About Dr. Karen Scott.


“A key focus throughout my research career is understanding how an organism’s perception of, and responses to, cues from the internal and external environment can influence the development of pathological conditions in adulthood.”


Ph.D. from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati.

Master’s degree in Animal Sciences from Purdue University

Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Penn State University.

Research Profile:

Dr. Scott’s research focused on early life stress and its influence on stress susceptibility and social behavior in adulthood, as well as the effects of chronic social stress and early life manipulations on metabolism. Dr. Scott was awarded a competitive Ruth L. Kirchstein F31 Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health that supported her doctoral studies. University College Cork in Cork, Ireland, to conduct a postdoctoral fellowship. There, she studied the gut-brain axis and the role that the gut microbiota plays in mediating this bi-directional communication. Dr. Scott joined the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in spring 2018 as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacodynamics. The goal of her research at the University of Florida is to continue to investigate stress vulnerability and resilience and the role of the gut-brain-microbiota axis, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that includes behavioral, molecular, immunological, and neuroanatomical approaches.


  1. Scott KA, de Kloet AD, Smeltzer MD, Krause EG, Flak JN, Melhorn SJ, Foster MT, Tamashiro KLK, Sakai RR. Susceptibility or resilience? Prenatal stress predisposes male rats to social subordination, but facilitates adaptation to subordinate status. Physiol Behav. 2017 Sep 1;178:117-125. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.006. Epub 2017 Mar 8. PubMed PMID: 28284881; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5513742.
  2. de Kloet AD, Cahill KM, Scott KA, Krause EG. Overexpression of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 reduces anxiety-like behavior in female mice. Physiol Behav. 2020 Oct 1;224:113002. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113002. Epub 2020 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 32525008; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7503770.
  3. Boersma GJ, Smeltzer MD, Scott KA, Scheurink AJ, Tamashiro KL, Sakai RR. Stress coping style does not determine social status, but influences the consequences of social subordination stress. Physiol Behav. 2017 Sep 1;178:126-133. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.12.041. Epub 2017 Jan 6. PubMed PMID: 28069459; NIHMSID:NIHMS844931.
  4. Melhorn SJ, Elfers CT, Scott KA, Sakai RR. A closer look at the subordinate population within the visible burrow system. Physiol Behav. 2017 Sep 1;178:110-116. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.01.039. Epub 2017 Jan 24. PubMed PMID: 28130085; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5513744.
  5. Morais LH, Golubeva AV, Moloney GM, Moya-Pérez A, Ventura-Silva AP, Arboleya S, Bastiaanssen TFS, O’Sullivan O, Rea K, Borre Y, Scott KA, Patterson E, Cherry P, Stilling R, Hoban AE, El Aidy S, Sequeira AM, Beers S, Moloney RD, Renes IB, Wang S, Knol J, Ross RP, O’Toole PW, Cotter PD, Stanton C, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Enduring Behavioral Effects Induced by Birth by Caesarean Section in the Mouse. Curr Biol. 2020 Oct 5;30(19):3761-3774.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.044. Epub 2020 Aug 20. PubMed PMID: 32822606.
  6. Boehme M, van de Wouw M, Bastiaanssen TFS, Olavarría-Ramírez L, Lyons K, Fouhy F, Golubeva AV, Moloney GM, Minuto C, Sandhu KV, Scott KA, Clarke G, Stanton C, Dinan TG, Schellekens H, Cryan JF. Mid-life microbiota crises: middle age is associated with pervasive neuroimmune alterations that are reversed by targeting the gut microbiome. Mol Psychiatry. 2020 Oct;25(10):2567-2583. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0425-1. Epub 2019 May 16. PubMed PMID: 31092898.
  7. de Kloet AD, Krause EG, Scott KA, Foster MT, Herman JP, Sakai RR, Seeley RJ, Woods SC. Central angiotensin II has catabolic action at white and brown adipose tissue. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Dec;301(6):E1081-91. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00307.2011. Epub 2011 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 21862725; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3233774.
  8. Moran TH, Smedh U, Kinzig KP, Scott KA, Knipp S, Ladenheim EE. Peptide YY(3-36) inhibits gastric emptying and produces acute reductions in food intake in rhesus monkeys. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Feb;288(2):R384-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00535.2004. Epub 2004 Sep 23. PubMed PMID: 15388494.
  9. Gururajan A, Naughton ME, Scott KA, O’Connor RM, Moloney G, Clarke G, Dowling J, Walsh A, Ismail F, Shorten G, Scott L, McLoughlin DM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG. MicroRNAs as biomarkers for major depression: a role for let-7b and let-7c. Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Aug 2;6(8):e862. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.131. PubMed PMID: 27483380; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5022079.
