Scott E. Counts, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine
Scott grew up in Virginia and South Carolina and received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, concentrating in History and English. After working for several years as a chemist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2000, studying under Dr. Allan I. Levey in the Department of Neurology to understand the metabolic regulation of presenilin-1, a key protein involved in familial forms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). That same year, he joined Dr. Elliott J. Mufson’s lab at Rush University Medical Center as an Instructor of Neurological Sciences, studying cholinergic mechanisms of AD and its prodromal stage, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as part of Rush’s NIA-funded Training Program in Age-related Neurodegenerative Disorders. Dr. Counts was appointed to an Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences at Rush in 2003 based on his expertise in using functional genomic technologies to compare and contrast postmortem brain samples from people who died within the clinical spectrum of no cognitive impairment (NCI) to MCI to AD. In 2013, Dr. Counts was recruited to Michigan State University as an Associate Professor of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine (primary) and Family Medicine (secondary) at the Grand Rapids campus. His research has been continuously funded since 1998 and he is an author of over 50 papers and book chapters on the molecular pathogenesis of AD. When not in the lab, Scott has enjoyed exploring Grand Rapids and western Michigan with his family.
|Institution||Field of Study||Degree Earned||Year|
|Davidson College, Davidson, NC||History, English||A.B.||1986|
|Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA||Neuroscience||Ph.D||2000|
The goal of Dr. Counts’ research is to understand the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of selective neuronal vulnerability in AD. Specific topics of interest include gene regulation within vulnerable projection neurons of cholinergic basal forebrain, noradrenergic locus coeruleus, and glutamatergic medial temporal lobe circuits, differential gene regulation in familial and sporadic AD, mechanisms of neurogenetic protection during AD progression, and the discovery of potential cerebrospinal fluid AD biomarkers. These studies are addressed by combining state-of-the-art functional genomic approaches with autopsied tissue from subjects who died with a clinical diagnosis of NCI, MCI, or AD. This allows us the unique opportunity to correlate our findings with clinical pathologic variables collected for these subjects. Dr. Counts also incorporates preclinical transgenic mouse and cell culture models to analyze his human tissue findings mechanistically. Bridging insights into the molecular pathology of AD with current knowledge of clinical disease and human neuropathology is critical for advancing translational research into disease-modifying therapeutics.
- Laser Capture Microdissection
- Single cell RNA amplification
- microRNA profiling
- PCR-based methods
- Primary neuron and neuronotypic cell culture
- In vitro and in vivo gene transfer and pharmacology
- Tissue and cell culture enzymology
- Immunoblot, immunoprecipitation, ELISA
- Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis