Mustafa al'Absi, PhD

Professor, Department of Family Medicine and BioBehavioral Health

Mustafa al'Absi

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-2214

Fax 218- 726-7559

Office Address:
236 SMED
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

PhD, University of Oklahoma


Dr. al’Absi is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health, and directs the Duluth Global Health Research Institute. He holds the Max E. and Mary LaDue Pickworth Chair. Al'Absi has been honored with several awards, including the ABMR Neal E. Miller Award and American Psychosomatic Society Herbert Weiner Early Career Award. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences; has served in leadership positions within several scientific organizations and on several NIH panels; and is associate editor for Psychophysiology and on the editorial board of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.


Stress and addictive behaviors

Stress psychobiology and appetite regulation

Stress and risk for cardiovascular diseases

Awards & Recognition

  • The National Institute of Health NIDA International Award of Excellence in Collaborative Research, 2016
  • Herbert Weiner Early Career Award for Psychosomatic Medicine, 2004
  • The Neal E. Miller Young Investigator Award (ABMR), 2000

Professional Associations

  • Academy for Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR), 2010 - present
  • Fellow, the Association for Psychological Sciences (APS), 2009-present


Research Funding Grants

2003-2023, NIH/NIDA (PI), Stress, Endogenous Opioids, and Addiction Relapse

2010-2022, NIH/NIDA (PI), Stress, Appetite, and Smoking Relapse; Concurrent use of cannabis and tobacco

2017-2019, IARPA, Multimodal Objective Sensing to Assess Individuals with Context (MOSAIC) Program (Site PI)

2012-2018, NIH/NIDDK, Stress Exposure, Response, and Mental Health among Indigenous Adults with Type 2 Diabetes (Co-investigator

2012-2018, NIH/NIDA, Sex Differences and Progesterone Effects on Impulsivity, Smoking & Cocaine Abuse. Co-Investigator

2012-17, NIH, co-investigator, "Sex Differences and Progesterone Effects on Impulsivity, Smoking & Cocaine Abuse"

2012-17, NIH, co-investigator, "Smoking, Sex Hormones, and Pregnancy"

2014-16, NIH, PI, "Evaluating New Nicotine Standards for Cigarettes Project 2"

2012-16, NIH, PI, "Predicting Smoking Abstinence via Mobile Monitoring of Stress and Social"

2012-15, National Science Foundation (NSF), PI,"SHB: Type I (EXP): Collaborative Research: EasySense: Contact-less Physiological Sensing in the Mobile Environment Using Compressive Radio Frequency Probes"

2013-14, NIH, PI, "Evaluating New Nicotine Standards for Cigarettes-Project 1"

2012-14, NIH, Fogarty International, co-investigator, "Capacity Building for Tobacco Control in Tunisia, North Africa & Middle East"

2012-14, NIH, co-investigator, "Stress and Type 2 Diabetes Among Indigenous Adults"

2012-14, NIH, co-investigator, "Progesterone and Postpartum Relapse to Smoking"

2010-14, NIH/NIDA, PI, "Stress, Appetite and Smoking Relapse"

2010-14, NIH NIDA, PI, “Stress Response and Opioid Dysfunction in Nicotine Dependence”

2009-14 NIH, PI, "Khat Research Program: Neurobehavioral Impact of Long-Term Use"


