Brandon Warren, Ph.D.


Contact Information

Dr. Brandon Warren
Department of Pharmacodynamics
University of Florida College of Pharmacy
P.O. Box 100484
Gainesville FL 32610-0484
Office: Stetson Biomedical Science Bldg P1-27
Phone: (352) 273-7010
Websites: Department of Pharmacodynamics Profile
Warren Lab


Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacodynamics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy


Ph.D., Neuroscience – Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (Thesis Advisor: Carlos A. Bolaños-Guzmán, Ph.D.)
M.S., Biopsychology – Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
B.Sc., Psychology – Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Research interests

Dr. Warren’s lab integrates behavioral, biochemical, and microscopic approaches to probe the role of neuronal ensembles (patterns of neurons activated during behavior) in animal models of drug addiction. Drug addiction appears to involve abnormally strong learned associations, typified by intrusive memories that often induce drug craving and relapse. Our research endeavors to decode how these drug memories are stored in the brain. We hypothesize that learned associations are encoded by patterns of sparsely distributed neurons, called neuronal ensembles, which are selected by cues and their reinforcers. Since strong neuronal activity drives expression of the immediate early gene Fos, we use Fos expression to identify neuronal ensembles activated during behavior. The relationship between neuronal activity and Fos expression permits us to use the Fos promoter to drive expression of transgenes in rats. Transgenic rat lines now allow us to characterize and manipulate neuronal ensembles with unmatched specificity. Understanding how these memories are encoded may one day enable us to treat drug addiction by strengthening or weakening specific drug or memories.


  • Warren BL, Suto N, Hope BT, (2017) Fos expressing neuronal ensembles have the mechanistic resolution that homogenates lack. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11, 28. PMID: 28484375
  • Caprioli D, Venniro M, Zhang M, Bossert JM, Warren BL, Hope BT, Shaham Y (2016) Intrinsic excitability is selectively increased within prelimbic cortex neuronal ensembles that encode operant learning.The Journal of Neuroscience,37(4), 1014-1027. PMID: 28123032
  • Warren BL, Mendoza MP, Cruz FC, Leao RM, Caprioli D, Rubio FJ, Whitaker LR, McPherson KB, Bossert JM, Shaham Y, Hope BT, (2016) Distinct Fos-expressing neuronal ensembles in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediate acquisition versus extinction of operant conditioning for palatable food.The Journal of Neuroscience,36(25), 6691-703. PMID: 27335401
  • Warren BL, Sial OK, Alcantara LF, Greenwood MA, Brewer JS, Rozofsky JP, Parise EM, Bolaños-Guzmán CA (2014) Altered gene expression and spine density in nucleus accumbens of mice exposed to emotional and physical stress during adolescence. Developmental Neuroscience, 36(3-4), 250-60. PMID: 24943326
  • Warren BL, Vialou VF, Iñiguez SD, Alcantara LF, Wright KN, Feng J, Kennedy PJ, LaPlant Q, Shen, L, Nestler EJ, Bolaños-Guzmán CA (2012) Neurobiological sequelae of witnessing stressful events in mice. Biological Psychiatry, 73(1), 7-14. PMID: 22795644

See Dr. Warren’s laboratory website for more publications.