Core Faculty, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
Ashley E. Mason joined UCSF's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in the Fall of 2013. Her research focuses on the biological and psychological experiences of reward-driven eating. To this end, she is conducting several studies focused on the assessment and treatment of compulsive overeating. Specifically, her current studies examine the effects of sugar consumption on subsequent eating behavior and cognitive processes; the roles of the endogenous opioid system in compulsive overeating; the implementation of, and long-term adherence to, a Ketogenic diet for Type 2 Diabetes; and mindful eating interventions targeting reductions in craving-related eating. She completed her Clinical Internship in Behavioral Medicine at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arizona, and her undergraduate degrees at Northwestern University.
ANOUSHKA CHOWDHARY, BA
Anoushka joined the lab in September 2019. She got her B.A. in Psychology with Honors from the University of Chicago and aims to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in Fall 2021. At the SEA Lab, Anoushka is the research coordinator for the HEAT BED Study which aims to test the feasibility and acceptability of up to 8 sauna sessions in patients with clinical depression as a potential treatment. She is also a co-coordinator for the TemPredict Study which is a large-scale global study that involves the use of wearable sensors for the early detection of COVID-19 symptoms. For Dr. Mason’s Sleep Group, Anoushka is developing a digital sleep calculator and online lectures.
CLAUDINE ANGLO, BS
Senior Research Assistant
Claudine joined the SEA Lab in August 2020 after working three years in a lab focused on neurodevelopmental disorders at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She received her B.S. in Human Development with a minor in Psychology from UC Davis. She is currently a co-coordinator for the TemPredict Study and will help coordinate the HEAT BED Study starting Spring 2021. Claudine aspires to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and plans to attend graduate school in Fall 2021. During her time in the SEA Lab, Claudine wants to learn more about mind-body research in hopes to develop knowledge and skills that will assist in her future career as a mental health clinician.
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. Currently, she helps manage the TemPredict Study that collects information from a wearable sensor that may allow researchers to develop an algorithm that can predict onset of symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue, which can characterize COVID-19.
DANOU VEASNA, BS
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 is assisting with the HEAT BED study in hope of gaining a better understanding of biology and psychological affect as well as skills that will help her become a great physician in the future.
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 working 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.
LEENA PANDYA, ND
Volunteer Research Assistant
Leena Pandya is the newest addition to the lab, joining in October 2020. She earned her undergraduate degree in Neurobiology & Behavior from Cornell University, after which she pursued her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and completed her residency at an outpatient integrative neurology clinic. Leena has contributed to various research projects in the past at the NIH's National Cancer Institute, UW-Harborview, and both her alma maters. Currently, she is a practicing Naturopathic Doctor specializing in lifestyle medicine, herbal remedies for primary care concerns, and regenerative joint therapies. Her most recent research interests include non-pharmacological options for metabolic syndrome and non-opiate solutions for pain. At the SEA Lab, she assists with the TemPredict and HEAT BED studies.