, Welz PS, Zinna VM, Mortimer T, Chun SK, Shimaji K, Sato T, Petrus P, Kumar A, Vaca-Dempere M, Deryagian O, Van C, Monroy Kuhn JM, Lutter D, Seldin MM, Masri S, Li W, Baldi P, Dyar KA, Muñoz-Cánoves P, Aznar Benitah S, Sassone-Corsi P. Integration of Feeding Behaviour by the Liver Circadian Clock Reveals Network Dependency of Metabolic Rhythms. Science Advances, In press.

Jayashankar V, Selwan E, Hancock SE, Verlande A, Goodson MO, Eckenstein KH, Milinkeviciute G, Hoover BM, Chen B, Fleischman AG, Cramer KS, Hanessian S, Masri S, Turner N, Edinger AL. Drug-like sphingolipid SH-BC-893 opposes ceramide-induced mitochondrial fission and corrects diet-induced obesity. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 2021 Aug 9:13(8):e13086.

Verlande A, Chun SK, Goodson MO, Fortin BM, Bae H, Jang C, Masri S*. Glucagon regulates the stability of REV-ERBa to modulate hepatic glucose production in a model of lung cancer-associated cachexia. Science Advances. 2021 Jun 25;7(26). *Corresponding Author.


Verlande A and Masri S*. Circadian Clocks and Cancer: Time-Keeping Governs Cellular Metabolism. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2019 Jul;30(7):445-458. *Corresponding Author

Gaucher J, Kinouchi K, Ceglia N, Montellier E, Peleg S, Greco CM, Schmidt A, Forne I, Masri S, Baldi P, Imhof A, Sassone-Corsi P. Distinct metabolic adaptation of liver circadian pathways to acute and chronic patterns of alcohol intake. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Dec 10;116(50):25250-25259.


Kinouchi K, Magnan C, Ceglia N, Liu Y, Cervantes M, Pastore N, Huynh T, Ballabio A, Baldi P, Masri S, Sassone-Corsi P. Fasting Imparts a Switch to Alternative Daily Pathways in Liver and Muscle. Cell Reports. 2018 Dec 18;25(12): 3299-3314.

Masri S* and Sassone-Corsi P*. The Emerging Link between Cancer, Metabolism and Circadian Rhythms. Nature Medicine. 2018 Dec 6;24: 1795-1803. *Co-Corresponding Author.

Dyar KA, Lutter D, Artati A, Ceglia NJ, Liu Y, Armenta D, Jastroch M, Schneider S, de Mateo S, Cervantes M, Abbondante S, Tognini P, Orozco-Solis R, Kinouchi K, Wang C, Swerdloff R, Nadeef S, Masri S, Magistretti P, Orlando V, Borrelli E, Uhlenhaut NH, Baldi P, Adamski J, Tschöp MH, Eckel-Mahan K, Sassone-Corsi P. Atlas of Circadian Metabolism Reveals System-Wide Coordination and Communication between Clocks. Cell. 2018 Sep 6;174(6):1571-1585.

Sato S, Solanas G, Peixoto FO, Bee L, Symeonidi A, Schmidt MS, Brenner C, Masri S, Benitah SA, Sassone-Corsi P. Circadian Reprogramming in the Liver Identifies Metabolic Pathways of Aging. Cell. 2017 Aug 10;170(4):664-677.

Bellet MM, Masri S, Astarita G, Sassone-Corsi P, Della Fazia MA, Servillo G. Histone Deacetylase SIRT1 Controls Proliferation, Circadian Rhythm and Lipid Metabolism during Liver Regeneration in Mice. J Biol Chem. 2016 Oct 28;291(44):23318-23329.

Masri S. Metabolic Demand of the Hepatic Cell Cycle. Cell Cycle. 2016 Nov 16;15(22):3020-3021. Invited Sole Author News and Views article.

Masri S, Papagiannakopoulos T, Kinouchi K, Liu Y, Cervantes M, Baldi P, Jacks T, Sassone-Corsi P. Lung Adenocarcinoma Distally Rewires Hepatic Circadian Homeostasis. Cell. 2016 May 5;165(4):896-909. Previews in Science, Cell Metabolism and Nature Reviews Cancer

Masri S. Sirtuin-dependent clock control: new advances in metabolism, aging and cancer. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2015 Nov;18(6):521-7.

Masri S, Kinouchi K, Sassone-Corsi P. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer. Curr Opin Oncol. 2015 Jan;27(1):50-6.

Masri S and Sassone-Corsi P. Sirtuins and the circadian clock: Bridging chromatin and metabolism. Sci Signaling. 2014 Sep 9; 7(342).

