Scott has a background in both Theoretical Physics and Molecular Biology and currently leads a research group in Single Molecule Science at the University of New South Wales. Scott studied his PhD at the John Innes Centre with Caroline Dean and Martin Howard, combining theoretical and experimental biology approaches to understand mechanisms of epigenetic memory in Arabidopsis thaliana. He then moved to Switzerland as a HFSP postdoctoral fellow, working with Lucas Pelkmans at the University of Zurich. There, he shifted model systems from plants to mammalian cells, and became immersed in the wonderful world of modern single-cell biology. Scott is interested in using quantitative techniques particularly microscopy and mathematical modelling to pursue a deeper understanding of how individual cells regulate the expression of the genome
We are interested in the mechanisms used by cells to regulate gene-specific and global RNA abundance – ranging from epigenetic memory and cellular decision-making to global RNA metabolism in the context of cellular physiology. We seek to generate a quantitative understanding of these processes.
Our research methodology is a combination of ‘top-down’ (data-driven) and ‘bottom-up’ (hypothesis-driven) approaches. We make extensive use of high-throughput microscopy and automated image analysis, which enables detailed measurement of quantitative cellular phenotypes (for example, the abundance and localisations of specific proteins or RNAs) across large cell populations. Resulting datasets are then analysed using a variety of methods from data science. We complement these image-based approaches with functional genomics experiments, based on next-generation sequencing – providing exquisite genomic resolution, and use perturbation experiments including genome and epigenome-editing to test specific hypotheses.