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The Howe Lab

Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience

What we do

Our lab, a neuroscience lab based in Blacksburg, Virginia, investigates the complexities involved in decision making and attentional control. We take a multi-disciplinary approach, using the mouse model system in combination with viral-tract tracing, opto/chemogenetics, and live fluorescence imaging to identify the circuitry underlying ascending monoaminergic and cholinergic control of behavior.

News & Events

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NIH grant interview with Dr. Howe

Dr. William "Matt" Howe, principal investigator of the Howe Lab, recently interviewed with Virginia Tech about his research.


You can read the article here.

Dr. Matt Howe, Ph.D.

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Principal Investigator

Originally from North Carolina, I completed my PhD in Biopsychology at the University of Michigan.  Working under the guidance of Martin Sarter, my research focused on determining how the neurotransmitter acetylcholine controls activity in cortical circuits that mediate attention.  Interested in the application of basic science to the development of new treatments for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, after my PhD I spent 4 years in Boston working in drug development at Pfizer. There, I investigated cholinergic, as well as dopaminergic, targets in the cortex and striatum for treating behavioral impairments in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

Missing my academic roots, in 2017 I moved from Pfizer to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai. With my mentor Paul Kenny, I expanded my interests to include circuits connecting central and peripheral nervous systems that control reward learning and motivation. In the Fall of 2019, I moved to Virginia, joined the School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech, and started up the Howe Lab. I am also an assistant professor and teach Neuroscience of Drug Addiction (NEUR 3914) during the fall semester. 

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