Neurodiversity Alliances

Who we are…

The Stanford Neurodiversity Project is a special initiative of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.  

Lawrence Fung, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. Dr. Fung specializes in the phenomenology, neurobiology and novel interventions of autism spectrum condition.  He serves as Director of the Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic, and Assistant Professor (Medical Center Line) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. He is also the father of a teenager on the spectrum.

Christy Matta, M.A. is a Program Manager of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. She focuses on the Neurodiverse Student Support Program. She was a mental health practitioner specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and work with emotional dysregulation and throughout her career she has worked with neurodiverse individuals. Prior to joining the SNP, she worked in non-profits and local government and in 2004. She co-designed and provided clinical supervision to a winner of the American Psychiatric Associations (APA) Gold Award. Christy is the author of “The Stress Response”.

Mark Gavartin is a Program Manager for the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. He focuses on the Neurodiversity at Work Program. He holds a degree in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz and has worked in Employment Services for 10 years. Most recently, he was a Program Manager at Hope Services where he managed multiple programs to help Neurodiverse individuals find meaningful employment. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family, cooking, and scuba diving.

Kevin Sun is an M.D. candidate of Stanford University School of Medicine. Interested in psychiatry, he seeks to learn more about neurodiversity to better serve his future patients. He joined the Fung lab in 2019 to work on neuroimaging and neurosteroid metabolomics studies, and to contribute to the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. Outside of research, Kevin is a concert pianist with a Masters degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

David is an MD candidate at Stanford with an interest in psychiatry.  Before medical school, David studied GABAergic interneuron development as a graduate student.  He joined the Fung Lab to further explore both of his interests in neuroscience and autism by assisting with the molecular neuroimaging project.  Outside of the lab, David is an avid hiker, cyclist, and weightlifter. 

Lauren Clarke is an MD student at Stanford and a passionate advocate for inclusive health. Lauren joined the Stanford Neurodiversity Project to develop educational programs that teach physicians how to provide care to adults on the autism spectrum. Outside of medical school, Lauren enjoys staying active and has been a volunteer with Special Olympics for many years.

The executive sponsor of this project is Dr. Laura Roberts, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor.



Marci Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.  In the SNP, Dr. Schwartz contributes to teaching the PSYC229 series (Topics in Neurodiversity: Introduction and Advocacy). She is also the founder of Thrive College Counseling where she works with students with unique learning profiles to find the right college fit. Dr. Schwartz received her Ph.D. in clinical social work from NYU and her certificate in college counseling from UCLA.

Isabella He is a junior at Mission San Jose High School. She is a core committee member of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project's advocacy network, NNEA, and helps organize SNP REACH. With the Fung Lab, she explores her passion for neurodiversity and computer science by working on the AI-powered job matcher project with the Neurodiversity At Work initiative. Outside of the classroom, she is a wrestler, pianist, and staff writer for her school journalism team.

Ayush Agrawal (he/him) is a high school student from San Diego. Deeply inspired by his experiences with his younger brother with autism, Ayush authored a book - Iterating Autism - discussing personalized design thinking principles to help families better deal with autism, and is actively engaged with multiple autism-related nonprofits. Outside of autism, Ayush is very passionate about environmental issues, having conducted multiple research studies and presented at scientific conferences/competitions. 

Michael Bernick is an Advisor of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. He is the former Director of the California Employment Development Department and currently an employment attorney with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP and a Milken Institute Fellow in employment. His newest book is The Autism Job Club (second edition, 2018), and he has helped develop neurodiverse employment initiatives in California over the past decade, and been a job coach to neurodiverse individuals.

Dr.  Lou Vismara is an Advisor of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. He is a parent of four children, including his son, Mark who was diagnosed with autism in 1995.  Lou is the co-founder of the UC Davis MIND Institute,; a founding member of the California's First Five Commission, and the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism .   Lou worked as a senior policy consultant for the CA. Senate (2000-2015), where he spearheaded the Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders and numerous healthcare issues, including California's landmark Autism Insurance Mandate (SB 946; 2011).  Lou is the recipient of numerous advocacy awards and was honored by the California Senate for his “lifetime achievements and meritorious service to humanity and the people of California.”  Dr. Vismara is currently working with the CA Community College Chancellor’s Office to establish an innovative employment/vocational program for neurodiverse students, which will provide services and supports for older adults.

Alumni of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Vicky Lam graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in Biomedical Research. She is a M.D. candidate of California University of Science and Medicine. With the Fung Lab, she explores her passion for science by assisting with neuroimaging studies on Autism Spectrum Disorder. She hopes to apply the insight and knowledge gained from clinical research towards her education in medical school. 

Ladan Mohamed is Lab Manager and Clinical Research Coordinator in the Fung Lab. She graduated from Yale University, with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science.

Helen is a freshman at Northwestern University at Chicago. She served as the chair of the Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA) in the 2020-2021 academic year. After attending the inaugural SNP neurodiversity summer program for high school students, she founded the Neurodiversity Committee at her alma mater (Harker School), leading a team of students to spread awareness for neurodiversity. In the summer of 2020 and 2021, she served as a program coordinator for SNP Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for High School Students (SNP REACH). Additionally, Helen was a research intern working on the development of a musical abilities assessment for individuals with ASD, a passionate volunteer for individuals with autism, the managing editor of Harker school’s yearbook, and an avid musician.

Catherine Gao (she/her) is a fourth-year undergraduate and Human Biology major at Stanford University. She is passionate about disability advocacy and health equity, and hopes to bring these perspectives with her as she pursues psychiatry. Currently, she is working on the Stanford Neurodiversity Project's high school summer program. Outside the classroom, she loves writing, reading, and photography.

Isabelle Frances Morris is currently a graduate student in University of Minnesota. She graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in psychology. She is unapologetically Autistic and is passionate about using her experiences to change systems for the better. Isabelle is excited to join the Stanford Neurodiversity Project in developing student support programs.


Generous financial support is provided by: 

  • Autism Speaks
  • Anonymous Donor
  • Marcia Goldman Foundation
  • Randi and Todd Goldman 

External Networks