Masri S, Rigor P, Cervantes M, Ceglia N, Sebastian C, Xiao C, Roqueta-Rivera M, Deng C, Osborne TF, Mostoslavsky R, Baldi P, Sassone-Corsi P. Partitioning circadian transcription by SIRT6 leads to segregated control of cellular metabolism. Cell. 2014 Jul 31;158(3):659-72. Preview in Science

Sahar S, Masubuchi S, Eckel-Mahan K, Vollmer S, Galla L, Ceglia N, Masri S, Barth TK, Grimaldi B, Oluyemi O, Astarita G, Hallows WC, Piomelli D, Imhof A, Baldi P, Denu JM, Sassone-Corsi P. Circadian Control of Fatty Acid Elongation by SIRT1 Protein-mediated Deacetylation of Acetyl-coenzyme A Synthetase 1. J Biol Chem. 2014 Feb 28;289(9):6091-7.

Masri S, Cervantes M, Sassone-Corsi P. The circadian clock and cell cycle: interconnected biological circuits. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Dec;25(6):730-4.

Masri S, Patel VR, Eckel-Mahan KL, Peleg S, Forne I, Ladurner AG, Baldi P, Imhof A and Sassone-Corsi P. Circadian acetylome reveals regulation of mitochondrial metabolic pathways. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 26;110(9):3339-44. Highlighted in PNAS

Masri S and Sassone-Corsi P. The circadian clock: a framework linking metabolism, epigenetics and neuronal function. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Jan;14(1):69-75.

Masri S, Zocchi L, Katada S, Mora E, Sassone-Corsi P. The circadian clock transcriptional complex: metabolic feedback intersects with epigenetic control. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Aug;1264:103-9.

Aguilar Arnal L, Zocchi L, Masri S, Katada S and Sassone-Corsi P. Plasticity of the Circadian System: Linking Metabolism to Epigenetic Control. Book Chapter, Springer/Fondation Ipsen, 2011.

Wang Y, Zhou D, Phung S, Masri S, Smith D, Chen S. SGK3 is an estrogen-inducible kinase promoting estrogen-mediated survival of breast cancer cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Jan;25(1):72-82.

Masri S and Sassone-Corsi P. Plasticity and Specificity of the Circadian Epigenome. Invited Perspective article, Nature Neuroscience. 2010 Nov;13(11):1324-9.

Masri S, Liu Z, Phung S, Wang E, Yuan YC, Chen S. The role of microRNA-128a in regulating TGFbeta signaling in letrozole-resistant breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Nov;124(1):89-99.

Masri S, Phung S, Wang X and Chen S. Molecular Characterization of Aromatase Inhibitor-Resistant, Tamoxifen-Resistant and LTEDaro cell lines. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Feb 28;118(4-5):277-82.

Prior to 2010
Masri S, Lui K, Phung S, Ye J, Zhou D, Wang X and Chen S. Characterization of the weak ERa agonistic activity of exemestane. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Aug;116(3):461-70.

Masri S, Phung S, Wang X, Wu X, Yuan Y, Wagman L and Chen S. Genome-wide analysis of aromatase inhibitor-resistant, tamoxifen-resistant and long-term estrogen deprived cells reveals a role for estrogen receptor. Cancer Res. 2008 Jun 15;68(12):4910-8.

Masri S, Adams L, Somlo G, Paz B, and Chen S. Book Chapter entitled, “Hormonal aspects of breast cancer development, progression and therapy” in Breast Cancer: From pathogenesis to potential therapeutic modalities. 2009, pages 177-210.

Wang X, Masri S, Phung S and Chen S. The Role of Amphiregulin in Exemestane-Resistant Breast Cancer Cells: Evidence of An Autocrine Loop. Cancer Res. 2008 Apr 1;68(7):2259-65.
Chen S, Masri S, Hong Y, Wang X, Phung S, Yuan YC, Wu X. New experimental models for aromatase inhibitor resistance. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Aug-Sep;106(1-5):8-15. Review.

Chen S, Masri S, Wang X, Phung S, Yuan Y and Wu X. What do we know about the mechanisms of aromatase inhibitor resistance? J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Dec;102(1-5):232-40. Review.

Rosen L, Morrison H, Masri S, Brown M, Springstubb B, Sussman D, Stoddard BL, Seligman LM. Homing endonuclease I-CreI derivatives with novel DNA target specificities. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(17):4791-800.

Zhou D, Masri S, Ye JJ, Chen S. Transcriptional regulation of the mouse PNRC2 promoter by the nuclear factor Y (NFY) and E2F1. Gene. 2005 Nov 21;361:89-100.
K22 Transition Career Development Award - NIH/NCI
Concern Foundation Conquer Cancer Now Award
V Foundation Scholar Award
R01 Circadian Clock Disruption and Colorectal Cancer - NIH/NCI
MPI R01 - Circadian Clock and Myc-dependent Regulation of Cellular Transformation - NIH/NCI
Professional Societies
Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR)
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Graduate Programs
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences

Research Centers
Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
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