Although mild anxiety is a common experience, anxiety disorders have a devastating impact on patients’ lives, leaving them vulnerable to medical, psychiatric, and socioeconomic complications. Our mission is to use neurobiologically-based models of anxiety to improve the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders. The STAR lab brings together clinical psychology, neuroscience, and computational approaches, always with an eye towards how the results of our science can be directly implemented in clinical practice.

We currently have one study open to recruitment: UNFEAR. We also collaborate with partners in the Psychosocial Treatment Clinic to run and evaluate an acceptance-based behavior therapy group for patients with high anxiety.

The STAR lab also includes clinical and research practicum placements for students of the Palo Alto University – Stanford PsyD consortium.
Contact us for more information.
Tali M. Ball, PhD
Principal Investigator
Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Tali Ball, PhD is the Director of the STAR Lab and an Instructor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford School of Medicine. She is also a Psychologist in Stanford’s Psychosocial Treatment Clinic, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for adults struggling with anxiety, stress, trauma, and related concerns. ​

Dr. Ball's primary research aim is to translate neurobiologically-based models of anxiety into improved treatment outcomes. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California San Diego, where her dissertation work established relationships between brain activation during fear extinction learning and anxiety reduction following a brief exposure intervention. She fulfilled her APA-accredited clinical internship at the UCSD/VA San Diego constortium, and completed a T32-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford Psychiatry. Her postdoctoral research with the Williams PanLab focused on developing clinically useful metrics of brain circuit function and incorporating neuroscience-based assessments into clinical practice. 
The STAR Lab Team
Emily Livermore

PsyD Candidate in Clinical Psychology
Clinical and Research Practicum Student
Cheryl Zhang

Neuroimaging & Clinical Research Coordinator
Cheryl earned her dual B.A. degree in Economics & Psychology while playing Varsity Tennis at Kalamazoo College. She had a previous career in Digital Media Marketing at Domino’s Pizza, and as a career-changer, she recently completed a pre-medicine Post-Baccalaureate program at the University of Michigan. During her time at U of M she worked as a Geriatric Caretaker at Michigan Medicine and as a Research Assistant on a Pediatric Endocrinology Type II Diabetes Biomarker study in the CHEAR lab under Dr. Joyce Lee. Cheryl has a strong interest in how neural pathways influence decisions and emotions, and is especially interested in working with patient populations who have chronic, life-changing conditions. Cheryl is the research coordinator for the UNFEAR study. Outside of lab, you can find Cheryl traveling, snowboarding, and working on the leadership team of a start-up.
Emily is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. Emily received her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 2012. After undergrad, she worked as a research coordinator in the Carstensen Life-span Development Lab for a year as well as in Ian Gotlib’s Stanford Mood and Anxiety Disorders Lab for three years. In her free time, Emily enjoys cooking and walking her dog.

Emily is currently conducting dissertation research using data from the RADCAT study (in collaboration with the Williams PanLab), examining how online self-guided programs and applications can improve mood and anxiety symptoms.

Emily also co-leads the trans-diagnostic anxiety group with Dr. Ball and coordinates the research efforts associated with that project.
Caroline Dickens
Student Therapist
PsyD Candidate in Clinical Psychology 
PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium

Aliza Goldberg
Student Therapist
PsyD Candidate in Clinical Psychology 
PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium

Caroline is a doctoral student in the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University in 2016 before beginning graduate school. Caroline has pursued research and clinical training in the treatment of anxiety and eating disorders, and is especially interested in exploring the intersection of stress, anxiety, trauma, mood, and eating behaviors. In her spare time, Caroline enjoys yoga, baking, reading, and exploring the Bay Area.
Aliza is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. She received her BA in English Literature and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. After graduation, Aliza worked as an Event Coordinator at an independent bookstore, organizing and hosting book signings for many of her favorite authors. During this time, her love of stories and fascination with character development evolved into a strong interest in clinical psychology. Currently, Aliza’s clinical interests include anxiety disorders, trauma, emerging adulthood, and LGBTQ+ mental health. In her free time, Aliza enjoys baking, reading, watching stand-up comedy on Netflix, and trying new restaurants with friends. 
Leanne Williams, PhD
Professor & Associate Chair for Research Strategy and Oversight
Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director, PTSD Education
VA Palo Alto Sierra-Pacific MIRECC

Stanford PanLab for Precision Psychiatry and Translational Neuroscience
Andrea Goldstein-Piekarski, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Computational Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Sleep Laboratory (CoPsyN Sleep Lab)