  10. Scott KA, Ida M, Peterson VL, Prenderville JA, Moloney GM, Izumo T, Murphy K, Murphy A, Ross RP, Stanton C, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Revisiting Metchnikoff: Age-related alterations in microbiota-gut-brain axis in the mouse. Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Oct;65:20-32. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Feb 4. PubMed PMID: 28179108.
  11. Brierley DI, Holt MK, Singh A, de Araujo A, McDougle M, Vergara M, Afaghani MH, Lee SJ, Scott K, Maske C, Langhans W, Krause E, de Kloet A, Gribble FM, Reimann F, Rinaman L, de Lartigue G, Trapp S. Central and peripheral GLP-1 systems independently suppress eating. Nat Metab. 2021 Feb;3(2):258-273. doi: 10.1038/s42255-021-00344-4. Epub 2021 Feb 15. PubMed PMID: 33589843; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7116821.
  12. Krause EG, de Kloet AD, Scott KA, Flak JN, Jones K, Smeltzer MD, Ulrich-Lai YM, Woods SC, Wilson SP, Reagan LP, Herman JP, Sakai RR. Blood-borne angiotensin II acts in the brain to influence behavioral and endocrine responses to psychogenic stress. J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 19;31(42):15009-15. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0892-11.2011. PubMed PMID: 22016534; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3214963.
  13. Morais LH, Golubeva AV, Casey S, Scott KA, Ramos Costa AP, Moloney GM, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Early-life oxytocin attenuates the social deficits induced by caesarean-section delivery in the mouse. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Oct;46(11):1958-1968. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01040-3. Epub 2021 May 26. PubMed PMID: 34040156; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8429532.
  14. Scott KA, Yamazaki Y, Yamamoto M, Lin Y, Melhorn SJ, Krause EG, Woods SC, Yanagimachi R, Sakai RR, Tamashiro KL. Glucose parameters are altered in mouse offspring produced by assisted reproductive technologies and somatic cell nuclear transfer. Biol Reprod. 2010 Aug 1;83(2):220-7. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.109.082826. Epub 2010 May 5. PubMed PMID: 20445127; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2907285.
  15. Scott KA, Melhorn SJ, Sakai RR. Effects of Chronic Social Stress on Obesity. Curr Obes Rep. 2012 Mar;1(1):16-25. doi: 10.1007/s13679-011-0006-3. PubMed PMID: 22943039; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3428710.
  16. Scott KA, Moran TH. The GLP-1 agonist exendin-4 reduces food intake in nonhuman primates through changes in meal size. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Sep;293(3):R983-7. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00323.2007. Epub 2007 Jun 20. PubMed PMID: 17581835.Frazier CJ, Harden SW, Alleyne AR, Mohammed M, Sheng W, Smith JA, Elsaafien K, Spector EA, Johnson DN, Scott KA, Krause EG, de Kloet AD. An Angiotensin-Responsive Connection from the Lamina Terminalis to the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus Evokes Vasopressin Secretion to Increase Blood Pressure in Mice. J Neurosci. 2021 Feb 17;41(7):1429-1442. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1600-20.2020. Epub 2020 Dec 16. PubMed PMID: 33328294; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7896018.
  17. Smedh U, Scott KA, Moran TH. Fourth ventricular CART peptide induces c-fos in the area postrema and nucleus of the solitary tract via a CRF-receptor dependent mechanism. Neurosci Lett. 2015 Nov 16;609:124-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.10.028. Epub 2015 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 26475505.
  18. Kawaguchi M, Scott KA, Moran TH, Bi S. Dorsomedial hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor mediation of exercise-induced anorexia. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Jun;288(6):R1800-5. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00805.2004. Epub 2005 Jan 27. PubMed PMID: 15677523.
  19. Gao S, Kinzig KP, Aja S, Scott KA, Keung W, Kelly S, Strynadka K, Chohnan S, Smith WW, Tamashiro KL, Ladenheim EE, Ronnett GV, Tu Y, Birnbaum MJ, Lopaschuk GD, Moran TH. Leptin activates hypothalamic acetyl-CoA carboxylase to inhibit food intake. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 30;104(44):17358-63. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0708385104. Epub 2007 Oct 23. PubMed PMID: 17956983; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC20772
  20. Scott KA, Hoban AE, Clarke G, Moloney GM, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Thinking small: towards microRNA-based therapeutics for anxiety disorders. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2015 Apr;24(4):529-42. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2014.997873. Epub 2015 Jan 8. Review. PubMed PMID: 25566796
  21. Smeltzer M, Scott K, Melhorn S, Krause E, Sakai R. Amylin blunts hyperphagia and reduces weight and fat gain during recovery in socially stressed rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012 Sep 15;303(6):R676-82. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00090.2012. Epub 2012 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 22832535; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC346844
  22. Grillo CA, Piroli GG, Evans AN, Macht VA, Wilson SP, Scott KA, Sakai RR, Mott DD, Reagan LP. Obesity/hyperleptinemic phenotype adversely affects hippocampal plasticity: effects of dietary restriction. Physiol Behav. 2011 Aug 3;104(2):235-41. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.10.020. Epub 2010 Oct 29. PubMed PMID: 21036186; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3097290.