  1. Allen AM; Jung AM; Alexander AC; Allen SS; Ward KD; al'Absi M, 2020. Cannabis Use and Stressful Life Events during the Perinatal Period: Cross-sectional Results from Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) Data, 2016. Addiction.
  2. Lissek T, Adams M, Adelman J, al'Absi M, et al. Building Bridges through Science. Neuron. 2017;96(4):730‐735. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.028.
  3. Hatsukami, D. K., Luo, X., Heskin, A. K., Tang, M. K., Carmella, S. G., Jensen, J., et al., al’Absi, M. (2019). Effects of immediate versus gradual nicotine reduction in cigarettes on biomarkers of biological effects. Addiction, 114(10), 1824-1833.
  4. El Mhamdi, S., Lemieux, A., Abroug, H., Ben Salah, A., Bouanene, I., Ben Salem, K., al’Absi, M. (2019). Childhood exposure to violence is associated with risk for mental disorders and adult's weight status: a community-based study in Tunisia. J Public Health (Oxf), 41(3), 502-510.
  5. Meier, E., Vandrey, R., Rubin, N., Pacek, L. R., Jensen, J. A., Donny, E. C., al’Absi, M. et al. (2019). Cigarette Smokers vs. Co-users of Cannabis and Cigarettes: Exposure to Toxicants. Nicotine Tob Res.
  6. Walls, M., Dertinger, M., Unzen, M., Forsberg, A., Aronson, B., Wille, S., al’Absi, M. (2019). Assessment of feasibility and outcomes of a salivary cortisol collection protocol in five American Indian communities. Stress, 1-10.
  7. Ben Salah A, Lemieux A, Mlouki I, Amor I, Bouanene I, Ben Salem K, al'Absi M, (2019). Impact of social violence and childhood adversities on pregnancy outcomes: a longitudinal study in Tunisia. Glob Health. 2019 Dec;9(2):020435. doi: 10.7189/jogh.09.020435.
  8. Nakajima, M., Allen, S., & al'Absi, M. (2019). Influences of the Menstrual Phase on Cortisol Response to Stress in Nicotine Dependent Women: A Preliminary Examination. Nicotine & Tobacco Research:official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 21(5), 617-622. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty071 doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty071
  9. Allen, A. M., Jung, A. M., Lemieux, A. M., Alexander, A. C., Allen, S. S., Ward, K. D., & al'Absi, M. (2019). Stressful life events are associated with perinatal cigarette smoking. Preventive medicine, 118, 264-271. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.11.012 doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.11.012
  10. El Mhamdi, S., Lemieux, A., Ben Fredj, M., Bouanene, I., Ben Salah, A., Abroug, H., . . . al'Absi, M. (2018). Social and early life adversity and chronic health conditions among Tunisian adults. Translational behavioral medicine. doi: 10.1093/tbm/iby126 doi: 10.1093/tbm/iby126
  11. al'Absi, M., Nakajima, M., & Lemieux, A. (2018). Impact of early life adversity on the stress biobehavioral response during nicotine withdrawal. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 98, 108-118. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.08.022 doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.08.022
  12. El Mhamdi, S., Lemieux, A., Ben Salah, A., Bouanene, I., Ben Salem, K., & al'Absi, M. (2018). Exposure to community and collective violence during childhood and tobacco use patterns among young adults in Tunisia. Health & social care in the community, 26(6), 935-945. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12623 doi: 10.1111/hsc.12623
  13. Atlas, L. Y., & al?Absi, M. (2018). The Neuroscience of Pain: Biobehavioral, Developmental, and Psychosocial Mechanisms Relevant to Intervention Targets. Psychosomatic medicine, 80(9), 788-790. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000642 doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000642
  14. Hatsukami, D. K., Luo, X., Jensen, J. A., al'Absi, M., Allen, S. S., Carmella, S. G., . . . Donny, E. C. (2018). Effect of Immediate vs Gradual Reduction in Nicotine Content of Cigarettes on Biomarkers of Smoke Exposure: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 320(9), 880-891. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.11473 doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.11473
  15. Nakajima, M., Hoffman, R., Alsameai, A., Khalil, N. S., & al'Absi, M. (2018). Development of the Khat Knowledge, Attitudes and Perception Scale. Drug and alcohol review, 37(6), 802-809. doi: 10.1111/dar.12828 doi: 10.1111/dar.12828
  16. El Mhamdi, S., Lemieux, A., Abroug, H., Ben Salah, A., Bouanene, I., Ben Salem, K., & al'Absi, M. (2018). Childhood exposure to violence is associated with risk for mental disorders and adult's weight status: a community-based study in Tunisia. Journal of public health (Oxford, England). doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy149 doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy149
  17. al'Absi M; Lemieux A; Hodges JS; Allen S, 2019. Circulating orexin changes during withdrawal are associated with nicotine craving and risk for smoking relapse. Addict Biol 24(4):743-753
  18. Lemieux, A. M., Nakajima, M., Saif-Ali, R., Al-Habori, M., Dokam, A., & al'Absi, M. (2018). Anger, anxiety, and depressive affect as predictors of stress-induced cortisol production in khat and tobacco users. Addictive behaviors, 82, 195-201. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.02.033 doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.02.033
  19. Lemieux, A. M., & al'Absi, M. (2018). Changes in circulating peptide YY and ghrelin are associated with early smoking relapse. Biological Psychology, 131, 43-48. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.03.007 doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.03.007
  20. al?Absi, M. (2018). Stress and Addiction: When a Robust Stress Response Indicates Resiliency. Psychosomatic medicine, 80(1), 2-16. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000520 doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000520
