Our Research Team

Dr. Katherine Stavropoulos

Katherine Stavropoulos, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside. She completed her Postdoctoral work at the Yale Child Study Center, received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from University of California, San Diego, and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Trinity College. Dr. Stavropoulos’ doctoral dissertation explored neural correlates of reward anticipation to social versus nonsocial stimuli in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Dr. Stavropoulos conducts translational studies to continue exploring the reward system in ASD, as well as how anxiety contributes to social deficits in ASD. She plans to investigate school-based interventions for children with ASD, and how those interventions affect neural activity, behavior, and school performance. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and is involved in screening and diagnosis of children with ASD at the UCR SEARCH Center.

Graduate Students


Laura Alicia Alba, M.S., is a doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UCR. She previously earned her B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University and her M.S. in neuroscience and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include: multicultural perspectives, neural correlates, environmental stress, executive functioning and socio-emotional development among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.






LizB Elizabeth Baker, B.A.,  is a doctoral student in the Special Education program at UCR. She earned her B.A. in sociology and psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include measuring adaptive functioning skills in children with ASD, identifying anxiety in children with ASD, quantifying neural correlates of social communication & language, as well as studying the perspective of caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.