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Brittany Howell

Brittany Howell, Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Brittany Howell
Brittany Howell

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute 
2 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA 24016
540-526-2076 |

Brittany Howell is an assistant professor in both the Department of Human Development and Family Science and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

Howell blends biological and behavioral analysis to capture a wide range of factors implicated in healthy human brain development. Her laboratory analyzes and compares breast milk composition, feeding habits, stress levels, fecal microbiology, social behavior, and brain imaging data. She studies gut-brain-behavior axis development, and the biological pathways of early experience and maternal influence on infant neurodevelopment.

Accepting new grad students: Yes
In need of students for research team: Yes
Name of research team: Maternal Influence on Neurodevelopment (MIND) Lab

  • Gut-Brain-Behavior Axis Development
  • Biological Pathways of Early Experience and Maternal Influence on Infant Neurodevelopment
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diffusion Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Developmental Social Neuroscience
  • Translational Neuroscience
  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Emory University
  • B.S. in Neuroscience, and Cell and Molecular Biology, Tulane University
  • International Society/Congress of Infant Studies
  •  Society for Research in Child Development 
  • International Society for Developmental Psychobiology 
  • Organization for Human Brain Mapping 
  • Society for Neuroscience 
  • 6th Annual Nutrition & Growth Meeting Abstract Award
  •  Jacobs Foundation Conference Young Scholar, “Reconciling Genes and Contexts:
  •  NIMH Institutional Postdoctoral NRSA Award

Journal Articles

B.R. Howell*, M.A. Styner*, W. Gao*, P.T. Yap*, L. Wang*, K. Baluyot*, E. Yacoub*, G. Chen, T. Potts, A. Salzwedel, G. Li, J.H. Gilmore, J. Piven, J.K. Smith, D. Shen, K. Ugurbil, H. Zhu, W. Lin, J.T. Elison. (2018) The UNC/UMN Baby Connectome Project (BCP): An overview of the study design and protocol development. NeuroImage. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.03.049 *Equal contribution

S. Zhang*, X. Jiang*, W. Zhang*, T. Zhang, H. Cheng, Y. Zhao, Y. Lv, L. Li, Z. Li, L. Guo, B.R. Howell, M.M. Sanchez*, X. Hu*, T. Liu*. (2018) Joint Representation of Connectome-scale Structural and Functional Profiles for Identification of Consistent Cortical landmarks in Macaque Brain. Brain Mapping and Behavior. [*:Equal first or senior author contribution].

Z. Kovacs-Balint, E. Feczko, M.J. Pincus, B.R. Howell, E. Morin, E. Earl, L. Li, J. Steele, M. Styner, J. Bachevalier, D. Fair, M.M. Sanchez. (2018) Early developmental trajectories of functional connectivity along the visual pathways in rhesus monkeys. Cerebral Cortex.

W. Zhang*, X. Jiang*, S. Zhang*, B.R. Howell*, Y. Zhao, T. Zhang, L. Guo, M. Sanchez, X. Hu (2017) Connectome-scale functional intrinsic connectivity networks in macaques. Neuroscience. 364:1-14. Doi: *Shared first authorship.

Y. Shi, F. Budin, E. Yapuncich, A. Rumple, J.T. Young, C. Payne, X. Zhang, X.P. Hu, J. Godfrey, B.R. Howell, M.M. Sanchez, M.A. Styner (2017) UNC-Emory infant atlases for macaque brain image analysis: postnatal brain development through 12 months. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 10(617): 1-12. Doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00617 S.

Drury, B.R. Howell, C. Jones, K. Esteves, R. Schlesinger, K. Baker, M. Sanchez (2017) Shaping longterm trajectories: early maternal maltreatment predicts telomere length trajectory across the first two years of life in rhesus macaques. Development and Psychopathology. Accepted.

B.R. Howell, M. McMurray, D. Guzman, G. Nair, Y. Shi, K. McMormack, X. Hu, M. Styner, M. Sanchez (2016) Maternal buffering beyond glucocorticoids: impact of early life stress on corticolimbic circuits that control infant responses to novelty. Social Neuroscience. 12(1): 50-64. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2016.1200481

M.M. Sanchez, K.M. McCormack, B.R. Howell (2015) Social buffering of stress responses in nonhuman primates: maternal regulation of the development of emotional regulatory brain circuits. Social Neuroscience, 10(5), 512-526. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2015.1087426 K.M. McCormack, B.R. Howell, D.B. Guzman, C. Villongco, K. Pears, H. Kim, M.R. Gunnar, M.M. Sanchez (2015). The development of an instrument to measure global dimensions of maternal care in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). American journal of primatology, 77(1), 20-33. 

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