Jenny Mai Phan, Ph.D.

[Image of a southeastern Asian woman with short highlighted brown hair smiling and wearing a polka dotted blouse]

In 2022, I began a Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (NINDS-funded T32) in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Children's National Hospital

In 2020-2022 and at the near initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, I completed a two-year fellowship training program at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Postdoctoral Fellow (NICHD-funded T32)

I serve on the Department of Health and Human Services' Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) as a public member (2021-2024) representing on the committee as an autistic self-advocate, mother, and researcher. My other appointments/volunteer services include a) Executive Co-Vice Chair on the Psychology Interest Network at the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and b) Early Career Committee Member on the American Psychological Association Division 33

My interdisciplinary research trainings include Psychology, Applied Biopsychology, and Human Development and Family Studies. I study the interplay between stress response systems, pubertal development, and mental health. I also study biobehavioral health and physiological attunement, including stress response processes between people. I am interested in studying the adolescence experience of neurodiverse youths as they transition through puberty and how it relates to mental health. I am also interested in early puberty and sexual health education strategies and its impact on neurodiverse and gender diverse youths' mental health and relationship with their caregiver. 

I have a B.S. in psychology at the University of New Orleans and a M.S. and Ph.D. in human development and family studies at Iowa State University.

You can contact me at

Call for Papers in a Special Issue on "Stress and Autism"

Journal: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders on “Stress and Autism” ( 

Our focus for this issue is evaluating the role of stress and stressors in the context of an evolutionary-stress framework and the adaptive calibration model ( in understanding autism etiology and co-occurring health conditions. 

Traditional medical models tend to focus on specific symptoms or use a deficit framework. There is a wide breadth of scientific investigations focused on stress impact on parents and caregivers of autistic individuals; however, stress research attention on autistic individuals is limited. As scientific knowledge is growing in the area of stress and autism, research is needed on the impact of stress on autistic individuals and the observed tradeoffs compensating for adaptive health outcomes. In order to better understand stress impact on autism etiology and health outcomes, an integrative approach to investigating mechanisms of stressors and risk factors as well as protective factors provide an in-depth understanding of adaptive and maladaptive outcomes. 

In broadening the scope of the impact of stress on autism and co-occurring health conditions, we aim to expand the field’s knowledge to consider both risk and protective factors that contribute to autistic phenotypes (e.g., social reciprocity, repetitive behaviors, special interests and intense focus, echolalia, sensory responsivity) and understand co-occurring health symptoms. Additionally, we invite authors to consider measurements of perceived stress and objective stress in their original research on autistic individuals.  

We are particularly interested in papers that explore the following topics:

We are excited to receive submissions from researchers who are exploring new and innovative ideas in this field and who are interested in contributing to a better understanding of autistic phenotypes and stress trade-offs. Open submission date is February 5, 2023. We invite you to submit a letter of intent by March 5, 2023. The final manuscript submission is due on September 5, 2023. Please share this announcement among your colleagues. 

If you are interested in submitting a paper, please visit Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders ( for more information on the submission process and guidelines. We look forward to receiving your submission and thank you in advance for your interest in this important research area.

Guest editors:

Jenny Mai Phan, Ph.D. 

Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Children’s National Hospital

Lori Hogenkamp, B.S.

Center for Adaptive Stress

David Beversdorf, Ph.D.

Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment

University of Missouri

Connect with me on these other apps/websites:


Web Accessibility: Text-to-speech voice reader can be used by downloading an extension on your web browser called Read Aloud. This link is for Chrome web users. This link is for Mozilla Firefox web users. For Safari web users, this link is to WebOutLoud.  

I am constantly learning new and efficient ways to improve web accessibility for all users. I will gladly take suggestions via email. Please contact me at