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Philip V. Holmes, PhD

  • University of Georgia

    Professor, Neuroscience Program Chair

Holmes came to the University of Georgia in 1995. He is currently a professor in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program of the Psychology Department and a faculty member in the AU/UGA Medical Partnership. He is also the chair of the Neuroscience Division of the UGA Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute.


1986 BA University of Vermont
1990 ScM Brown University
1992 PhD Brown University


1995 Staff Fellow, Behavioral Neuropharmacology National Institute of Mental Health

Academic Appointments

2011-present Chair, Neuroscience Division, Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute
2009-present Professor, Psychology Department, The University of Georgia
2001-2009 Associate Professor, Psychology Department, UGA
1995-2001 Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, UGA

More About Philip Holmes

Holmes earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Brown University in 1992, where he studied the regulation of benzodiasepine receptors in rodent models of stress and depression. He then accepted a Staff Fellow position in the Section on Behavioral Neuropharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health. His research at NIMH focused on the role of various neuropeptide systems in stress responses, with particular emphasis on galanin/norepinephrine interactions.

Holmes' work at UGA has continued to examine neurotransmitter abnormalities in rodent models of stress.  Recently he has been studying the neurobiological changes produced by exercise and the neural mechanisms for the beneficial effects of exercise on various psychological functions. His current research program, which is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, examines how exercise-induced regulation of galanin gene expression may diminish stress responses and drug-seeking behavior.

  • Expertise & Interests

    • Neuropharmacology
    • Neurobiological bases of depression, anxiety, and addiction
    • Exercise neuroscience
    • Neuropeptides and trophic factors
  • Research Interests

    Philip V. Holmes studies the impact of stress on neural plasticity and its implications for anxiety, depression, and addiction. His lab is also investigating the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of exercise on brain function.

  • Selected Publications

    Ogbonmwan, Y.E., Sciolino, N.R., Groves-Chapman, J.L., Freeman, K.G., Edwards, G.L., Holmes, P.V., and Weinshenker, D. (in press) The galanin receptor agonist galnon attenuates cocaine-induced reinstatement and dopamine overflow in the frontal cortex.  Addiction Biology.

    Holmes, P.V. (2014) Trophic mechanisms for exercise-induced stress resilience: potential role of interactions between BDNF and galanin.  Frontiers in Psychiatry, 5, Article 90, 1-5.

    Epps, S.A., Kahn, A.B., Holmes, P.V., Boss-Williams, K.A., Weiss, J.M., Weinshenker, D. (2013) Antidepressant and anticonvulsant effects of exercise in a rat model of epilepsy and depression comorbidity. Epilepsy and Behavior, 29, 47-52.

    Sciolino, N.R., Dishman, R.K., Holmes, P.V. (2012) Voluntary exercise offers anxiolytic potential and amplifies galanin gene expression in the locus coeruleus of the rat.  Behav. Brain Res., 233, 191-200.

    Sciolino, N.R. and Holmes, P.V. (2012) Exercise offers anxiolytic potential: A role for stress and brain noradrenergic-galaninergic mechanisms.  Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 1965-1984.

    Dishman, R.K. and Holmes, P.V. (2012). Opioids and exercise: animal models. In, H. Boecker, C. Hillman, L. Scheef, and H. Strüder (Ed), Functional Neuroimaging in Exercise and Sport, New York, NY: Springer.