By sensing and compensating wavefront aberration, adaptive optics (AO) systems have proven themselves crucial in large astronomical telescopes, retinal imaging, and holographic coherent imaging. Commercial AO systems for laboratory use are now available in the market. One such is the ThorLabs AO kit built around a Boston Micromachines deformable mirror. However, there are limitations in applying these systems to research and pedagogical projects since the software is written with limited flexibility. In this paper, we describe a MATLAB-based software suite to interface with the ThorLabs AO kit by using the MATLAB Engine API and Visual Studio. The software is designed to offer complete access to the wavefront sensor data, through the various levels of processing, to the command signals to the deformable mirror and fast steering mirror. In this way, through a MATLAB GUI, an operator can experiment with every aspect of the AO system's functioning. This is particularly valuable for tests of new control algorithms as well as to support student engagement in an academic environment. We plan to make the code freely available to the community.