Scott, Michael M.

Michael Scott

Michael M. Scott

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Pharmacology


  • BS, Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • MS, Pharmacology, Queen's University
  • PhD, Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University

Contact Information

PO Box 800735
1340 Jefferson Park Ave., Pinn Hall, Room 5050C
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Telephone: 434-243-1920
Fax: 434-982-3878

Research Interests

Investigation of the neuronal circuits and epigenetic modifications involved in the control of food and drug reward

Research Description

We have three main projects that are ongoing in the laboratory. The first project involves an investigation into the necessity and sufficiency of prefrontal cortical projections to the nucleus accumberns in driving changes in impulsive behavior, attention, food seeking behavior, social interaction, and anxiety behaviors. Our work involves a collaboration between Dr. Mark Beenhakker of the Department of Pharmacology and Dr. Manoj Patel of the Department of Anesthesiology. A second project focuses on the population genetics of binge feeding. We have begun to examine, using the Diversity Outcross mouse population, quantitative trait loci (QTLs), expression QTLs and epigenomic QTLs that may responsible for driving excessive food intake. This project involves an active collaboration between the Scott lab, Dr. Mazhar Adli of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Charles Farber of the Department of Public Health Science. Finally, a third project focuses on the study of nicotine vapor self administration in mice. Our novel method allows us to model the way in which e-cigarettes or other vapor sources deliver nicotine and flavorings to the animal. We are currently testing the reinforcing properties of nicotine at concentrations that are currently commercially available, in adult and adolescent mice. We are also testing how flavorings affect the drive to self-administer vapor. We anticipate that future studies will be focused on the characterization of the epigenetic effects of nicotine vapor exposure and the neuronal cell types driving nicotine vapor seeking behavior. Our work involves a collaboration between Dr. Imad Damaj of Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Nadine Kabbani, of George Mason University. This project is currently funded through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) Large Grant Mechanism, titled: Investigation of nicotine vapor self-administration in mice.

Selected Publications