Mallory received a
Masters in Landscape Architecture as a result of her capstone
project, which was a 250+ page vision plan for the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. Her team identified opportunity areas for a green network that would enhance connectivity
to the Los Angeles River and throughout the watershed. The goals were to increase water supply,
improve water quality, and thus
improve public health. Mallory is also a trained yoga instructor and doula, she
believes passionately in the importance of
prenatal and postnatal support and education.
Through her studies and personal experiences, she became fascinated with how people view and use the space around them. This led her to work with children with autism. Mallory joined the ACE team as Lab Manager, where she applies
her project management experience to various research projects.
||Liz Bacon, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Bacon is a postdoctoral researcher at the UCSD Autism Center
of Excellence. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Experimental
Psychology from UC San Diego where she studied under Dr. Laura Schreibman, a
leading expert in treatment for children with autism. Dr. Bacon is also a board-certified
behavior analyst and is well-versed in naturalistic developmental behavioral
interventions. Her research interests include improving access to developmental
evaluations and treatment, measuring response to treatment, understanding the
stability of diagnoses over time, and individualizing treatment for children
Cynthia Carter Barnes, PhD
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.
Debra Cha, PhD
Dr. Debra Cha is a licensed clinical psychologist at the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology with an emphasis in children and families. Her clinical experiences have predominantly focused on identifying and treating children with autism. Prior to joining the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence, she supervised and coordinated the delivery of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services, which included screening and identifying young children at-risk for autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Cha is bilingual (Korean) and is passionate about delivering culturally competent services. Her current role at our agency includes conducting developmental evaluations.
Lisa T. Eyler, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Dr. Eyler received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in
1991 and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of
Pennsylvania in 1996. After a post-doctoral fellowship in geriatric
psychology, she joined the faculty of the VA Desert-Pacific
Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) and then
was appointed as faculty in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry. She is
now an Associate Professor in the Psychiatry Department and Clinical
Research Psychologist in the MIRECC program for
which she serves as Associate Director of the Neuroimaging Unit. Dr.
Eyler is also a faculty member in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program
in Clinical Psychology and the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.
She is chair of the Psychiatry Department Chair’s
Advisory Committee on Diversity Issues and chair of the UCSD School of
Medicine’s Standing and Promotions Committee.
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
Principal Investigator 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. Additional
research 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
Ms. Lopez has 12+ years experience as a phlebotomist and also spends her time assisting the psychologists and working with our Spanish speaking families.
Isabella Mutschler, PhD
Isabella Mutschler, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego
Autism Center of Excellence (USA) and teaches Developmental Psychology
and Research Methods at University of San Diego (USD). Currently, she
is applying neuroimaging methods
to investigate neural correlates of social-emotional processing
deficits in young children with autism. Her main research interests lie
in the fields of Developmental and Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience,
with a strong translational focus on clinically
relevant perspectives in basis science work. Isabella studied
Psychology and Neuroscience at the Universities of Tuebingen and
Freiburg (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), and at Tufts University.
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.
Ms. Pence graduated Cum Laude from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in psychology and specializing in physiological psychology. She is interested in the neurological correlates of behavior in ASD and is currently finishing her Master’s degree in psychological research from SFSU. At the lab she is involved in directly coordinating aspects of the clinical team such as overseeing student research assistants and working with families.
Ms. Euyoque earned a Master's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Physical and Mental Health Research from San Diego State University. Her research interests involve addressing developmental and psychosocial needs for children and families with autism and other developmental/psychosocial issues through developing and evaluating interventions, particularly for the underserved Latino community. Her previous research involved leading an evaluation component of an educational intervention designed to prevent the onset of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Latinas with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The intervention addressed culture-based beliefs about diabetes and self-care practices, and gave women specific educational tools to self-manage their diet, exercise, and barriers to making sustainable and healthful choices. She subsequently contributed to the development and scripting of a culturally-tailored educational intervention for Latinas with a history of GDM. Her previous research endeavors included being a bilingual interviewer of child-parent-therapist triads, working as a behavioral interventionist for children with autism, and researching barriers to service use, parent perceptions, and caregiver strain associated with youth's internalizing and externalizing clinical characteristics. These experiences led to an overall interest in developing and evaluating adequate child and parent interventions to address developmental and psychosocial issues. At the lab she is a bilingual Clinical Research Coordinator, working with pediatrician-referred and other agency-referred families, focusing on community outreach, and facilitating our pediatric network in the South Bay.
Ms. Moore completed her Master’s Degree in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, using EEG to study brain responses to viewing emotional faces. She continued graduate school as a PhD candidate at UCSD whose dissertation research relates to the roles of facial mimicry and heart rate variability responses to empathizing with someone in a painful situation. She has worked previously as the coordinator of a UCSD laboratory focused on language acquisition in preschool aged children led by Dr. Sarah Creel. Here at the ACE lab she works primarily on eye-tracking as a method for early identification of kids at risk for autism, by introducing a new eye-tracking based screening tool to local pediatric practices.
Tiziano Pramparo, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Tiziano Pramparo joined the ACE in 2011 to study those aspects of autism that relate etiology and pathophysiology. His graduate education in human cytogenetics/molecular genetics coupled with his post-doctoral training in neuro-developmental biology using mouse models for neuronal migration defects allow him to combine different approaches to identify and dissect the molecular mechanisms potentially disrupted during brain development in autism.
Currently, his research focuses on the identification of autism-specific molecular signatures and biological markers as a mechanism for early detection of at-risk children, the definition of sub-phenotypes, as well as the development of early intervention protocols. He has been applying multi-modality approaches that combine genomic, behavioral and clinical features associated with autism. His research ideas were recently awarded with a KL2 grant under the CTRI program.
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 Distein received his PhD in Neuroscience at NYU in 2009.