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Department ofBiology


Katherine Saxton

Associate Professor


BA 2002 Brown University

MPH 2006 UC Berkeley

PhD 2010 UC Berkeley


PHSC 1 Human Health & Disease

PHSC 100 Epidemiology

BIOL 119 Biology of Stress


Exposure to stress during critical periods of development can shape health trajectories and interact with later exposures to determine well-being and disease.  My research focuses on the ways in which social experiences affect biology and health, including inflammatory and metabolic processes, the endocrine responses to stress, and gestational outcomes, all of which influence and predict a wide range of diseases.  I am interested in questions such as:  Can environmental interventions reduce the harmful effects of low social status?  How do prenatal and postnatal environments influence inflammatory and metabolic outcomes? I am particularly interested in the environmental and social circumstances which can produce disease susceptibility or resilience, as well as the biological mechanisms responsible for behavioral and health outcomes, in order to identify opportunities for intervention.


Catalano R, Goldman, Mellor S, Saxton K, Margerison, Zilko C, Subbaraman M, LeWinn K, Anderson E. The Health Effects of Economic Decline. Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 32: (Volume publication date April 2011)

Jensen K, Hahn NE, Palme R, Saxton K, Francis DD. Vacuum cleaner noise and acute stress responses in female C57BL/6 mice. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 2010;49(3):300-6.

Subbaraman MS, Goldman, Mellor SJ, Anderson ES, Lewinn KZ, Saxton KB, Shumway M, Catalano R. An exploration of secondary sex ratios among women diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Human Reproduction. 2010. 25(8):2084-91.

Goldman, Mellor SG, Saxton KB, Catalano RA. Economic Contraction and Mental Health: A Review of the Evidence, 1990, 2009. International Journal of Mental Health. 2010. 39(2):6-31.

Catalano R, Zilko CE, Saxton KB, Bruckner T. Selection in utero: a biological response to mass layoffs. American Journal of Human Biology. 2010. 22(3):396-400.

Catalano R, Ahern J, Bruckner T, Anderson E, Saxton K. Gender specific selection in utero among contemporary human birth cohorts. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2009. 23(3):273-8.

Bruckner TA, Saxton KB, Anderson E, Goldman SJ, Gould JB. From paradox to disparity: trends in neonatal death in very low birth weight non-Hispanic black and white infants, 1989?2004. Journal of Pediatrics. 2009. 155(4):482-7.

Catalano RA, Saxton K, Bruckner T, Goldman S, Anderson E. A sex-specific test of selection in utero. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2009. 57(3):475-9.

In The News

August 28, 2020

Kat Saxton wrote an opinion piece with Craig Stevens in the Mercury News about the CDC's new Covid-19 testing guidelines and how it should be ignored as it is scientifically unfounded.