Stanford University

Faculty and Staff


Jeremy Bailenson

Jeremy Bailenson, Founding Director

Thomas More Storke Professor of Communication

CV VHIL Publications

Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication, Professor (by courtesy) of Education, Professor (by courtesy) Program in Symbolic Systems, a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, and a Faculty Leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity. He earned a B.A. cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1994 and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Northwestern University in 1999. He spent four years at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then an Assistant Research Professor.

Bailenson studies the psychology of Virtual and Augmented Reality, in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. His lab builds and studies systems that allow people to meet in virtual space, and explores the changes in the nature of social interaction. His most recent research focuses on how virtual experiences can transform education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health. He is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford. In 2020, IEEE recognized his work with “The Virtual/Augmented Reality Technical Achievement Award”.

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Crystal Chan headshot

Crystal Chan, Program Manager

Crystal Chan received a BA in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts - Music from the University of California - San Diego, focusing on sound design for theatre and film. As someone who was more interested in the effects of interactivity on design and audio, she went on to become an MFA graduate in the Interactive Media and Games Division at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. While in graduate school, Crystal worked as an Associate Audio Designer at Survios, a VR game company based in Culver City. Here she was inspired by VR's potential, and sought other, more accessible ways to utilize it outside of games and entertainment. Her search led her to the VHIL, where she now serves as a Social Science Research Professional. She is currently a VR Program Manager on a research project done in collaboration with the SPARQ lab.

Tobin Asher, Associate Director, Global Partnerships

Tobin Asher has worked at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab since 2015 where he facilitates research projects, lab outreach, and travels around the world to share findings and insights from the lab's work. He also creates VR interactives, programs virtual worlds, shoots and edits 360 video, and composes music scores. He sees VR as a powerful tool to help create experiences that encourage us to re-shape the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us. His VR pieces have been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the New Orleans Film Festival.

John J. Walker

John J. Walker, Web Admin

John J. Walker earned an MA degree in Communication from Stanford  and MS and BS degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, Riverside. He has been in charge of the lab's website since its inception. Along with his website development work within the Dept. of Communication he aspires to utilize software and technology to improve social science research.