About Me

I am an expert on cannabinoid receptors, and am noted for my discovery of the brain cannabinoid receptor that is stimulated by Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis extracts. I have worked with academic and pharmaceutical company chemists to study how THC, and synthetic drugs that are based upon THC, work in the brain. I have been active in the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and served as president in 2009-2010. Currently, I am an Associate Editor of the journal “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research”. My research is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

I am Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. I am the director of an NIH-funded program to train postdocs in research and teaching, entitled “Postdoctoral Research, Instruction and Mentoring Experience” (PRIME). I have trained 17 post-doctoral, 6 pre-doctoral Ph.D., 13 M.S., 24 undergraduate, and 15 summer program or medical students. I am also on the training faculty for three NIH training grants at Wake Forest University Graduate School.

Research Laboratory

Howlett Lab - The Howlett lab investigates cannabinoid and endocannabinoid drugs that promote therapeutically beneficial actions.

Educational Program Involvement

Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology PhD
Program Research Interest: 
Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cardiovascular Physiology and Hypertension, Regenerative Medicine, Neuro- and Behavioral Pharmacology, Cancer Therapeutics Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Lifespan Physiology.

Graduate Programs in Neuroscience
Program Research Interest:
Addiction and Substance Abuse, Behavioral and Systems Neurobiology, Development and Plasticity, Molecular Neurobiology, Neurological Disease and Aging, Neuropharmacology, Sensory Neurobiology

Molecular Medicine and Translational Science PhD
Program Research Interest: Analytical approaches to molecular and cellular synthesis, structure and function, Genetics and gene regulation, Cell communications, Organ systems, Pathophysiology