Selma Masri

Picture of Selma Masri
Associate 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
Circadian Rhythms, Cancer, Tumor Immunology, Metabolism
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
2022 Junior Faculty Research Award, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR)
2022 Johnson and Johnson Women in Stem Scholar (J&J WiSTEM2D), Science Category
2021 Outstanding Early-Career Faculty Research Award, School of Medicine, UC Irvine
2020 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award – Finalist
2020 UC Irvine Medical Education Excellence in Teaching Award
2018 V Foundation Scholar Award
Zhang S, Williams KJ, Verlande-Ferrero A, Chan AP, Su GB, Kershaw EE, Cox JE, Maschek JA, Shapira SN, Christofk HR, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Masri S, Villanueva CJ. Acute activation of adipocyte lipolysis reveals dynamic lipid remodeling of the hepatic lipidome. J Lipid Res. 2023 Aug 26.

Smith JG, Koronowski KB, Mortimer T, Sato T, Greco CM, Petrus P, Verlande A, Chen S, Samad M, Deyneka E, Mathur L, Blazev R, Molendijk J, Kumar A, Deryagin O, Vaca-Dempere M, Sica V, Liu P, Orlando V, Parker BL, Baldi P, Welz PS, Jang C, Masri S, Benitah SA, Muñoz-Cánoves P, Sassone-Corsi P. Liver and muscle circadian clocks cooperate to support glucose tolerance in mice. Cell Rep. 2023 Jun 1.

Dragan M, Chen Z, Li Y, Le J, Sun P, Haensel D, Sureshchandra S, Pham A, Lu E, Pham KT, Verlande A, Vu R, Gutierrez G, Li W, Jang C, Masri S, Dai X. Ovol1/2 loss-induced epidermal defects elicit skin immune activation and alter global metabolism. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jul 5.

Stincardini C, Pariano M, D’Onofrio F, Renga G, Orecchini E, Orabona C, Nunzi E, Gargaro M, Fallarino F, Chun SK, Fortin BM, Masri S, Brancorsini S, Romani L, Costantini C, Bellet MM. The circadian control of tryptophan metabolism regulates the host response to pulmonary fungal infections. PNAS Nexus. 2023 Feb 3.
Verlande A, Chun SK, Song WA, Oettler D, Knot HJ, Masri S. Exogenous detection of 13C-Glucose metabolism in tumor and diet-induced obesity models. Frontiers in Physiology. 2022 Oct 4.

Chun SK, Fortin BM, Fellows RC, Habowski AN, Verlande A, Song WA, Mahieu AL, Lefebvre AEYT, Sterrenberg JN, Velez LM, Digman MA, Edwards RA, Pannunzio NR, Seldin MM, Waterman ML, Masri S. Disruption of the circadian clock drives Apc loss of heterozygosity to accelerate colorectal cancer. Sciences Advances. 2022 Aug 10; 8(31).

Chun SK and Masri S. Circadian control of transcriptional and metabolic rhythms in primary hepatocytes. Methods in Molecular Biology, 2022;2482:169-179. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2249-0_11.

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
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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