Welcome to the LifeSPAN Lab!

LifeSPAN Lab Members


Vanessa Bal, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Clinical Psychologist (PSY 28526)

Biography: Dr. Bal is an assistant professor specializing in the clinical assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The overarching theme in her research has been to identify biologically and clinically relevant behavioral profiles and dimensions of behavior in ASD. Dr. Bal has a particular interest in working with adults and individuals with intellectual disability and employs a variety of approaches to measure and track outcomes and predictors of outcome at different stages of development. Through her research, Dr. Bal aims to identify biological markers and behavioral predictors of both proximal and distal outcomes that can inform diagnosis and the development of novel treatments.

For a list of Dr. Bal's publications, visit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vanessa_Hus_Bal


Amy Shui, MA, MA​
Senior Statistician


Amy is a biostatistician with clinical research experience starting from 2004. She has worked as a biostatistician since 2006 and taught as an adjunct statistics and math instructor at New York University and at The New School.

Prior to joining the UCSF STAR center in 2017, Amy began working in clinical research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before joining the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Biostatistics Center, where she worked with the Autism Speaks-Autism Treatment Network and the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health for over 5 years. She has presented her work in autism research at the International Meeting for Autism Research, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting, and at the joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

While at MGH Amy also helped develop material for an online course through Harvard University to teach biostatistics to working medical researchers. In addition to autism, other areas of research Amy has worked in include neurology (ALS), cardiology, cancer, health policy, infectious diseases (HSV), and respiratory diseases (ARDS). She has been a statistical consultant on over 30 clinical trials from five hospitals for ClinicalTrials.gov reporting, and she has also analyzed and served as a statistical consultant on several type II diabetes health economics & outcomes research real world evidence studies using electronic health records data.

Research Assistants

Alexis Sullivan, M.A.
Clinical Research Coordinator

Biography: Alexis is a research assistant in LifeSPAN Lab. She is a Bay Area native and received her BA in psychology at Pepperdine University and her MA in Counseling at Santa Clara University. Her research and clinical interests include assessment of autism spectrum disorders, cognitive profiles in ASDs and NDDs, as well as psychiatric comorbidity in children and adolescents. Outside the lab, she enjoys hiking, swimming, painting, and eating out with friends. She plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.


Megan Fok, B.S.
Clinical Research Coordinator

Biography: Megan is a research assistant for the LifeSPAN Lab. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has several years of clinical research experience in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and similar profiles. She looks forward to completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and becoming a clinician and researcher in this field. As a bay area native, Megan is excited to work at UCSF with Dr. Bal at the LifeSPAN Lab investigating profiles of ASD across the lifespan.

Alumni Lab Members

Erin Rosenberg, B.A.
Erin Royal, B.A.