  23. Melhorn SJ, Krause EG, Scott KA, Mooney MR, Johnson JD, Woods SC, Sakai RR. Acute exposure to a high-fat diet alters meal patterns and body composition. Physiol Behav. 2010 Jan 12;99(1):33-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.10.004. PubMed PMID: 19835896; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2794977.
  24. Krause EG, Melhorn SJ, Davis JF, Scott KA, Ma LY, de Kloet AD, Benoit SC, Woods SC, Sakai RR. Angiotensin type 1 receptors in the subfornical organ mediate the drinking and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to systemic isoproterenol. Endocrinology. 2008 Dec;149(12):6416-24. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-0477. Epub 2008 Aug 7. PubMed PMID: 18687780; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2613063.
  25. Yang L, Scott KA, Hyun J, Tamashiro KL, Tray N, Moran TH, Bi S. Role of dorsomedial hypothalamic neuropeptide Y in modulating food intake and energy balance. J Neurosci. 2009 Jan 7;29(1):179-90. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4379-08.2009. PubMed PMID: 19129396; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2742174
  26. de Kloet AD, Krause EG, Solomon MB, Flak JN, Scott KA, Kim DH, Myers B, Ulrich-Lai YM, Woods SC, Seeley RJ, Herman JP. Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 Jun;56:110-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.03.008. Epub 2015 Mar 12. PubMed PMID: 25808702; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4511277
  27. Chen J, Scott KA, Zhao Z, Moran TH, Bi S. Characterization of the feeding inhibition and neural activation produced by dorsomedial hypothalamic cholecystokinin administration. Neuroscience. 2008 Mar 3;152(1):178-88. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.12.004. PubMed PMID: 18248910; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2562916.
  28. Futch HS, McFarland KN, Moore BD, Kuhn MZ, Giasson BI, Ladd TB, Scott KA, Shapiro MR, Nosacka RL, Goodwin MS, Ran Y, Cruz PE, Ryu DH, Croft CL, Levites Y, Janus C, Chakrabarty P, Judge AR, Brusko TM, de Kloet AD, Krause EG, Golde TE. An anti-CRF antibody suppresses the HPA axis and reverses stress-induced phenotypes. J Exp Med. 2019 Nov 4;216(11):2479-2491. doi: 10.1084/jem.20190430. Epub 2019 Aug 29. PubMed PMID: 31467037; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6829597
  29. Bi S, Scott KA, Hyun J, Ladenheim EE, Moran TH. Running wheel activity prevents hyperphagia and obesity in Otsuka long-evans Tokushima Fatty rats: role of hypothalamic signaling. Endocrinology. 2005 Apr;146(4):1676-85. doi: 10.1210/en.2004-1441. Epub 2004 Dec 29. PubMed PMID: 15625240.
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  31. Melhorn SJ, Krause EG, Scott KA, Mooney MR, Johnson JD, Woods SC, Sakai RR. Meal patterns and hypothalamic NPY expression during chronic social stress and recovery. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Sep;299(3):R813-22. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00820.2009. Epub 2010 Jul 7. PubMed PMID: 20610828; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2944420.
  32. Bi S, Scott KA, Kopin AS, Moran TH. Differential roles for cholecystokinin a receptors in energy balance in rats and mice. Endocrinology. 2004 Aug;145(8):3873-80. doi: 10.1210/en.2004-0284. Epub 2004 May 3. PubMed PMID: 15123537.
  33. Smedh U, Scott KA, Moran TH. Pretreatment with a CRF antagonist amplifies feeding inhibition induced by fourth ventricular cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide. BMC Neurosci. 2019 Mar 18;20(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12868-019-0494-8. PubMed PMID: 30885137; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6421688.
  34. Smedh U, Scott KA, Moran TH. Fourth ventricular thyrotropin induces satiety and increases body temperature in rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2018 May 1;314(5):R734-R740. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00107.2017. Epub 2018 Jan 3. PubMed PMID: 29351420; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC60081
  35. Sorrells AD, Eicher SD, Scott KA, Harris MJ, Pajor EA, Lay DC Jr, Richert BT. Postnatal behavioral and physiological responses of piglets from gilts housed individually or in groups during gestation. J Anim Sci. 2006 Mar;84(3):757-66. doi: 10.2527/2006.843757x. PubMed PMID: 164789
  36. Kinzig KP, Scott KA, Hyun J, Bi S, Moran TH. Altered hypothalamic signaling and responses to food deprivation in rats fed a low-carbohydrate diet. Obes Res. 2005 Oct;13(10):1672-82. doi: 10.1038/oby.2005.205. PubMed PMID: 16286514.
  37. Kinzig KP, Scott KA, Hyun J, Bi S, Moran TH. Lateral ventricular ghrelin and fourth ventricular ghrelin induce similar increases in food intake and patterns of hypothalamic gene expression. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2006 Jun;290(6):R1565-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00785.2005. Epub 2006 Jan 19. PubMed PMID: 1642408
  38. O’Brien FE, Moloney GM, Scott KA, O’Connor RM, Clarke G, Dinan TG, Griffin BT, Cryan JF. Chronic P-glycoprotein inhibition increases the brain concentration of escitalopram: potential implications for treating depression. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2015 Dec;3(6):e00190. doi: 10.1002/prp2.190. eCollection 2015 Dec. PubMed PMID: 27022464; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4777256.