  21. al'Absi M., Nakajima M, Lemiux A. (2018). Impact of early life adversity on the stress biobehavioral response during nicotine withdrawal. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018;98:108-18. Epub 2018/08/15. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.08.022. PubMed PMID: 30130691.
  22. al'Absi M. Stress response pathways, appetite regulation, and drug addiction. Biol Psychol 131:1-4. pii: S0301-0511(17)30327-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.11.012. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29197539.
  23. Carlson SC, Allen AM, Allen SS, al'Absi M. (2017). Differences in mood and cortisol by menstrual phase during acute smoking abstinence: A within-subject comparison. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2017 Oct;25(5):338-345. doi: 10.1037/pha0000142. PubMed PMID: 29048182; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5687826.
  24. Raatz SK, Jahns L, Johnson LK, Scheett A, Carriquiry A, Lemieux A, Nakajima M, al'Absi M. Smokers report lower intake of key nutrients than nonsmokers, yet both fall short of meeting recommended intakes. Nutr Res. 2017 Sep;45:30-37. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.07.010. Epub 2017 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 29037329; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5659353.
  25. Walls ML, Sittner KJ, Aronson BD, Forsberg AK, Whitbeck LB, al'Absi M. Stress Exposure and Physical, Mental, and Behavioral Health among American Indian Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Sep 16;14(9). pii: E1074. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14091074. PubMed PMID: 28926940; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5615611.
  26. al'Absi M, Lemieux A, Westra R, Allen S. Early life adversity influences stress response association with smoking relapse. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017 Nov;234(22):3375-3384. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4724-4. Epub 2017 Sep 5. PubMed PMID: 28875309; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5660945.
  27. Conroy DE, Pincus AL, Ram N, al'Absi M. Thirsting to understand the temporal dynamics of physical activity and alcohol use. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Jul 21. pii: bjsports-2017-097949. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097949. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28733360.
  28. Maier KJ, al?Absi M. Toward a Biopsychosocial Ecology of the Human Microbiome, Brain-Gut Axis, and Health. Psychosom Med. 2017 Oct;79(8):947-957. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000515. PubMed PMID: 28719406.
  29. Nakajima M, Molla K, Belachew B, Mohammed A, Hassan A, Kroll J, al'Absi M. (2017). Khat Use is Associated with Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Drug Use: A Cross-Sectional Examination in the United States. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2017 Nov-Dec;49(5):413-419. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2017.1342155. Epub 2017 Jul 12. PubMed PMID: 28699844.
  30. Kotlyar M, Thuras P, Hatsukami DK, al'Absi M. Sex differences in physiological response to the combination of stress and smoking. Int J Psychophysiol. 2017 Aug;118:27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2017.05.008. Epub 2017 May 23. PubMed PMID: 28549539; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5533639.
  31. Nakajima M, Jebena MG, Taha M, Tesfaye M, Gudina E, Lemieux A, Hoffman R, al'Absi M. (2017). Correlates of khat use during pregnancy: A cross-sectional study. Addict Behav. 2017 Oct;73:178-184. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.05.008. Epub 2017 May 9. PubMed PMID: 28531823.
  32. Odenwald M, al'Absi M. (2017). Khat use and related addiction, mental health and physical disorders: the need to address a growing risk. East Mediterr Health J. 2017 May 1;23(3):236-244. Review. PubMed PMID: 28493272.
  33. Nakajima M, Hoffman R, al'Absi M. (2017). Level of khat dependence, use patterns, and psychosocial correlates in Yemen: a cross-sectional investigation. East Mediterr Health J. 2017 May 1;23(3):161-167. PubMed PMID: 28493262.
  34. El Mhamdi S, Lemieux A, Bouanene I, Ben Salah A, Nakajima M, Ben Salem K, al'Absi M. (2017). Gender differences in adverse childhood experiences, collective violence, and the risk for addictive behaviors among university students in Tunisia. Prev Med.; 99:99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.02.011. Epub 2017 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 28216378.
  35. Sarker H, Tyburski M, Rahman MM, Hovsepian K, Sharmin M, Epstein DH, Preston KL, Furr-Holden CD, Milam A, Nahum-Shani I, al'Absi M, Kumar S. Finding Significant Stress Episodes in a Discontinuous Time Series of Rapidly Varying Mobile Sensor Data. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2016 May;2016:4489-4501. doi: 10.1145/2858036.2858218. PubMed PMID: 28058409; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5207658.
  36. Hatsukami DK, Luo X, Dick L, Kangkum M, Allen SS, Murphy SE, Hecht SS, Shields PG, al'Absi M. (2017). Reduced nicotine content cigarettes and use of alternative nicotine products: exploratory trial. Addiction. 2017 Jan;112(1):156-167. doi: 10.1111/add.13603. Epub 2016 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 27614097; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5249662.
  37. Nakajima M, Bouanene I, El-Mhamdi S, Soltani M, Bongard S, al'Absi M. (2017). Psychometric Examination of an Arabic Version of the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2016 Aug;16(3):e322-8. doi: 10.18295/squmj.2016.16.03.010. Epub 2016 Aug 19. PubMed PMID: 27606112; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4996295.
  38. Pacek LR, Vandrey R, Dermody SS, Denlinger-Apte RL, Lemieux A, al’Absi, M. et al. (2016) Evaluation of a reduced nicotine product standard: Moderating effects of and impact on cannabis use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 167, 228-232
