Scott Wong

Phone: (403) 394-3915


Dr. Aaron Gruber


Scott was born and raised in Calgary, AB. After high school he moved to Lethbridge to complete an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. During this time Scott also spent a year at Mount Royal University, where he received specialized training in Athletic Therapy. However, after completing his degree, Scott realized that his true passion lay in neuroscience. With this in mind, he completed a second degree in Neuroscience and is currently a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Aaron Gruber at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience.


Scott’s research is focused on the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in reward, learning, and addiction. To investigate these processes, he is utilizing optogenetics in genetically-engineered rats and mice. These transgenic animals express a light-sensitive protein in dopamine neurons. When a fiber optic cable delivers light to these cells, a conformational change in this light-sensitive protein occurs. This change causes ions to flow across the cell membrane and an action potential to be initiated, leading to dopamine release. This method allows Scott to directly control dopamine release in reward processing regions such as the ventral tegmental area, allowing him to study the resulting changes in cell morphology, electrical activity, and animal behaviour.


  • 2014 – B.Sc. Neuroscience (with Great Distinction), University of Lethbridge
  • 2011 – B.Sc. Exercise Science, University of Lethbridge
  • 2010 – Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy, Mount Royal University