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Mohamed Kabbaj Ph.D.

Mohamed Kabbaj Ph.D.

(850) 644-4930
Main Campus

Job Description

Dr. Kabbaj is a Professor conducting research in the area of stress and drug addiction. Dr. Kabbaj teaches a course in Neuropharmacology within the neuroscience program, facilitates small-group sessions with medical students and teach in various courses within the BMS PHD program.


Dr. Kabbaj earned his Ph.D. at Bordeaux II University (France), and then completed five years of postdoctoral study at the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Dr. Kabbaj joined the department of biomedical sciences at the College of Medicine in August 2002.


B.Sc., Animal Physiology, Neuroscience option, University of Mohamed V, Rabat, Morocco, 1991

M.S., Neurosciences and Pharmacology, University of Bordeaux II, France, Laboratoire de Psychobiologie des Comportements Adaptatifs, 1992

Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, Neurosciences and Pharmacology, Unversity of Bordeaux II, France, Laboratoire de Psychobiologie des Comportements Adaptatifs, 1997

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, University of Michigan, School of Medicine, Mental Health Research Institute, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1997-2001

Research Investigator, University of Michigan, School of Medicine, Mental Health Research Institute, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2001-2002


Dr. Kabbaj is the chair of the BMS P&T committee and the chair of the program in neuroscience students' recruitment committee. He is also member of the FSU Fulbright Student Selection Committee.


2014: Outstanding faculty investigator award
2009: Faculty Council Award Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher
Member of the Social Processes Systems Workshop, NIMH Research Domain Criteria Project (RdoC) (2012).
Developing Scholar Award, Florida State University (2011). ($10,000).
Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher, College of Medicine FSU (2009).
Organizer, The Rushton Seminar series on Drug Addiction and Epigenetics and Behaviors at Florida State University (2006).
Travel Award, International Narcotics Research Conference (2003). ($1,000).
Travel Award, University of Wisconsin (2001). ($1,500).
Travel Award, University of Wisconsin (2000). ($1,500).
PHD obtained with the congratulations of the jury (Honors given only to top 20% of graduates), University of Bordeaux II (1997).


American Society for Neuroscience
Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (2011-present)

Research Focus

Dr. Kabbaj uses animal models (rats, mice and voles) to examine the neurobiology of sex and individual differences in stress and drug addiction. He is also examining epigenetic mechanisms underlying social behaviors.


Duclot, F., Wang, H., Youssef, C., Liu, Y., Wang, Z., & Kabbaj, M (2016). Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Hormones & Behavior. Epub ahead of print.

Wright, K.N., Hollis, F., Duclot, F. Dossat, A.M., Strong,C.E., Francis,T.C., Mercer, R., Feng, J., Dietz,D.M., Lobo, M.K., Nestler, E.J., Kabbaj, M. (2015) Methyl Supplementation Attenuates Cocaine-Seeking Behaviors and Cocaine-Induced c-Fos Activation in a DNA Methylation-Dependent Manner. Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (23), 8948-8958.

Duclot, F. & Kabbaj, M. (2015) The estrous cycle surpasses sex differences in regulating the transcriptome in the rat medial prefrontal cortex and reveals an underlying role of early growth response 1. Genome Biology 16: 256.

Carrier, N., Saland, S., Duclot, F., He, H., Mercer, R., & Kabbaj, M. (2015). The anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of testosterone and estrogen in gonadectomized male rats. Biological Psychiatry, 78(4):259-69

Duclot, F., & Kabbaj, M. (2013). Individual Differences in Novelty Seeking Predict Subsequent Vulnerability to Social Defeat through a Differential Epigenetic Regulation of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Expression. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 11048-60.

Carrier, N., & Kabbaj, M. (2013). Sex differences in the antidepressant-like effects of ketamine. Neuropharmacology, 70, 27-34.

Wang, H., Duclot, F., Liu, Y., Wang, Z., & Kabbaj, M. (2013). Histone deacetylase inhibitors facilitate partner preference formation in female prairie voles. Nature Neuroscience, 16(7), 919-924. Selected for F1000.

Carrier, N., & Kabbaj, M. (2012). Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 signaling in the hippocampus dentate gyrus mediates the antidepressant effects of testosterone. Biological Psychiatry, 71 (1), 642-651. Retrieved from doi:10.1016/j.biopsych

Carrier, N., & Kabbaj, M. (2012). Testosterone and imipramine have antidepressant effects in socially isolated male but not female rats. Hormones and Behavior, 61 (5), 678-685. Retrieved from doi:10.1016/j.

Hollis, F., Gaval-Cruz, M., Carrier, N., Dietz, D., & Kabbaj, M. (2012). Juvenile and adult rats differ in cocaine reward and expression of zif268 in the forebrain. Neuroscience, 200, 91-98. Retrieved from doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience

Hollis, F., Duclot, F., Gunjan, A., & Kabbaj, M. (2011). Individual differences in the effect of social defeat on anhedonia and histone acetylation in the rat hippocampus. Hormones and Behavior, 59 (3), 331-337. Retrieved from

William Renthal, Arvind Kumar, Guanghua Xiao, Matthew Wilkinson, Herbert E. Covington, III, Ian Maze, Devanjan Sikder, Alfred J. Robison, Quincey LaPlant, David M. Dietz, Scott J. Russo, Vincent Vialou, Sumana Chakravarty, Thomas J. Kodadek, Ashley Stack, Mohamed Kabbaj and Eric J. Nestler (2009) Genome Wide Promoter Analysis of Histone Modifications induced by Cocaine; Neuron 62: 335-348

Dietz DM, Dietz KC, Moore S, Ouimet C and Kabbaj M (2008)Repeated social defeat stress-induced sensitization to the locomotor activating effects of d-amphetamine: role of individual differences.Psychopharmacology (Berl). 198(1):51-62.