  39. Nakajima M, Dokam A, Khalil NS, Alsoofi M, al'Absi M. (2016). Correlates of Concurrent Khat and Tobacco Use in Yemen. Subst Use Misuse. 2016 Aug 3:1-7. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27486991.
  40. Bongard S, Olson L, Nakajima M, al’Absi, M (2016). Anger Expression Style Predicts the Domain of the First Smoking Relapse After a Quit Attempt. Substance Use and Misuse, 51(13):1810-4. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2016.1197259
  41. Wiggert N, Wilhelm FH, Nakajima M, al'Absi M. (2016). Chronic Smoking, Trait Anxiety, and the Physiological Response to Stress. Subst Use Misuse. 2016 Aug 2:1-10. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27484702.
  42. Lemieux A, Olson L, Nakajima M, Schulberg L, al'Absi M. (2016). Life adversity is associated with smoking relapse after a quit attempt. Addict Behav. 2016 Sep;60:71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.017. Epub 2016 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 27100471; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4884519.
  43. Dermody SS, Tidey JW, Denlinger RL, Pacek LR, al'Absi M, Drobes DJ, Hatsukami DK, Vandrey R, Donny EC. (2016) The Impact of Smoking Very Low Nicotine Content Cigarettes on Alcohol Use. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Mar;40(3):606-15. doi: 10.1111/acer.12980. Epub 2016 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 26916879.
  44. Lemieux A, al'Absi M. (2016). Stress psychobiology in the context of addiction medicine: from drugs of abuse to behavioral addictions. Prog Brain Res. 2016;223:43-62. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Nov 24. PubMed PMID:26806770.
  45. Kumar S, Abowd GD, Abraham WT, al'Absi M, Gayle Beck J, Chau DH, Condie T, Conroy DE, Ertin E, Estrin D, Ganesan D, Lam C, Marlin B, Marsh CB, Murphy SA, Nahum-Shani I, Patrick K, Rehg JM, Sharmin M, Shetty V, Sim I, Spring B, Srivastava M, Wetter DW. (2016). Center of excellence for mobile sensor data-to-knowledge (MD2K). J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2015 Nov;22(6):1137-42. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocv056. Epub 2015 Jul 3. PubMed PMID: 26555017.
  46. Jebena MG, Taha M, Nakajima M, Lemieux A, Lemessa F, Hoffman R, Tesfaye M, Belachew T, Workineh N, Kebede E, Gemechu T, Tariku Y, Segni H, Kolsteren P, al'Absi M (2016). Household food insecurity and mental distress among pregnant women in Southwestern Ethiopia: a cross sectional study design. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 8;15:250.
  47. Baingana F, al'Absi M, Becker AE, Pringle B. (2015). Global research challenges and opportunities for mental health and substance-use disorders. Nature. 2015 Nov 19;527(7578):S172-7. doi: 10.1038/nature16032. Review. PubMed PMID: 26580324
  48. Kassim S, al'absi M. (2016). Khat use is a neglected addictive behaviour. Addiction. Jan;111(1):179-80. doi: 10.1111/add.13148. Epub 2015 Oct 9. PubMed PMID: 26449708.
  49. Donny EC, Denlinger RL, Tidey JW, Koopmeiners JS, Benowitz NL, Vandrey RG, al'Absi M, Carmella SG, Cinciripini PM, Dermody SS, Drobes DJ, Hecht SS, Jensen J, Lane T, Le CT, McClernon FJ, Montoya ID, Murphy SE, Robinson JD, Stitzer ML, Strasser AA, Tindle H, Hatsukami DK. Randomized Trial of Reduced-Nicotine Standards for Cigarettes. N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct;373(14):1340-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1502403. PubMed PMID: 26422724; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4642683.
  50. Hovsepian K, al'Absi M, Ertin E, Kamarck T, Nakajima M, Kumar S. (2015). Stress: Towards a Gold Standard for Continuous Stress Assessment in the Mobile Environment. Proc ACM Int Conf Ubiquitous Comput. 2015 Sep;2015:493-504.
  51. Huttlin EA, Allen AM, Tosun NL, Allen SS, al'Absi M. (2015). Associations between adrenocortical activity and nicotine response in female smokers by menstrual phase. Addict Behav, 50:135-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.06.026. Epub 2015 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 26135333; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4515390.
  52. Lemieux A, Nakajima M, Hatsukami DK, Allen S, al'Absi M. (2015). Changes in circulating leptin levels during the initial stage of cessation are associated with smoking relapse. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 232(18):3355-61. doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-3989-8. Epub 2015 Jul 10. PubMed PMID: 26156634; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4537839.
  53. al'Absi M, Nakajima M, Allen S, Lemieux A, Hatsukami D. (2015). Sex differences in hormonal responses to stress and smoking relapse: a prospective examination. Nicotine Tob Res.;17(4):382-9. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu340. PubMed PMID: 25762747.
  54. al'Absi M, Lemieux A, Nakajima M, Hatsukami DK, Allen S. (2015). Circulating leptin and pain perception among tobacco-dependent individuals. Biol Psychol. 2015 Apr;107:10-5. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho. Epub 2015 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 25720946; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4385491.
  55. Bongard S, Nakajima M, al'Absi M. (2015). Khat chewing and acculturation in East-African migrants living in Frankfurt am Main/Germany. J Ethnopharmacol. 22;164:223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.01.034. Epub 2015 Feb 3. PubMed PMID: 25655998.
  56. Allen AM, al'Absi M, Lando H, Allen SS. (2015). Allopregnanolone association with psychophysiological and cognitive functions during acute smoking abstinence in premenopausal women. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol.;23(1):22-8. doi: 10.1037/a0038747. PubMed PMID: 25643026; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4394732.


