Headshot of a smiling woman with light skin tone and shoulder-length blonde hair wearing a pearl string necklace and grey and black jacket against a blurred outdoor background

Kathie Eagleson, PhD

Investigator, Research on Children, Youth and Families
Associate Professor of Research Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC


Graduate School

PhD, Neurobiology, University of Sydney, Australia


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southern California

Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical College of Pennsylvania



North American Society for Neuroscience 1989-present

American Association for the Advancement of Science 1994-2005



Selected Publications:

Eagleson, K.L., Lane, C.J., McFadyen-Ketchum, L., Solak, S., Wu, H.H. and Levitt P: Distinct intracellular signaling mediates C-MET regulation of dendritic growth and synaptogenesis. Dev. Neurobiol. 76:1160-1181, 2016. PubMed

Eagleson, K.L., Xie, Z. and Levitt, P: The pleiotropic MET receptor network: circuit development and the neural-medical interface of autism. Biol. Psychiatry. 2016. PubMed

Xie, Z., Eagleson, K.L., Wu, H.H. and Levitt, P: Hepatocyte Growth Factor modulates MET receptor tyrosine kinase and b-catenin functional interactions to enhance synapse formation. eNeuro. 2016. PubMed

Xie, Z., Li, J., Baker, J., Eagleson, K.L., Coba, M.P. and Levitt, P: Receptor tyrosine kinase MET interactome and neurodevelopmental disorder partners at the developing synapse. Biol. Psychiatry 80:933-942, 2016. PubMed

Wang, F., Eagleson, K.L. and Levitt, P: Positive regulation of neocortical synapse formation by the Plexin-D1 receptor. Brain Res. 1616:157-165, 2015 (co-first author).PubMed


Research Summary

Research Topics

  • Development of Neuronal Diversity, Neural Circuitry and Synapses in Neocortical Networks
  • Impact of early adverse experience on brain development
  • Influence of sex on response to early life stress

Research Overview

Research projects investigate the mechanisms that underlie the development of normal brain architecture. There are two primary focuses. The first examines the role of the MET tyrosine kinase receptor in synapse development. Disruptions in the expression of this receptor are associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder and Rett syndrome. Currently, we are using a quantitative proteomics approach to measure changes in the mouse neocortical and striatal synaptic proteome in the absence of MET signaling. The second measures the sex-dependent effects of early life stress on the developing brain. Specifically, we are using proteomics, biochemical and anatomical approaches to determine acute (before puberty) and long-term (adult) adaptive responses in mitochondrial and glial function following early life stress.