SEA Lab Members
Ashley E. Mason, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
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 atÂ the University of Arizona, and her undergraduate degrees atÂ Northwestern University.
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator
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.
Sarah M. Fisher, BA
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 will be leaving the SEA Lab in the fall of 2020 to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Drexel University.
Anoushka Chowdhary, BA
Senior Research Assistant
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.
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.
Danou Veasna, BS