  • al'Absi M., Lemieux A, Nakajima M. (2014). Peptide YY and ghrelin predict craving and risk for relapse in abstinent smokers. Psychoneuroendocrinology; 49C:253-259. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.07.018. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Widmann M, Warsame AH, Mikulica J, von Beust J, Isse MM, Ndetei D, al'Absi M. (2014).Front Public Health. 2014 Jun 30;2:71. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00071.
  • Nakajima M, Dokam A, Alsameai A, Khalil N, al'Absi M. (2014). Severity of khat dependence among adult khat chewers: The moderating influence of gender and age. J Ethnopharmacol. pii: S0378-8741(14)00549-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.07.030. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Potretzke S, Nakajima M, Cragin T, al'Absi M. (2014). Changes in circulating leptin levels during acute stress and associations with craving in abstinent smokers: a preliminary investigation. Psychoneuroendocrinology;47:232-40. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.05.008. Epub 2014 May 23.
  • Nakajima M, al'Absi M. (2014). Nicotine withdrawal and stress-induced changes in pain sensitivity: A cross-sectional investigation between abstinent smokers and nonsmokers. Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12241. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Vogel RI, Hertsgaard LA, Dermody SS, Luo X, Moua L, Allen S, al'Absi M., Hatsukami DK. (2014). Sex differences in response to reduced nicotine content cigarettes. Addict Behav. 2014.03.021. Epub 2014 Mar 30
  • Nakajima M, Dokam A, Kasim AN, Alsoofi M, Khalil NS, al'Absi M. (2014). Habitual khat and concurrent khat and tobacco use are associated with subjective sleep quality. Prev Chronic Dis.; 11:E86. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.130234.
  • al'Absi M., Nakajima M, Dokam A, Sameai A, Alsoofi M, Saem Khalil N, Al Habori M. (2014). Concurrent tobacco and khat use is associated with blunted cardiovascular stress response and enhanced negative mood: a cross-sectional investigation. Hum Psychopharmacol.. doi: 10.1002/hup.2403. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Allen AM , al'Absi M., Lando H, Hatsukami D, Allen SS. (2013). Menstrual phase, depressive symptoms, and allopregnanolone during short-term smoking cessation. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol, 21, 427-433
  • Nakajima, M., al'Absi, M. (2014). Patterns of changes in affect and adrenocortical activity over an extended period of smoking abstinence. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 1189-1195
  • Nyongesa AW, Oduma JA, Nakajima M, Odongo HO, Adoyo PA, al'Absi, M.. (2014). Dose-response inhibitory effects of purified cathinone from khat (Catha edulis) on cortisol and prolactin release in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). Metab Brain Dis. 29:451-458.
  • Nyongesa AW, Oduma JA, Nakajima M, Odongo HO, Adoyo PA, al'Absi, M.. (2014). Acute and sub-chronic effects of purified cathinone from khat (Catha edulis) on behavioural profiles in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). Metab Brain Dis. 29:441-449.
  • Wong JA, Pickworth WB, Waters AJ, al'Absi, M., Leventhal AM. (2014). Cortisol levels decrease after acute tobacco abstinence in regular smokers. Hum Psychopharmacol, 29, 152-162
  • Allen SS, Allen AM, Tosun N, Lunos S, al'Absi M., Hatsukami D. (2014). Smoking- and menstrual-related symptomatology during short-term smoking abstinence by menstrual phase and depressive symptoms. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 901-906. Maatoug J, Harrabi I, Hmad S, Belkacem M, al'Absi M, Lando H, Ghannem H. (2014). Clustering of risk factors with smoking habits among adults, Sousse, Tunisia. Prev Chronic Dis. 10:E211.


