Mustafa al'Absi

MED - Image - Size 2 - MustafaalAbsi - 2Professor

Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences
Joint Faculty at the Department of Family Medicine; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology; Graduate Faculty at the Department of Neurosciences, and Integrated Biological Science Program
Director, Duluth Medical Research Institute (DMRI)
Max E. and Mary LaDue Pickworth Chair
U of MN Experts Link-Mustafa N al'Absi


My research team is engaged in multiple research programs across multiple sites in the U.S.A. and abroad. Our research focuses on the following themes:

  • Neurobiological mechanisms of stress and risk for heart disease
  • Biological and psychosocial predictors of addiction and relapse
  • Pain perception and endogenous opioid system functions



1. Director of the Behavioral Medicine course and sections.

  • Stress and Chronic Diseases
  • Substance Abuse and Addictive Behaviors
  • Behavioral Health in Primary Care

2. Chronic pain and headache: assessment and treatment

3. Involvement in the following courses:

Medical School

  • Human Behavioral Development and Problems
  • Medical Psychology: Interviewing
  • Psychosocial Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Behavioral Changes (Family Practice Residency Program)
  • Stress Management (Family Practice Residency Program)

Graduate and Undergraduate Cources

  • Introduction to Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • Problems in Medical Behavioral Sciences
  • Physiology of Organ Systems
  • Physiology Research

Selected Publications

see also: PubMed

al’Absi, M., France, C.R., France, J., Harju, Wittmers, L.E. (2006). Adrenocortical and nociceptive responses to opioid blockade in hypertension-prone men and women. Psychosomatic Medicine, 68, 292-298.

al’Absi, M. (2006). Altered psychoendocrine responses to psychological stress and smoking relapse. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 59, 218-227

al’Absi, M., Devereux, R. B. Rao, D.C., Kitzman, D., Oberman, A., Hopkins, P., & Arnett, D. (2006). Blood pressure stress reactivity and left ventricular mass in a random community sample of African American and Caucasian men and women. American Journal of Cardiology, 97, 240-244.

al'Absi, M., Hatsukami, D., & Davis, G. (2005). Attenuated adrenocorticotropic responses to stress predict early relapse. Psychopharmacology, 181, 107-117.

al’Absi, M, France, C.R., France, J., Harju, A., Ring, C., McIntyre, D., Wittmers, L.E. (2005) Effects of baroreflex stimulation on pain perception and nociceptive flexion reflex in men and women. Psychophysiology, 42, 83-91.

al’Absi, M., Wittmers, L., Ellestad, D., Nordehn, G., Kim, S.W., Kirschbaum, C., & Grant, J.E. (2004). Sex differences in pain and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical responses to opioid blockade. Psychosomatic Medicine, 166, 198-206

al’Absi, M., Hatsukami, D., Davis. G. L., & Wittmers, L. (2004). Prospective examination of effects of smoking abstinence on cortisol and withdrawal symptoms as predictors of early smoking relapse. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 73, 267-278

al’Absi, M., & Lovallo, W.R. (2004). Neuroendocrine effects of caffeine and stress. In Nehlig, A., Coffee, Tea, Chocolate and the Brain. Nutrition, Brain, and Behavior : A Book Series. Taylor & Francis Group, New York.113-132.

al’Absi, M., & Petersen, K.L. (2003). Blood pressure but not cortisol mediates stress effects on subsequent pain perception in healthy men and women. Pain, 106, 285-95.

al’Absi, M., & Hoffman, R. (2003). Hypertension. In Cohen, L.M., McChargue, D.E., & Collins, F.L. The Health Psychology Handbook : Practical Issues for the Behavioral Medicine Specialist. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. pp. 252-278.

al’Absi, M., & Wittmers, L.E. (2003). Enhanced adrenocortical responses to stress in hypertension-prone men and women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 25, 25-33.

al’Absi, M., Wittmers, L.E., Erickson, J., Hatsukami, D., and Crouse, B. (2003). Attenuated adrenocortical and blood pressure responses to psychological stress in ad libitum and abstinent smokers. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 74, 401-410

al’Absi, M., Amunrud, T., & Wittmers, L.E. (2002). Psychophysiological effects of nicotine abstinence and behavioral challenges in habitual smokers. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 72,707-716.

al'Absi, M., Hugdahl, K., & Lovallo, W. R. (2002). Adrenocortical responses and cognitive performance. Psychophysiology, 39, 95-99.

al’Absi, M., Devereux, R. B. Lewis, C., Kitzman, D., Rao, D.C., Hopkins, P., Markovitz, J., & Arnett, D. (2002) Relation of cardiovascular stress reactivity to left ventricular mass and relative wall thickness in hypertensives: effects of race and gender. American Journal of Cardiology, 89, 536-540.

al’Absi, M., Petersen, K., & Wittmers, L. (2002). Adrenocortical and hemodynamic predictors of pain perception in men and women. Pain , 92, 197-205.

al'Absi, M., & Arnett, D.K. (2000). Adrenocortical responses to psychological stress and risk for hypertension. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 54, 234-244

al’Absi, M., Petersen, K., & Wittmers, L. (2000). Blood pressure and not parental history for hypertension predicts pain perception in women. Pain , 88, 61-68

al’Absi, M., Bongard, S., & Lovallo, W. R. (2000). Effects of habitual anger expression and defensiveness on ACTH and cortisol responses to behavioral challenges. International Journal Psychophysiology, 37, 257-265

al'Absi, M., Buchanan, T., Marrero, A., & Lovallo, W. R. (1999). Sex differences in pain perception and cardiovascular responses in persons with parental history for hypertension. Pain, 83,331-338.

al'Absi, M., Lovallo, W. R., Mckey, B., Sung, B. H.., & Wilson, M. F. (1998) Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical responses to psychological stress and caffeine in men at high and low risk for hypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine , 60, 521-527.


al’Absi, M. (Editor). Stress and Addiction: Biological and Psychosocial Mechanisms. 2007. Elsevier, London, U.K.

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