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Howell Lab

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Led by principal investigator Brittany Howell, Ph.D., the Howell Lab, also called the Maternal Influences on Neurodevelopment (MIND) Lab, is dedicated to improving mother-infant health outcomes for our community by exploring the factors that influence healthy infant brain and behavioral development.

We help families in our community through scientific research and provide a welcoming environment for our research participants. We perform a variety of assessments, while focusing on provide a welcoming, safe environment for all of our research participants. All of our research methods are non-invasive, and help our researchers understand and define characteristics that influence healthy infant brain development. Known factors that are important to healthy neurodevelopment include feeding and sleep habits, nutrition, stress levels, and social interactions.


The HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study

Mother and baby playing

Meet the Lab



  • Sadia Ahmed, Graduate Research Assistant, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Undergraduate Students

  • Saket Bikmal, Computational and Systems Neuroscience, Virginia Tech Class of 2022
  • Morgan Hadank, Biomedical Sciences, Virginia Tech Class of 2023
  • Kavya Iyer, Biochemistry, Roanoke College Class of 2022
  • Swati Lodha, Virginia Tech
  • Kellyn Rivera Rivas, Human Development, Virginia Tech Class of 2022
  • Anne Scyrkels, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech Class of 2023


  • Erin VandeLinde, IBCLC
  • Grayson Russell, High School Student

Lab News