Welcome to the LifeSPAN Lab!

About the LifeSPAN Lab

The Lifespan Symptom Profiles, Achievements & Needs (LifeSPAN) Lab aims to advance understanding of the aging population of adults with ASD. By emphasizing a lifespan perspective, the lab encompasses three research areas:

  1. Characterize ASD symptom profiles, with a particular focus on understanding how ASD manifests in adulthood
  2. Understanding the achievements and needs of adults with ASD across the range of ability levels
  3. Identifying factors at different developmental stages that influence longer-term adult outcomes

In addition to furthering knowledge in these areas, several projects in the lab are focused on improving methods to assess and measure clinical phenotypes, including both biological and behavioral approaches that can be used in screening/diagnosis, tracking of symptoms across development and evaluating response to treatment. Through a multidimensional approach, this work aims to delineate relationships between dimensions of social-communication, language, cognition and emotion in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders, with a long-term goal of informing the development of targeted interventions that capitalize on individual strengths in order to promote well-being for individuals with ASD across the lifespan.


UCSF Psychiatry

Bennett Leventhal, MD

Jeremy Willsey, PhD

Matthew State, MD, PhD

Robert Hendren, DO

Somer Bishop, Ph.D.

Stephan Sanders, BMBS, PhD (Lab Website)

Whitney Ence, PhD, BCBA-D

Young Shin Kim, MD, MS, MPH, PhD

UCSF Neurology

Howie Rosen, MD​

Marilu Gorno Tempini, MD, PhD

Virginia Sturm, PhD

Stanford University

Jennifer Phillips, PhD