Past SEA Lab Members

Those who have waved goodbye and are on to their next adventure!

Prather, Jenifer

JENIFER PRATHER, MPH RN

Predoctoral Integrative Medicine Research Trainee

Ms. Prather is a recent addition to the lab with 20 years of experience in the coordination and management of single and multi-site Phase 1-4 clinical trials with therapeutic experience in adult and pediatric hematology/oncology, infectious disease, immunology, rare disease, pediatric cardiology, and neurology.  Prior to UCSF, she worked for clinical research organizations (CROs) with sponsor companies such as Merck, Novartis and Daiichi Sankyo where her blend of in-house and field experience led to the successful completion of studies.  Jenifer’s passion is to continue using these skills to further advance the field of mind-body research and approaches to health and wellbeing. Recently, she has helped manage the TemPredict Study which collected information from a wearable sensor potentially allowing researchers to develop an algorithm that can predict onset of symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue, which can characterize COVID-19.

Veasna, Danou

DANOU VEASNA, BS

Research Assistant

Danou joined the UCSF SEA Lab in January, 2020. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at California State University, Long Beach with a minor in Chemistry and is currently a student of the Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program at San Francisco State University. At the SEA Lab, she assisted with the first HEAT BED study to gain a better understanding of biology, psychological affect, as well as skills that will help her become a great physician in the future.

Puldon, Karena

KARENA PULDON, BA

TRIM Predoctoral Fellow

Karena Puldon joined the UCSF SEA Lab in March 2020. She earned her B.A. in Chemistry and Biology at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Currently, she is a 4th year medical student at UCSF School of Medicine, pursuing a career in Internal Medicine to practice as a primary care, academic hospitalist, or pulmonary critical care physician. As a Training in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM) Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Karena is worked with Dr. Ashley Mason and Dr. Rick Hecht on the TemPredict Study. She has a research background in synthetic chemistry, medical device technology, and translational and clinical research. Karena is interested in studying integrative approaches to wellness and the use of biofeedback technology to further our understanding of the body's response to physical and psychological stress.

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SARAH M. FISHER, BA

Project Director

Sarah joined the UCSF SEA Lab in February 2018, where she served as a Senior Research Assistant on the first and second phases of the Biology and Experience of Eating (BEE) Study. She then took on the role of Laboratory Manager for the SEA Lab and oversaw the launch of the pilot HEAT BED Study, examining the effects of a single sauna session on body temperature and clinical outcomes. Currently, Sarah directs the TemPredict Study, an early detection study utilizing Oura Rings during the current coronavirus pandemic, which boasts nearly 60,000 participants. Outside of Osher, Sarah served as co-coordinator on the Stress Free UC Study, a mindfulness trial for UCSF employees, and primary coordinator for the Healthy Eating program, a mindful-eating initiative within the Stress Free UC +Health Study. Sarah is interested in studying stress and physiological factors as they contribute to disordered eating and left the SEA Lab in the fall of 2020 to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Drexel University.

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KATYA GUVVA, BS

Senior Research Assistant

Before joining UCSF SEA Lab, Ekaterina had been working on Caregiver Attentional Awareness Study and on Mindful Training for Surgeons Study to examine the effects of acute stress on cognition. Additionally, she has been studying professional burnout and how Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction can mitigate its adverse effects. At the SEA Lab, Ekaterina is hoping to build her understanding of biological and behavioral experiences of eating to become a better physician in the future.  She is planning to work with underserved and neglected communities to increase their wellbeing through education, life style changes and nutrition.

RACHEL M. RADIN, PHD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Rachel M. Radin joined the SEA Lab in the spring of 2017. She is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, Center for Health and Community. Her research interests include clarifying the biopsychosocial processes that contribute to eating behavior and metabolic health in adults. She received an F32 (NRSA) from NCCIH to investigate the impact of a mindfulness intervention (SHINE trial) on stress-related eating and endocrine and autonomic profiles of stress reactivity. Rachel aims to develop integrative health interventions that reduce obesity-related health decline. She completed a PhD in Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 2017 after completing a Pre-doctoral Internship in Pediatric Psychology at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. She earned an MA in psychology in education from Columbia University and a BA in psychology from the George Washington University.

HIBA ABOUSLEIMAN, BA

Project Director

Hiba joined the SEA Lab in January of 2017. She graduated from Villanova University in 2013 with a BA in Psychology and has been working in the fields of psychology, public health, and education since then. Hiba was drawn to the SEA Lab because she was interested in studying the various factors that impact food choices, including biological, psychological, social, or financial. She will be pursuing her Master of Public Health at Boston University starting in the fall of 2019, and she hopes to develop interventions and programs that encourage people to develop health-promoting eating habits.

ALISON HARTMAN, BA

Project Director

Alison joined the SEA Lab in April of 2016. In the SEA Lab, Alison directed the BEE Study and was a Research Assistant on the COGS study. At the UCSF Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions (AME) Center, she directed the Healthy Beverage Initiative Study. She served as the Assistant Executive Director for the UCSF Sugar, Stress, Environment, and Weight Center. Her research interests are in maternal mental health, obesity, eating disorders, and women’s reproductive health. She began earning her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Drexel University in the fall of 2018.

MICHAEL COHN, PHD

Design & Technology Lead

Michael joined UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative medicine as a postdoc in 2008, and remained as a research consultant, programmer, statistician, designer, and employee wellness liaison until Winter 2016. He is now a researcher at Google and remains connected with UCSF through the SEA Lab. Michael’s work at UCSF focused on the effects of positive emotions in coping with chronic illness. He helped implement and evaluate the first online tests of Judith Moskowitz’s positive emotion skill training programs. He later worked with Ashley to develop PingQuest, a highly customizable mobile assessment platform for experience sampling research.

NINA JHAVERI, MBA

Project Director

Nina graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007, and completed her MBA at the University of Chicago in 2013. At UCSF, Nina directed the ERN and COGS Study. Nina began earning a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the fall of 2016 at the University of Southern California.

ANGELA WACKERLY, BA

Research Assistant

Michael joined UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative medicine as a postdoc in 2008, and remained as a research consultant, programmer, statistician, designer, and employee wellness liaison until Winter 2016. He is now a researcher at Google and remains connected with UCSF through the SEA Lab. Michael’s work at UCSF focused on the effects of positive emotions in coping with chronic illness. He helped implement and evaluate the first online tests of Judith Moskowitz’s positive emotion skill training programs. He later worked with Ashley to develop PingQuest, a highly customizable mobile assessment platform for experience sampling research.

CARMEN MONTAGNON, BA

Research Assistant

Carmen graduated from Hamilton College in 2012. At UCSF, worked as a research assistant focused on our work on mindful eating and weight loss. Carmen began earning her MD in the summer of 2015 at Mayo Medical School.

SAMANTHA SCHLEICHER, BA

Predoctoral Scholar

Samantha joined the SEA Lab in June of 2016. Samantha graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a dual degree (BA) in Biochemistry and Psychology in the spring of 2016. At UCSF, Samantha worked on the BEE and DELISH Studies. Sam rejoined our lab after beginning her Medical Degree at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2017. She worked with our team as a predoctoral research scholar before beginning her second year in 2019.

CARLOS ALMEIDA, BA

Programmer

At UCSF, Carlos programmed cognitive and computer-based testing for research participants and analyzes data collected during task-based assessments. He was the lead programmer for the COGS and BEE Studies.