Tod Kippin

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Professor and Vice Chair

Research Area

Neuroscience and Behavior


Tod Kippin earned a BSc and a MA in Biopsychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He completed his PhD in Psychology (2000) at the Centre for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where he received the Stanley G. French Convocation Award. Dr. Kippin conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and in the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston before joining the PBS faculty in 2005.


One of the most remarkable characteristics of the mammalian nervous system is its tremendous plasticity allowing seemingly limitless adaptability to environmental circumstances which enables not only adaptive responses but also pathological behavioral outcomes. My research interests lie in understanding the parameters that govern the action of cellular components of the nervous system that produce coordinated behavioral, endocrine, and cognitive processes. The focus of my current research is understanding why some individuals can take drugs but not succumb to addiction while others develop compulsive pathological behaviors that disrupt all aspects of their lives. Although the factors mediating vulnerability and resilience to drug addiction is currently limited, emerging studies demonstrate that genetics, endocrine, and environmental factors contribute to initial drug response as well as changes due to cumulative drug exposure at the behavioral, neurochemical and molecular levels. To investigate these phenomena, my laboratory employs a variety of behavioral assays, genetic and transgenic models, tissue culture, pcr (polymerase chain reaction) for DNA and RNA analyses, immunocytochemistry and Western blotting for protein analyses, as well as microdialysis with HPLC and developing novel biosensors for analyses of neurochemistry.

Selected Publications

Ploense KL, Li X, Baker-Andresen D, Carr AE, Woodward N, Bagley J, Szumlinski KK, Bredy TW, Kippin TE(2018). Prolonged-access to cocaine induces distinct Homer2 DNA methylation, hydroxymethylation, and transcriptional profiles in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of Male Sprague-Dawley rats. Neuropharmacology.143:299-305.

Arroyo-Currás N, Dauphin-Ducharme P, Ortega G, Ploense KL, Kippin TE, Plaxco KW. (2018). Subsecond-Resolved Molecular Measurements in the Living Body Using Chronoamperometrically Interrogated Aptamer-Based Sensors. ACS Sens. 3(2):360-366.

Arroyo-Currás N, Somerson J, Vieira PA, Ploense KL, Kippin TE, Plaxco KW. (2017). Real-time measurement of small molecules directly in awake, ambulatory animals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(4):645-650.

Szumlinski KK, Lominac KD, Campbell RR, Cohen M, Fultz EK, Brown CN, Miller BW, Quadir SG, Martin D, Thompson AB, von Jonquieres G, Klugmann M, Phillips TJ, Kippin TE. (2017). Methamphetamine Addiction Vulnerability: The Glutamate, the Bad, and the Ugly. Biol Psychiatry. 81(11):959-970.

Kerstetter KA, Ballis MA, Duffin-Lutgen S, Carr AE, Behrens AM, Kippin TE. (2012). Sex differences in selecting between food and cocaine reinforcement are mediated by estrogen. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Nov;37(12):2605-14.

Kippin TE, Szumlinski KK, Kapasova Z, Rezner B, See RE. (2008). Prenatal stress enhances responsiveness to cocaine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 33(4):769-82.

Kerstetter KA, Aguilar VR, Parrish AB, Kippin TE. (2008). Protracted time-dependent increases in cocaine-seeking behavior during cocaine withdrawal in female relative to male rats. Psychopharmacology 198(1):63-75.