  • al’Absi, M. (2007). Stress and Addiction: Biological and Psychosocial Mechanisms. Book published by Elsevier (Academic Press), London, U.K.
  • Book Chapters
  • Hmad, S., Maatoug, J., Harrabi, I., al’Absi, M., Lando, H., Mrizak, N., Ghannem, H. (2014). Workplace based intervention to promote smoking cessation among men in the region of Sousse, Tunisia. SRNT Proceeding.
  • Huttlin, E., Tosun, N., Allen, A., Allen, S., al'Absi, M.(2014). Cortisol, menstrual phase and response to nicotine among female smokers. SRNT Proceeding, p. 206
  • Nakajima, M., al’Absi, M. (2014). Nicotine withdrawal and stress-induced changes in pain sensitivity: a cross-sectional investigation between abstinent smokers and nonsmokers. SRNT Proceeding, p. 216.
  • Tosun, N., Lunos, S, Allen, A., al’Absi, M., Hatsukami, D., Allen, S. (2014). Smoking-related symptomatology during smoking abstinence by menstrual phase and depressive symptoms. SRNT Proceeding, p. 182.
  • Allen, A., Allen, S., Hatsukami, D., al’Absi, M.(2014). Sex Hormones, Salivary Cortisol & Smoking-Related Symptomatology in Premenopausal Smokers. SRNT Proceeding, p. 139.
  • Nakajima, M., Allen, S., Allen, A., Ford, E., al’Absi, M. (2014). Effects of menstrual cycle on cortisol response to stress and withdrawal symptoms: comparing smokers and nonsmokers. SRNT Proceedings, p. 140
  • Nakajima, M., al’Absi, M. (2014). Psychosocial Correlates of Concurrent Use of Tobacco and Khat (Catha edulis). SRNT Proceedings, p. 120
  • Nakajima, M., al’Absi, M. (2014). Influences of Chronic Use of Tobacco and Khat (Catha edulis ) on Subjective Sleep Quality. SRNT Proceedings, p. 139
  • Kamarck, T., al’Absi, M., Epstein, D., Ertin, E., Intille, S., Kirk, S., Kumar, S., Preston, K., Rea, M., Scott, M.. Shetty, V., Shiffman, S., Siewiorek, D., Smailagic, A., Stone, C., and Venugopal. (2014). Ambulatory Monitoring and Ecological Momentary Assessment. In Waldstein, S., Handbook for Behavioral Medicine.
  • Kumar, S., al’Absi, M., Beck, J.G., Ertin, E. (2014). Behavioral Monitoring and Assessment via Mobile Sensing Technologies. In Marsch, L., Lord, S., and Dallery, J. (Eds). Leveraging Technology to Transform Behavioral Healthcare, Oxford University Press.
  • Nakajima, M., Hoffman, R., al’Absi, M. (2013). Cognitive performance and blood pressure in concurrent khat and tobacco users. Psychophysiology, 50, S96-S97
  • al’Absi, M., Nakajima, M., Li, B., Kumar, S., Ertin, E., Scott, M. S., Wittmers, L., al'Absi, M. (2013). The assessment of psychophysiological response to laboratory stress using a wireless ambulatory system: a validation study. Psychophysiology, 50, S41-S42
  • Wiggert, N., Wilhelm, F. H., Nakajima, M., al’Absi, M. (2013). Chronic smoking, trait anxiety, and physiological stress responsivity. Psychophysiology, 50, S129
  • Flaten, M.A. and al'Absi, M. (2012). The placebo effect. In M. Gellman & J. R. Turner (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Behavioral Medicine, Springer (1497-1499).
  • al'Absi, M. and Li, B. (2012). Appetite. In M. Gellman & J. R. Turner (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Behavioral Medicine, Springer.
  • al'Absi, M. (2012). Glucocorticoids and their effects. In M. Gellman & J. R. Turner (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Behavioral Medicine, Springer.

