Ph.D., University of Michigan
Vanessa H. Bal is the Karmazin and Lillard Chair in Adult Autism and an associate professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). Dr. Bal earned her M.Sc. in neuroscience from the University of Oxford and her Ph.D. in psychology (clinical) 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. Currently, Dr. Bal is a licensed clinical psychologist and the director of the Lifespan Symptoms, Profiles, Achievements & Needs (LifeSPAN) ASD Lab. Her research aims to advance understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adulthood through research spanning three broad domains: 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, Dr. Bal is leading several projects to develop and refine methods to assess and quantify behavioral strengths and challenges. By emphasizing a multidimensional, life span perspective, Dr. Bal's program of research strives to inform the development of targeted interventions that capitalize on individual strengths in order to promote well-being for individuals with ASD across their life span.