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. Defining meaningful achievements and specific needs of adults with ASD;
  2. Characterizing how ASD symptoms manifest across the range of cognitive and language abilities at varying developmental stages;
  3. Identifying biological and contextual factors that affect longer-term adult outcomes.

In addition to expanding knowledge in these areas, this research strives to develop and refine methods to assess and quantify clinical phenotypes. This includes projects evaluating both biological and behavioral approaches that may be useful in screening and diagnosis, tracking of symptoms across development, and evaluating response to treatment. By emphasizing a multidimensional, lifespan perspective, this work aims to delineate relationships between dimensions of social-communication, language, cognition and emotion in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders in order to inform 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