Bal joins department faculty as assistant professor

Clinician and researcher Vanessa Hus Bal, PhD, has joined the Department of Psychiatry as an assistant professor in residence and clinical psychologist for the UCSF Service, Training, Advocacy & Research (STAR) Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She will also continue her research on advancing treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) across the lifespan, as well as the training of the next generation of psychiatrists and clinical scientists. Her academic appointment begins September 1.

Bal received her MS and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, and also holds an MSc in neuroscience from Oxford University. Since 2014, she has worked as postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Matthew W. State, MD, PhD, and the UCSF STAR Center. 

She has extensive experience in the assessment and measurement of behavioral phenotypes, with an emphasis on understanding how clinically relevant dimensions of behavior interact with developmental and contextual factors across the lifespan, and is currently focusing her research efforts on increasing understanding of the aging population of adults with ASD. Over the past nine years, Bal has contributed to nearly three dozen peer-review journal publications.

Bal is a member of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, Bay Area Autism Consortium, Molecular Psychiatry Association, Society for Research in Child Development, and International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), as well as a past chair of INSAR's Student & Trainee Committee. Her doctoral dissertation on the influence of non-ASD behaviors on the assessment and diagnosis of autism in children was awarded the University of Michigan's Marquis Award in 2014 and INSAR's Dissertation Award in 2015.

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care, and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational, and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Laurel Heights, the UCSF Medical Center at Mt. Zion, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System, and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.