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Firdaus Dhabhar


Firdaus Dhabhar is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He also serves as Director of Research at the Stanford Center on Stress & Health. His interdisciplinary approach is supported by membership in the Stanford Immunology Program, Neuroscience Institute, and Cancer Center. Dr. Dhabhar graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Dartmouth College, and received a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Science from The Rockefeller University. Dr. Dhabhar’s laboratory has elucidated mechanisms by which acute or short-term stressors enhance in vivo immune responses, in contrast to chronic stressors that suppress or dysregulate immune function. Dr. Dhabhar has proposed that the fight-or-flight stress response is one of nature’s fundamental but under-appreciated survival mechanisms, which could be harnessed clinically to promote health and healing. His laboratory aims to identify pathways mediating the potentially health-promoting aspects of acute stress psycho-physiology while also investigating mechanisms mediating the health-aversive effects of chronic stress and stress-related disorders. Through rewarding collaborations, his laboratory investigates bidirectional interactions between the brain and immune system in models of stress, depression, skin immunity, surgery, and cancer. Among Dr. Dhabhar’s honors and awards are the Council of Graduate Schools Distinguished Dissertation Award and the PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society Young Investigator Award. Dr. Dhabhar is a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, and has served in several elected and appointed positions within the leadership of The PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society.