This is an individual National Research Service Award for post-doctoral research training, which provides support for promising Fellowship Applicants with the potential to become productive, independent investigators in scientific health-related research fields. Fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) have been implicated in developmental processes that contribute to the etiologies of autism and related psychiatric disorders. Fgf17, one of four expressed in the vertebrate rostral forebrain signaling center (RFSC), is required for normal development of the dorsal frontal cortex. Mice in which the Fgf17 gene has been deleted exhibit cortical patterning defects, as well as behavior and cognition phenotypes that mirror aspects of autism spectrum disorders. The specific roles of Fgf17 during brain development and their effects on postnatal brain functions are not yet known. The proposed studies use mouse genetics to analyze the roles and regulation of Fgf17 in the developing forebrain, including identifying some of the key molecules involved and how these molecules impact postnatal cognition and behavior. Together, these analyses will help to identify developmental processes and regulatory factors that contribute to the etiologies of autism and related psychiatric disorders.