Dr. Ivy C. Mason is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College in Cambridge, MA. For Dr. Mason's postdoctoral research, she is training under Dr. Frank A.J.L. Scheer in the Medical Chronobiology Program and is running the postdoctoral project described below. Dr. Mason earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2015 as a graduate student in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. Under the mentorship of Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, Dr. Mason conducted her doctoral research on light exposure's impacts on sleep and cardio-metabolic function. Dr. Mason became interested in the fields of sleep and circadian rhythms during her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, where she completed her honors thesis on sleep deprivation and weight regulation under the mentorship of Dr. David F. Dinges.
Obesity is a major public health concern and is related to cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome. Bariatric surgery is the most effective obesity treatment with long-term cardiometabolic benefits, of which sleeve gastrectomy (SG) is the most common procedure. SG is thought to work by affecting neuro-hormonal pathways regulating appetite, energy homeostasis, and glucose metabolism. While excess weight loss after SG averages 50-60%, inter-individual differences in weight loss are large with approximately 25% of SG patients considered poor weight-loss responders. The mechanisms underlying this variation remain unknown and interventions to improve these outcomes are critically lacking. Of interest, a substantial proportion of SG candidates show altered daily patterns of food intake, raising the question whether such differences in meal-timing contribute to these inter-individual differences in weight loss success. Indeed, research has indicated that meal-timing per se, independent of total calorie intake, plays a role in the effectiveness of dietary and bariatric interventions. The main hypothesis of the proposed research is that improvements in daily meal-timing patterns will enhance the beneficial effects of SG. To test this, Dr. Mason will determine whether: 1) meal-timing pattern associates with SG success; 2) daily patterns in neuroendocrine factors involved in weight regulation differ between good and poor weight loss responders, and; 3) imposing a field-based meal-timing intervention in poor weight loss responders enhances benefits of SG using a randomized controlled trial and in-laboratory assessments. Considering effects of excess weight loss in these patients, improving SG outcomes with meal-timing may help prevent and/or treat cardiovascular disease in this population.
- Spring 2019 - Teaching Fellow (with Course Instructors Charles A. Czeisler and Frank A.J.L. Scheer), MCB 186, Sleep and Circadian Clocks: from Biology to Public Health, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
- Fall 2019 - Teaching Fellow (with Course Instructors Charles A. Czeisler and Frank A.J.L. Scheer), Gen Ed 1038, Sleep, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
- Fall 2020 - Teaching Fellow (with Course Instructors Charles A. Czeisler and Frank A.J.L. Scheer), Gen Ed 1038, Sleep, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
- Fall 2021 - Teaching Fellow (with Course Instructors Charles A. Czeisler and Frank A.J.L. Scheer), Gen Ed 1038, Sleep, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
- Sleep Research Society
- National Postdoctoral Association
- American Heart Association