• Brain Institute investigator
  • Professor, Neurobiology Labs

Research Summary

To understand sensory encoding and brain processing of olfactory information.


  • B.S., Zoology and Neuroscience, Duke University
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Florida


Matt Wachowiak received his B.S. in Zoology and Neuroscience in 1990 from Duke University, and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1996 from the University of Florida. He began working in the chemical senses field in 1986 as a high school research intern at the Duke University Marine Laboratory. As an undergraduate, he became interested in neuroscience, and went on to pursue his Ph.D. under the guidance of Barry Ache, focusing on the functional organization of olfactory processing in the brain of the spiny lobster. He then joined the laboratory of Larry Cohen at Yale University School of Medicine, where he began using optical imaging methods to investigate odor coding in lobsters, turtles and rodents. During this period he also spent time at the University of California at Berkeley, where he supervised an undergraduate teaching laboratory in neuroscience. He became a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Boston University in 2002, and an associate professor in 2008. In 2010, he joined the Brain Institute at the University of Utah as a USTAR Associate Professor of Physiology. Dr. Wachowiak's work focuses on odor coding and processing in rodents, with an emphasis on understanding how olfaction works in the behaving animal.