Ashley Mason, PhD

Core Research Faculty, UCSF Osher Center
Assistant Professor, UCSF School of Medicine


Ashley Mason, PhD has been a member of the Core Faculty at the Osher Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry since 2016. She is Co-Director of the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Research, and Treatment (COAST), and is Director of the Biology and Experience of Eating (BEE) Laboratory.

Her primary research interests focus on food-craving experiences, stress-induced and reward-based eating, and adherence to dietary recommendations in type 2 diabetes. Her National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-funded K23 research focuses on the role of the endogenous opioid system in overeating behavior. Her National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health-funded research uses ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methodologies to assess food craving experiences, and uses ecological momentary intervention (EMI) to de-couple the experience of craving from the action of indulging cravings.

Dr. Mason is also interested in better understanding the psychosocial needs of individuals who are caregivers for a loved one. These individuals are at increased risk for physical and psychological health problems and are a growing sector of the US population. In addition to exploratory work, she is also in developing highly disseminable, light-touch interventions that improve quality of life of these individuals.

She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona, where she developed two lines of research with Dr. David Sbarra. In one line of work, she studied predictors and correlates of psychological adjustment and physical health following romantic relationship dissolutions (namely, divorce). In a second line of work, she studied interpersonal perceptions of psychological distress in the contexts of post-divorce recovery and social evaluative threat. She completed a Behavioral Medicine Clinical Internship at the VA Palo Alto Medical Health Care System and completed a NCCIH-funded T32 Training in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM) postdoctoral fellowship in 2016.


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