The Fung Lab is committed to:

Advance the understanding of neural bases of human socio-communicative and cognitive functions by using novel neuroimaging and bioanalytical technologies. 

Devise and implement novel interventions to improve the lives of neurodiverse individuals by maximizing their potential and productivity.

Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Neurodiversity is a concept that regards individuals with differences in brain function and behavioral traits as part of normal variation in the human population. The movement of Neurodiversity is about uncovering the strengths of neurodiverse individuals and utilizing their talents to increase innovation and productivity of the society as a whole.

Molecular neuroimaging in adults with autism spectrum disorder

This project utilizes state-of-the-art neuroimaging system to characterize the inhibitory neurotransmitter system in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. The overarching objective of this project is to determine the association between the GABAergic system and socio-communicative function.

Digital Phenotyping of Neurodevelopmental Disorders via Smartphones

Digital phenotyping is defined as the moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level human phenotype in situ using data from personal digital devices. The daily use of smartphones generates a byproduct of rich social and behavioral data, and when complemented with behavioral questionnaires, these data can address several of the research domain criteria for studying mental disorders. Specifically, our aim is to use the established research platform Beiwe, to collect research-quality smartphone raw sensor and usage data, such as GPS data and accelerometer data. Our hope is that we will be able to identify discrepancies between the raw data and the data collected from self-report surveys, so that we may move towards a more objective way of obtaining behavioral information.

Neural Basis of a Novel Auditory Subtype of Autism

The objective of our study is to investigate the neural basis of absolute pitch using data from cognitive-behavioral assessments and musical assessments, as well as imaging and EEG results. Our study involves obtaining and analyzing data from high-functioning individuals of the ASD population, in which absolute pitch has been found to have higher prevalence, as compared to typically developing controls.

Neurosteroid metabolomics in autism spectrum disorder

The objective of this study is to investigate and establish the biology of neurosteroids as a possible biosignature for social anxiety and other neuropsychiatric symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Neurosteroids are endogenous hormones that have multiple biological functions, including the regulation of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis.

BuddyBot -- an artificial intelligence companion

BuddyBot is an AI-driven mobile application with a goal to improve conversational skills in children with ASD by reducing perseverative speech. The bot speaks with children with ASD about their interests, identifies repetitive speech, and gradually re-directs the conversation from perseverative topics to more appropriate topics.

Development of musical abilities assessment for autism spectrum disorder

The key objective of this project is to develop a tool that will be able to assess musical abilities in individuals with ASD. This preliminary study is aimed at developing an assessment to identify the subgroup of individuals with ASD with disproportionately higher musical abilities relative to their cognitive abilities.

Lab Openings

We welcome undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to join the Fung Lab. Please contact Dr. Fung if you are interested in joining us.

Please check back for other career opportunities in the Fung lab.

Media & Latest News

July 11, 2018
Dr. Fung presented “GABAergic Dysfunction and Socio-communicative Deficits in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder” at the International Symposium on Functional NeuroReceptor Mapping of the Living Brain in London, England.

July 4, 2018
Dr. Fung presented “GABAergic Neurophysiology and Socio-communicative Abilities in High-functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder” in the Symposium titled “Emerging Therapeutic Targets against Autism Spectrum Disorder” in the 18th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, Kyoto, Japan.

February 22, 2018
Dr. Fung presented “GABAergic Neurophysiology and Socio-communicative Abilities in High-functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder” in Grand Rounds, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

December 4, 2017
Dr. Fung presented “Comprehensive Examination of the GABAergic System in Adults with Autism by Simultaneous [18F]Flumazenil-Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy” at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Palm Springs, California.

May 18, 2017
Dr. Fung presented “Simultaneous [18F]Flumazenil-Positron Emission Tomography and GABA-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Adults with Autism and Healthy Volunteers” at the Society of Biological Psychiatry's 72nd Annual Scientific Program and Convention in San Diego, California.

May 12, 2017
Dr. Fung presented “Immune Response to Pregnenolone Treatment in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Preliminary Analysis from an Open-Label Study” at the International Meeting for Autism Research (INSAR) in San Francisco, California.

April 2, 2017
Dr. Fung presented “Interrogating the GABAergic System with Simultaneous [18F]Flumazenil-Positron Emission Tomography and GABA-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Healthy Volunteers” in the 13th Conference on Quantification of Brain Function with PET in Berlin, Germany.

Acknowledgements

Thank you for supporting our work

Mosbacher Family Fund