Dr. Vanessa H. Bal earned her M.Sc. in neuroscience from the University of Oxford and her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan. She also completed her clinical psychology internship at the University of Michigan and a postdoc in human genetics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Bal's research program emphasizes a lifespan perspective to furthering understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adulthood. She employs a variety of approaches to measure and track outcomes and predictors of outcome at different stages of development. In addition to expanding knowledge in these areas, Dr. Bal is leading several projects to develop and refine methods to assess and quantify clinical phenotypes. This includes studies 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, her research 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.
Dr. Bal’s lab will provide clinical and research opportunities for trainees at all levels, including undergraduate volunteers, the GSAPP master of applied psychology and Psy.D. programs and the clinical Ph.D. program. For more information, please visit the LifeSPAN Lab website or contact LifeSPANlab@gsapp.rutgers.edu.