Research Fellows

Postdoctoral:

Predoctoral:


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Eve Ekman, PhD
Osher Fellow, NCCIH Postdoctoral Training Program in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM)
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF

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Eve Ekman’s research interests were inspired by her experience as a medical social worker in the emergency department of San Francisco General Hospital, coupled with her training in the applied emotion regulation and mindfulness intervention, Cultivating Emotional Balance, CEB. Eve returned UC Berkeley–where she received her masters degree in 2006–for a doctorate from the Department of Social Welfare, to explore stress and positive coping among human service care providers, graduating in spring 2014. Ekman’s dissertation case study worked with juvenile jail guards to examine the relationships between meaning in work, burnout and empathy, as well as tailor a CEB-based pilot training to support these workers.

At the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Eve will continue to refine the conceptual framework, research, and training in the areas of meaning, empathy and burnout. Her population will again be care providers, this time a study population of residents in training, with a long-term goal of pioneering interpersonal training for medical education, to support empathic skills, experience of meaning and managing burnout. Additionally, Eve’s research interests include technology assisted devices to promote emotion regulation and mindfulness, developing dynamic measurement for empathy, and assessing the downstream impact of provider empathy on quality of patient care.


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Burcu Hasdemir, PhD
Osher Fellow, NCCIH Postdoctoral Training Program in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM)
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF

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Burcu Hasdemir holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from the University of Liverpool in the UK. She came to UCSF for her postdoctoral training in the field of G-protein coupled receptors and inflammatory diseases. Her specific focus has been on neuropeptides and receptors involved in the body’s response to chronic stress. During the course of her training, she developed an increasing interest in the physiology behind the mind-body connection. As a TRIM postdoctoral fellow, she hopes to build on her interests in Integrative Medicine research and investigate the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on pregnancy and fetal health. To delineate the molecular and cellular effects of MBSR during pregnancy, she is studying the human placenta and related tissues in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF.


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Ashley Mason, PhD
Osher Fellow, NCCIH Postdoctoral Training Program in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM)
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF

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Ashley Mason, PhD’s primary research interests rest at the intersection of psychological stress, self-regulatory capacity, palatability and craving, and the food reward process. Her research interests also include (1) associations among psychological stress, disease progression, inflammation, and cellular aging, and (2) for whom, and through what mechanisms, interventions with divergent theoretical underpinnings bolster self-regulation, health behavior, and health outcomes.

She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona (UA), where she studied associations between social connectedness and health as well as interpersonal perceptions of psychological distress in the context of stressful social events. She completed graduate clinical work in Behavioral Medicine at the Family and Community Medical Center at the UA Center for Integrative Medicine. She completed a Behavioral Medicine Clinical Internship at the VA Palo Alto Medical Health Care System.


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Helen Y. Weng, PhD
Osher Fellow, NCCIH Postdoctoral Training Program in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM)
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF
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Helen Weng, PhD is a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist who studies the impact of mindfulness and compassion meditation interventions on relational functioning and physical and mental health.  She is interested in how contemplative practices can improve relationships, and how this plasticity may be represented in the brain.  She would like to identify relational functioning as an important avenue through which mindfulness and compassion interventions may improve physical and mental health.

Helen is particularly interested in using multivariate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to capture the variability in which individuals’ neural functioning may change through contemplative interventions, and relate these changes to meaningful behavioral and health outcomes.  She is also interested in emotional coherence (cohesion across multiple emotional response channels), and how mindfulness and compassion interventions may enhance both intrapersonal and interpersonal coherence.  As a TRIM postdoctoral fellow, she will study the impact of mind-body interventions on metabolic syndrome and social stress, and relational processing in depressed adolescents.

Helen received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in clinical psychology.  Her clinical interests include integrating emotion-focused, mindfulness, and interpersonal process approaches to psychotherapy to treat mood disorders, with particular emphasis on the therapeutic relationship as a route to health.  She has taught contemplative interventions in individual settings with adults and teenagers, and in group settings for individuals with anxiety, borderline personality disorder traits, and HIV.   Helen values integrating multicultural approaches in her work and communication.


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Elizabeth Adler, BA
Osher Fellow, NCCIH Predoctoral Training Program in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM)
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF

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Elizabeth “Elie” Adler is a medical student at Mount Sinai in New York City. She is interested in mind-body medicine and the potential for yoga to improve the lives of patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as patients living with chronic illness.

Elie first became interested in integrative medicine as an undergrad at Brown University, where she studied International Development Studies. As a medical student, Elie has been a leader of Mount Sinai’s Students For Integrative Medicine. As a yoga teacher, she has led yoga classes and meditation sits for all members of the Mount Sinai community. During her third year of medical school, Elie was selected by her peers to receive The Art of Medicine Award, recognizing her ability to “demonstrate an exceptional ability to blend medical knowledge with an understanding of the multidimensional aspects of healing.” Elie has conducted field research in Nepal, India, China, South Africa, and East Harlem. She is particularly committed to the Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US) movement.

Elie is thrilled to be taking a scholarly year at The Osher Center, mentored by Dr. Anand Dhruva. She will be investigating the impact of yoga on chemotherapy side effects, as well as digestive health.


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Maya.

Maya Mascarenhas, MPH
Osher Fellow, NCCIH Predoctoral Training Program in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM)
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF
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Maya Mascarenhas’ research centers on understanding how to increase and maintain healthy behaviors over the lifespan. She plans to focus on physical activity and is interested in the role of mindfulness as a potential mediator of this behavior. Maya is also interested in using technology to develop and test physical activity interventions. More broadly, she wants to explore the role of technology as a tool for developing user centered interventions that have the potential to scale.

Maya graduated with an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from UC Berkeley. She is currently a PhD student in the UCSF Epidemiology and Translational Science doctoral program.

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