Dr. Eyler's research focuses on understanding individual differences in cognitive and emotional functioning using structural and functional brain imaging and blood-based biomarkers. She is a co-investigator in the Autism Center of Excellence at UCSD and is involved in studies that aim to discover a bio-behavioral fingerprint of autism at a very young age by combining neuroimaging, behavioral, and genetic measures in infants and toddlers at risk for autism to improve diagnostic and prognostic predictions and better understand the developmental causes of the disorder. She is also
of an NIMH-funded project which aims to examine whether brain structure and function appear to age more rapidly among individuals with bipolar disorder and how this may relate to increasing cognitive deficits with age.
just beginning in her lab will examine how patterns of cognitive change over time relate to patterns of mood instability and blood-based immune markers in bipolar disorder. Finally, Dr. Eyler has an interest in healthy aging and has conducted studies examining the relationship of cognitive and emotional success to brain function and blood-based biomarkers among healthy seniors, and she is a co-investigator on the
Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging MRI
study which aims to understand genetic and environmental contributions to brain aging and its association with cognitive and emotional functioning.
Srinivasa Nalabolu, PhD|
Sr. Clinical Research Data Manager
Dr. Srinivasa Nalabolu is Senior Clinical Research Data Manager for ACE, UCSD. As a member of a multidisciplinary team (comprised of clinicians, statisticians, clinical research associates and project managers), he oversees data management activities on clinical trials for the Clinical Operations of the Autism Center. From project start-up to database lock, he manages the monitoring of clinical trials data for completeness, accuracy and consistency, ensuring data meets quality standards. The Data Manager is responsible for assuring data integrity and compliance as well as managing data capture, editing, and transfer activities, and works closely with staff of campus database resources to design and implement novel databases.
Dr. Nalabolu is a bioinformatics scientist with a broad background in data mining & data integration of various biological databases for product development, genomics, proteomics and database administration. He has extensive experience in designing, implementing and managing business and social innovation platforms to enable collaboration, crowd sourcing and electronic data capture within and across organizations.
Dr. Barnes (Cindy) has been at the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence since early 2004, and has worked with children with autism and their families for 19 years. Before joining the laboratory, she worked as a parent trainer and also served as the Director for Children's Hospital's Autism Intervention Center.
Dr. Barnes received her master's and doctorate degrees in Educational Psychology with emphasis in Developmental Disabilities from UC Santa Barbara, where she was trained in the
Koegel Autism Center under the renowned autism treatment researcher, Dr. Robert Koegel. She is versed conducting developmental and psychological evaluations of the individuals participating in our research, and providing referrals and resources for early intervention. She also is an author and co-author on a number of manuscripts, and heads the team in making sure our studies are in compliance with UCSD Human Protections Program regulations.
Steven Arias, PhD|
Dr. Steven Arias is a licensed clinical psychologist with several years of psychological assessment experience in both English and Spanish, and was previously the lead testing psychologist for one of the largest primary care community clinic groups in the US. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Biola University where he emphasized in assessment, research, and therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents. He also trained at Harbor-UCLA medical center where he received supervision in Spanish neuropsychological assessment for children with complex neurological and social-emotional presentation. He completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship which included a full research rotation and weekly seminars in assessment conducted in Spanish. Additional training included a year-long school-based psychoeducational assessment practicum which included training in the
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and a year-long rotation providing behavioral therapies to adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
During his post-doctoral training he specialized in neuropsychological and neurodevelopmental evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults. These included assessments of cognition, executive functioning, academic achievement, and adaptive and social-emotional functioning for complex cases in Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties. Additionally, he was the program manager for a large truancy reduction program in Orange County that partnered with city, law enforcement, and school officials, where he was responsible for implementing efficacy measurements, data collection and analysis, and recommendations for city and community stakeholders.
Yaqiong Xiao, PhD|
Dr. Yaqiong Xiao is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence. She received her Ph.D in Psychology from
Leipzig University (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences), Germany in 2017. Yaqiong's research has focused on investigating: 1) Brain development in preschool children and its relation to language processing and development using the resting-state fMRI approach, 2) The neural basis of social cognitive processes in typically developing children and children with ASD using both task and resting-state fMRI approaches. Currently, she aims to exploring the abnormal brain basis of early social and language development as well as altered brain organization during task and rest in toddlers with ASD.
Andrea received her BS in Zoology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA and her MS in Health Sciences from The University of Texas in Tyler, TX. Her previous research focused on the prevalence of Hepatitis E in canine populations in Texas. Prior to joining the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) she worked as a data analyst and project manager at universities and hospitals in Texas and New Hampshire. Currently, she is managing the California branch of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC)
Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The ADDM project aims to estimate the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities living in different areas in the US in order to: describe the population of children with ASD, compare how common ASD is in different areas, identify changes in occurrence over time, and understand the impact of ASD and related conditions on US communities.
Mojeeb "Mo" Shir|
SPARK Clinical Coordinator
Mo received his B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience after graduating from UC San Diego in 2018. He joined the ACE team in the fall of 2018 as the SPARK study coordinator. Mo oversees outreach and recruitment, and assists families with the enrollment process and saliva collection. He has a breadth of experience working with special needs and diverse populations and aims to apply to medical school to pursue his goal of becoming a physician.
Eye-Tracking Research Coordinator
Amanda graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience in 2018. Since joining in 2016, she has been involved in different areas of the lab, such as eye-tracking, maintaining the pediatrician network, and research projects. Amanda now coordinates the eye-tracking team and oversees the data collection and eye-tracking analysis. Excited to continue on to a career in medicine, Amanda plans on pursuing her goal of becoming a Pediatrician.
Alysson R. Muotri, PhD, is a professor at the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Genetics in 2001 from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He moved to the Salk Institute as a
Pew Latin America Fellow in 2002 for postdoctoral training in neuroscience and stem cell biology. His
research utilizes neural stem cells, human and other primates' pluripotent cells, and several molecular tools to model and explore fundamental mechanisms of brain development, such as brain evolution and Autism Spectrum Disorders. His lab has developed a number of techniques to culture human neurons for basic research and drug-screening platforms. |
Dr. Muotri has been recognized with several awards, including the prestigious
NIH Director's New Innovator Award,
NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, Emerald Foundation Young Investigator Award, Surugadai Award from Tokyo University, Rock Star of Innovation from CONNECT, and the NIH EUREKA Award among others.
Anders Dale, PhD, founding Co-Director of the
Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, an interdisciplinary initiative of the
Departments of Neurosciences and
Radiology. He is highly skilled in the development and utilization of multimodality imaging technologies.|
Within both departments, Dr. Dale is the designated point person for integrating the various modes and methods of collecting imaging data, including functional MRI (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and optical imaging.
His efforts are directed in three areas: continuing development and refinement of accurate and automated algorithms for evaluation subjects using multimodality approaches to data collection; statistical analysis of data; and conducting studies in animal models using optical imaging, high field fMRI, and electrophysiological recordings to enhance the interpretation of neuroimaging studies.
Ilan Dinstein, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Psychology and Cognitive & Brain Sciences Departments at BGU. He received his PhD from the Center for Neural Science at New York University in 2010 and then completed post-doctoral training in the
Neurobiology Department at the Weizmann Institute and the Psychology Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Since his arrival at BGU, he was awarded with an Alon Fellowship, the Sieratzki award for young neuroscientists, and the Toronto Prize for Excellence in Research.
His research focuses on the neurobiology of autism with a particular emphasis on early development. To date, Professor Dinstein has published over 35 papers in high-impact journals including
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Current Biology and others. He is the director of the National Autism Knowledge Center in Israel, which collects vital information from hundreds of children with autism and their families with the goal of improving autism diagnosis and treatment. The center brings together researchers and clinicians from a variety of universities and medical centers in Isreal and is funded by the Israeli Ministry of Science.
Previous Team Members
|||Debra Cha, PhD|
|||Christie Pham |
Clinical Research Coordinator
Then: tfMRI Coordinator & Clinical Assistant Program Coordinator
Now: PhD Candidate
|||Postdoctoral Researcher |
Tiziano Pramparo, PhD|
Associate Research Scientist
Jessica Garcia, PsyD|
|||Mee Kyoung Kwon|
Then: Postdoctoral Scholar
Now: Assistant Professor
Division of General Studies, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technolog
|||Postdoctoral Researcher||||Mallory Barrett, MLA|
Clinical Lab Project Manager
Then: Lead Clinical Coordinator & Education Director
Now: Graduate Student, University of Colorado
|||Emily Yuen, MPH|
Then: Clinical Research Coordinator/ tfMRI Coordinator
Now: Medical school student
|||Clinical Coordinator||||Kathleen Campbell, M.D|
Then: MRI Research Assistant
|Nicole Gallagher, MPH|
Then: MRI Laboratory Assistant
Now: Doctoral Student, Duke University
|MRI Research Assistant|
MRI Laboratory Assistant
|||Bilingual Research Psychologist|
Previous Undergraduate Students