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Alison J. Scott, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Secondary Appointment(s):

Microbiology and Immunology

Additional Title:

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology


School of Dentistry, 9th Floor, Room 9209

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Spring 2015 – Spring 2016, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Advisor: Dr. David Goodlett
  • PhD, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, 2015, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Advisor: Dr. Robert Ernst
  • BS, Analytical Biochemistry, 2004, Eastern Michigan University


Dr. Alison Scott is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry Department of Microbial Pathogenesis where she focuses on host-directed therapies for infectious diseases. Alison earned her undergraduate degree in Analytical Biochemistry at Eastern Michigan University. Later, she completed her graduate studies in Molecular Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Ernst where she defined new pathological mechanisms of bacterial infection using image-driven methods. Her post-doctoral work in Dr. Dave Goodlett’s laboratory focused on method development and data analysis tools for mass spectrometry imaging of the host-pathogen interface.

Her current work focuses on the dynamic lipid response during inflammation - a poorly understood component of many pathologic states. Using a combination of advanced lipidomic and metabolomic mapping techniques by mass spectrometry imaging her laboratory is working to understanding disease mechanisms to identify novel, host-directed therapeutic targets. Dr. Scott’s previous work defined a lethal role for lipids during infection with a TLR4-stealth pathogen. She is currently working to extend these findings into new model systems including multiple pulmonary infection models and sterile inflammation models. Finally, her laboratory is testing bespoke lipids to modify the innate immune response in a model of neurodegeneration linked to sterile inflammation.

Research/Clinical Keywords

dentistry, microbial pathogenesis, dynamic lipid response during inflammation

Highlighted Publications

Scott AJ, Chandler CE, Ellis SR, Heeren RMA, Ernst RK. “Maintenance of deep lung architecture and automated airway segmentation for 3D mass spectrometry imaging.” 2019 Scientific Reports 9(20160): 1-12. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56364-4

Scott AJ, Post JM, Lerner R, Ellis SR, Lieberman J, Shirey KA, Heeren RMA, Bindila L, Ernst RK. “Host-based lipid inflammation drives pathogenesis in Francisella infection.” 2017 PNAS 114(47):12596-12601. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1712887114

Scott AJ, Oyler BL, Goodlett DR and Ernst RK. “Lipid A structural modifications in extreme conditions and identification of unique modifying enzymes to define the Toll-like receptor 4 structure-activity relationship.” 2017 BBA Molec Cell Biol Lipids 1862(11): 1439-1450. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2017.01.004

Scott AJ, Flinders B, Cappell J, Liang T, Pelc RS, Tran B, Kilgour DPA, Heeren RMA, Goodlett DR, Ernst RK. “Norharmane enhances simultaneous mass spectrometry imaging of pathogen, host, and vector lipids.” 2016 Pathog Dis 74(8): 1-9. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftw097