Matthew Schmolesky

Dr. Matthew Schmolesky

Professor of Psychology, Chair of Studies

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Dr. Matthew Schmolesky was born in West Palm Beach, Fla. He received his B.A. in psychology and philosophy from Furman University, Greenville, S.C. in 1993. He received his master’s in experimental psychology from Wake Forest University in 1995 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Utah in 2000, respectively. 
While studying at the University of Utah, he conducted research on the visual pathways looking at aspects of color, orientation and aging. As a Grass Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Mass.) he studied the well-developed visual system of squid. His postdoctoral research at Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) was focused upon the biological basis of memory using synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum as a model. 
From 2004 to 2006, he served in the U.S. Department of State (most recently for the Science and Technology adviser to Secretary Condoleeza Rice) as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). From 2006 to 2014, Schmolesky served as an assistant/associate professor of psychology and the director of the Neuroscience Program at Weber State University. He is now an associate professor of psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College outside of Atlanta. He teaches a broad range of neuroscience and psychology courses, and his research focuses on the upregulation of neurotrophins (via physical activity, mental activity or diet) and the behavioral genetics of risk taking behavior and cognitive assessment.


  • Doctorate – neuroscience – University of Utah
  • Master’s – experimental psychology – Wake Forest University
  • Bachelor’s – psychology and philosophy – Furman University

Academic Interests

  • Neurotrophins and brain health
  • Behavioral genetics
  • Synaptic plasticity and memory
  • Visual physiology
  • Science public policy


  • WSU Research Mentor Award
  • WSU Excellence in Collaboration Award
  • AAAS Science Policy Fellowship
  • MBL Woods Hole Grass Fellowship

Professional Affiliations

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
  • Sigma Xi The Scientific Research Society
  • Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology