Ariel A. Williamson PhD, DBSM
Ariel Williamson is a PolicyLab faculty member and assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Williamson is also an appointed faculty member in the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, the Sleep Center in the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, and in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She is a licensed psychologist and diplomat in behavioral sleep medicine and currently provides clinical services to youth with medical and behavioral sleep problems seen in the CHOP Sleep Center. Dr. Williamson serves as a sleep expert on the Pediatric Sleep Council, an international team with expertise in sleep and development in young children. She is additionally a member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia-area Beds for Kids program, which provides beds, bedding and healthy sleep education to children living without an individual bed and in impoverished homes. Dr. Williamson was nominated and accepted to the Society for Pediatric Research in 2020. She is also currently an Associate Editor for Sleep Health, the official journal of the National Sleep Foundation.
Dr. Williamson’s research leverages pediatric sleep as a modifiable factor that can promote positive development and prevent child physical and behavioral health problems. Specifically, her research focuses on understanding socio-ecological determinants of pediatric sleep health disparities and behavioral approaches to promote pediatric sleep health and treat sleep problems in primary care and in partnership with community organizations. She also collaborates with the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids program at CHOP on research related to integrated primary care service delivery, treatment engagement and patient outcomes.
Dr. Williamson earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware. She completed her predoctoral internship in integrated behavioral health at CHOP, and a T32 postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral sleep medicine at the CHOP Sleep Center and the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is a two-time NIH loan repayment award recipient and was awarded a Sleep Research Society Foundation Career Development Award in 2018. Dr. Williamson’s research is currently funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and by an American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation Community Sleep Health Award.