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Key SEA Collaborators

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Kirstin Aschbacher, PhD

Kirstin is passionate about the intersection of behavior change, biology, and data science, because there is so much exciting ground for innovation. Kirstin recently joined UCSF as an Associate Professor in Cardiology and Data Team Lead on the Health eHeart Digital Research Platform. She has worked as a Data Scientist in industry at the Silicon-Valley Start-up Jawbone, where she helped design, test, and analyze mini-interventions to help users make healthier behavior choices and lose weight. At UCSF, she partners with companies in the behavior change and lifestyle medicine space. Kirstin is Co-PI of the COGS study, she led the design and mathematical modeling of a measure showing that obese individuals pay more attention to food cues than lean individuals, particularly after drinking a sugary beverage. In the future, we will investigate whether this measure can predict which patients are most successful in losing weight.

Uku Vainik, PhD

Uku Vainik is a collaborator from across the border. He is currently a postdoc at Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada, and research fellow at University of Tartu, Estonia. Uku’s work seeks to understand the psychological phenotypes behind obesity by integrating methods from psychology, neuroimaging, and genetics. Uku collaborates with the SEA Lab in developing assessments of reward-related eating. He is a fan of coherent theories, big data, and the R programming language.

Laura Saslow, PhD

Laura Saslow, Ph.D., received her psychology bachelor’s degree with honors from Princeton University, her master’s degree in education and technology from Vanderbilt University, and her psychology doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and now as an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, Dr. Saslow has been examining the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet in adults with type 2 diabetes using in-person and online programs. Laura collaborates with the SEA Lab in the examination of how mindful eating can alter food cravings and dietary adherence in the context of low-carbohydrate diets.

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