The Scott lab's research is aimed at learning fundamental molecular mechanisms of development, including gene regulation and cell-cell signaling. He also studies the formation and function of brain circuitry. He works with cultured cells, Drosophila, and mice to investigate how normal embryos grow and what goes wrong in birth defects, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease. A major goal is to identify and explore new genes and proteins that control development. The lab group investigates the development of the nervous system, especially the cerebellum, using cell and tissue culture, genomics, and transgenic animals. Cells are grown on controlled and patterned surfaces to govern neurite outgrowth. To investigate signal transduction between and within cells, the group studies regulators that control cell morphology and intracellular trafficking. Time-lapse video of engineered proteins is combined with genetic modifications that alter cell-cell signaling and the assembly and transport of organelles. Imaging and image processing are important tools. Collaborative engineering projects have included the invention of an embryo sorting instrument and the development of new injection methods applicable to high-throughput screens of gene functions.