Symposia and Other Presentations

  • Tosun, N., Lunos, S, Allen, A., al’Absi, M., Hatsukami, D., Allen, S. (2013). Smoking-related symptomatology during smoking abstinence by menstrual phase and depressive symptoms. Women's Health Conference
  • Huttlin, E., Tosun, N., Allen, A., Allen, S., al'Absi, M.(2013). Cortisol, menstrual phase and response to nicotine among female smokers. Women's Health Conference
  • Allen, A., al’Absi, M., Allen, S. (2013). Allopregnanolone & Perceived Stress during Short-Term Smoking Cessation. Women’s Health Research Conference
  • Kassim, S., al’Absi, M. (2013). The challenge of concurrent tobacco smoking among khat chewers: What do we know?UK National Smoking Cessation Conference (UKNSCC), London.
  • Kassim, S., Al-Bakri, A., Croucher, R., al’Absi, M. (2013). Waterpipe Tobacco Dependence in UK Male Adult Residents: A Cross Sectional Study. UKNSCC, London.
  • Odenwald, M., Mikulica, J., von Beust, J., Widmann, M., Ndetei, D., al’Absi, M. (2012). Severe Khat Abuse as Related to Executive Dysfunction. International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) Conference. Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Odenwald, M., Widmann, M., Mikulica, J, vonBeust, J., Bongard, S., Ndetei, D., al’Absi, M. (2012). Consequences of chronic Khat use: Khat-related cortisol suppression in individuals with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. Deutsche Suchtkonferenz, Berlin, Germany.
  • Marrin, H., Pasley, J., al’Absi, M., (2010). The influence of sweet taste on a mental arithmetic task in a healthy college student population. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • al’Absi, M., Wittmers, L., Bongard, S., Westra, R. (2008).. Stress, Craving, and Smoking Relapse. In symposium titled Wild at Heart: Motivational Influences on Cardiovascular Reactivity (Chair: Guido H.E. Gendolla). Association for Psychological Sciences annual meeting, Chicago, IL.



Social and Behavioral Medicine course. Topics Taught: Stress and coping Anxiety disorders Substance use and treatment Nicotine dependence and treatment Comorbidity of mental health and addictive problems


Board Certifications

Licensed Psychologist (Minnesota)

Clinical Interests

Psychobiology of stress; pain; addiction