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 80 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.