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Ian Scott

Title: Senior Scientist, Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Designations: PhD
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 301572
Alternate Contact Name: Janice Cheng
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 304994
Alternate Email:


Born and raised in Ottawa, Dr. Scott’s interest in biology wasn’t really piqued until he carried out his undergraduate studies at Queen’s University.

Convinced he wanted to become a biochemist by several summers of liquid chromatography, he started his PhD studies at the University of Toronto, where he was first exposed to developmental biology and the endlessly fascinating question of how a single cell becomes an organism.

Following his PhD studies in Toronto on mouse placental development, he was fortunate to be able to carry out his postdoctoral studies with Dr. Didier Stainier at UCSF. Aside from being exposed to the zebrafish model and excellent mentorship, he had the chance to participate in a full genetic screen. Countless hours of observing cardiac mutants fully tempered his scientific interests, with identification and (eventual…) cloning of the grinch mutant setting his interest in early development and cardiogenesis. On top of that, he got to live in San Francisco, and meet his future wife.

As a PI, he truly enjoys his role as a facilitator for the development of trainees as independent scientists. His best days are those where people bring him their new ideas (and of course, data) as they become masters of their own projects. Outside the lab, he enjoys family time, sports/Crossfit, reading, and playing DnD with his boys and others.


Research in the Scott lab is focused on how cardiac fate is first established, and how the heart later grows and develops.  Using the advantages of the zebrafish embryo, his group employs genetic, embryological, bioinformatic, genomic and live imaging approaches to study the earliest events of cardiovascular development.

Research interests include:  

  • Understanding the role of Aplnr signaling in migration of cardiac progenitors to the heart-forming region;  
  • Deciphering the gene regulatory networks that govern vertebrate heart development and regeneration; 
  • Modeling and examination of congenital heart disease; 
  • The role of CCM3 in cranial vasculature development and stability. Ultimately, he hopes to use these models to interrogate novel therapeutic approaches to cardiovascular diseases. 

Education and experience

  • 2001–2004: Post-doctoral fellow, UCSF (supervisor: Dr. Didier Stainier), San Francisco, CA 
  • 1994–2001: PhD, Department of Medical genetics, University of Toronto (supervisor: Dr. Jay Cross), Toronto, ON 
  • 19901994: B.Sc. (hons), Department of Biochemistry, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON 


  1. Gibb, N., Lazic, S., Yuan, X., Deshwar, A.S., Wilson, M.D. and Scott, I.C. Hey2 regulates the size of the cardiac progenitor pool during development. Development 145 (22), dev167510 (2018). 
  2. Yuan, X., Song, M., Devine, P., Bruneau, B.G., Scott, I.C. and Wilson M.D. Heart enhancers with deeply conserved regulatory activity are established early in zebrafish development. Nature Communications 9 (1), 4977 (2018). (co-corresponding author) 
  3. Deshwar, A.R., Chng, S.C., Ho, L., Reversade, B. and Scott, I.C. The Apelin receptor enhances Nodal/TGFB signaling to ensure proper cardiac development. eLife 10:e13758 (2016). 
  4. Yoruk, B., Giller, B.S., Chi, N.C. and Scott, I.C. Ccm3 functions in a manner distinct from Ccm1 and Ccm2 in a zebrafish model of CCM vascular diseaseDevelopmental Biology 362 (2), 121-131 (2012). 
  5. Lazic, S. and Scott, I.C. Mef2cb regulates late myocardial cell addition from a second heart field-like population of progenitors in zebrafishDevelopmental Biology 354 (1), 123-133 (2011). 

See a full list of Ian Scott's publications

External funding

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
  • SickKids Foundation 
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