Scott S. Downing, Ph.D.


Bioinformatics Research Scientist

Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

Ph.D.: Boston University School of Medicine



Dr. Scott Downing earned his doctoral degree in Pharmacology from the Boston University School of Medicine where he trained under the supervision of Dr. Terrell Gibbs.

Dr. Downing completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics where his research included investigations of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of anxiety and cognitive deficits by screening for and characterizing potential drugs at application-specific GABAA receptor subtypes. While a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Downing co-led a high-throughput screening center conducting ion channel screening projects for three pharmaceutical companies.  He redesigned a high-throughput, drug screening system to automate data analysis and reduce operational complexity, increasing the screening efficiency for ion channel modulators by 500%.  He wrote the computer codes for digital signal processing and statistical analysis (digital filtering, nonlinear, least squares curve fitting and t tests) with LabVIEW and MATLAB. He also constructed a client/server network with Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP clients, MAC clients and a Redhat Linux server to centralize data storage and provide distributed data collection / analysis.

Dr. Downing’s is currently a member of our in vivo electrophysiology team.  His work is focused on studying potential therapeutics for cognitive and memory enhancement.  He has developed techniques and code (MATLAB) to analyze in-vivo electrophysiological data derived from our recordings of hippocampal place cell activity. He has implemented unsupervised machine learning techniques to sort the large number of waveforms recorded through each electrode and developed methods to remove hardware-based filtering artifacts from recorded data.

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