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.
|||Teresa H. Wen, PhD|
Dr. Wen is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence. She received her BA from Scripps College and her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside. For her dissertation, she studied molecular mechanisms underlying auditory hypersensitivity in a mouse model of autism. At ACE, Teresa aims to explore social attention and language development using both eye-tracking and MRI measures.
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.
|||Eduardo "Eddy" Arzate|
SPARK Clinical Coordinator
Eddy received his B.A. in Psychology from the CSU San Marcos in 2015. He joined the ACE team in the winter of 2020, where he oversees recruitment and outreach for the SPARK study. He has years of experience working in the field as an ABA interventionist and serving diverse populations with family members who have diagnosis of ASD. He is currently pursuing his MS in Homeland Security at San Diego State University and is interested in a career helping at-risk populations affected with ASD as well as addressing other public health related issues.
Eye-Tracking Research Coordinator
Charlene received her B.A. in Human Development and her M.A. in Psychological Science from CSU San Marcos. Her thesis focused on social cognitive development and children’s ability to understand persuasive intentions in advertising. Prior to joining the ACE team in the winter of 2020, she was the project manager for a longitudinal study aimed at improving instruction and academic achievement for English Language Learners. She became interested in autism research while she was an intern assisting in applied behavioral analysis. At ACE, Charlene coordinates the eye-tracking team, oversees eye-tracking data collection and analysis, and maintains the pediatrician network.
Outcomes Study Coordinator
Brianna graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Neuroscience in 2020. Since joining in 2017, she has been involved in several areas of the lab such as data entry, eye-tracking and clinical assisting. She is now the coordinator for the Outcomes study and helps out with the pediatrician network. Passionate about helping individuals with speech delays, Brianna plans on pursuing a career in speech language pathology.
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
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.
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