This is an NIH Pathway to Independence Award, which provides an opportunity for promising postdoctoral scientists to transition from mentored to independent research support. Human genetics studies have established MET as a risk gene for autism spectrum disorders. Met is a receptor tyrosine kinase, and this study investigates the mechanistic role of Met-mediated signaling in brain development and circuitry formation. This project will investigate role of Met signaling in the development and function of the hippocampus, determine molecular mechanisms regulating Met-induced neuronal growth and synaptogenesis in developing hippocampal neurons, and explore potential alterations in the local prefrontal cortex synaptic circuitry resulting from forebrain conditional Met deletion. These studies may provide mechanistic insights into Met-mediated signaling in forebrain development at molecular, cellular, and system levels. Insights gained from this study could offer better understanding of autism pathophysiology and thus be useful for future novel developmental interventions.