Dr Kelly Clemens

Dr Kelly Clemens

Dr Kelly Clemens

Senior Research Associate

Contact details

Phone: 9385 3523
Email: Dr Kelly Clemens

Office: Rm 608

Research Summary

Behavioural and neural consequences of drug addiction, external factors that might promote or contribute to the development and maintenance of drug addiction, the involvement of epigenetic factors, including histone acetylation in the encoding of drug-associated memories, choice paradigms, habits and actions in drug addiction.


PSYC 3051: Physiological Psychology


Book Chapters

2. McKetin, R, Kaye, S, Clemens, K, Hermens, D (2013), 'Methamphetamine', in SA Ball, NM Petry, R Spanagel, D Kavanagh, ME Bates, A Blume, P De Witte, M Larimer, P Miller (eds.), Encyclopedia of Addictive Behaviours, Academic Press.

1. Caille, S., Clemens, K.J., Stinus, L. and Cador, M. (2012). Modeling nicotine addiction in rats. In: F.H. Kobeissy (ed), Methods In Psychiatric Disorders: Methods and Protocols, Springer Publishing Group.


Journal Articles

25. Macnamara, C.L., Holmes, N.M., Westbrook, R.F. and Clemens, K.J. (In Press). Varenicline impairs extinction and enhances reinstatement across repeated cycles of nicotine self-administration in rats. Neuropharmacology. 

24. Clemens, K.J., Lay, B.P.P. and Holmes, N.M. (2015). Extended nicotine self-administration increases sensitivity to nicotine, motivation to seek nicotine, and the reinforcing properties of nicotine-paired cues. Addiction Biology. 

23. Sharpe, M., Clemens, K.J., Morris, M.M. and Westbrook, R.F. (2015). Daily exposure to sucrose impairs subsequent learning about food cues: A role for alterations in ghrelin signalling and dopamine D2 receptors. Neuropsychopharmacology,  Sep 14. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.287. [Epub ahead of print].

22. Huynh, C., Fam, J.P., Ahmed, S.H. and Clemens, K.J. (2015). Rats quit nicotine for a sweet reward following an extensive history of nicotine use. Addiction Biology, Sep 16. doi: 10.1111/adb.12306. [Epub ahead of print].

21. Castino, M.R., Corn ish, J.L. and Clemens, K.J. (2015). Inhibition of histone deacetylases facilitates extinction and attenuates reinstatement of nicotine self-administration in rats. PLoS ONE.2015 Apr 16;10(4):e0124796

20. Clemens KJ, Castino MR, Cornish JL, Goodchild AK and Holmes NM (2014). Behavioural and neural substrates of habit formation in rats intravenously self-administering nicotine. Neuropsychopharmacology, Oct;39(11):2584-93. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.111. IF:8.678.

19. Motbey, C.P., Clemens, K.J., Apetz, N., Winstock, A.R., Ramsey, J., Li, K.M., Callaghan, P.D., Cornish, J.L. and McGregor, I.S. (2013). High levels of intravenous Mephedrone (4-Methylmethcathinone) self-administration in rats: Neural consequences and comparison with Methamphetamine. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 27 (9):823-836. IF: 3.374

18. Pardey, M.C., Kumar, N.N., Goodchild, A.K., Clemens, K.J., Homewood, J. and Cornish, J.L. (2012). Long-term effects of chronic oral Ritalin administration on cognitive and neural development in adolescent Wistar Kyoto rats. Brain Sciences, 2(3):375-404.

17. Holmes, N.M. and Clemens, K.J. (2011). Multiple interpretations of cocaine-seeking behaviour after prolonged self-administration training. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(11): 3935-6. IF: 6.908

16. Clemens, K.J., Caillé, S. and Cador, M. (2010). The effects of response operandum and prior food training on intravenous nicotine self-administration in rats. Psychopharmacology, 211(1):43-54 IF: 4.061

15. Vendruscolo, L.F., Gueye, A.B., Vendruscolo, J.C., Clemens K.J., Mormede, P., Darnaudery, M. and Cador, M. (2010). Reduced alcohol drinking in adult rats exposed to sucrose during adolescence. Neuropharmacology 59(6):388-94. IF: 4.114

14. Clemens, K.J., Caillé, S., Stinus, L. and Cador, M. (2009). The addition of five minor tobacco alkaloids increases nicotine-induced hyperactivity, sensitization and intravenous self-administration. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 12:1355-1366. IF: 5.641

13. Hamlin, A.S., Clemens, K.J., Choi, E.A., and McNally, G.P. (2009) Paraventricular thalamus mediates context induced reinstatement (renewal) of extinguished reward seeking. European Journal of Neuroscience, 29:802-812. IF: 3.753

12. Clemens, K.J. and Vendruscolo, L. F. (2008). Anxious to drink: Gabapentin normalizes GABAergic transmission in the central amygdala and reduces symptoms of ethanol dependence. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(37):9087-9089. IF: 6.908

11. Hamlin, A.S., Clemens, K.J., and McNally, G.P. (2008). Renewal of extinguished cocaine seeking. Neuroscience, 151 (3)659-70.  IF: 3.122 

10. Cornish, J.L., Clemens, K.J., Thompson, M.R., Callaghan, P.D., Dawson, B. and McGregor, I.S. (2008). High ambient temperature increases intravenous methamphetamine self-administration on fixed and progressive ratio schedules in rats. Journal of Psychopharmacology 22(1):100-10. IF: 3.374

9. Clemens, K.J., McGregor, I.S., Hunt, G.E. and Cornish, J.L. (2007). MDMA, methamphetamine and their combination: lessons for party drug users from recent preclinical research. Drug and Alcohol Review,26:9-15. IF: 2.017

8. Clemens, K.J., Cornish, J.L., Hunt, G.E. and McGregor, I.S. (2007). Repeated weekly exposure to MDMA, methamphetamine and their combination: Long-term behavioural and neurochemical effects in rats. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 86(2-3):183-90.  IF: 3.141 

7. Clemens, K.J., Cornish, J.L., Hunt, G.E. and McGregor, I.S. (2006). Intravenous methamphetamine self-administration in rats: Effects of intraperitoneal or intravenous MDMA co-administration. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 85(2):454-63. IF: 2.608

6. Clemens, K.J., Cornish, J.L., Li., K.M., Hunt, G.E. and McGregor, I.S. (2005). MDMA (‘Ecstasy’) and methamphetamine combined: Order of administration influences hyperthermic and long-term adverse effects in female rats. Neuropharmacology, Aug;49(2):195-207. IF: 4.114

5. Cornish, J.L., Lontos, J.M., Clemens, K.J. and McGregor, I.S. (2005). Cocaine and heroin (‘speedball’) self-administration: the involvement of nucleus accumbens dopamine and mu-opiate, but not delta-opiate receptors. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 180(1):21-32. IF: 4.061

4. Clemens, K.J., van Nieuwenhuyzen, P.S., Li, K.M., Cornish, J.L., Hunt, G.E. and McGregor, I.S. (2004). MDMA ("ecstasy"), methamphetamine and their combination: long-term changes in social interaction and neurochemistry in the rat. Psychopharmacology (Berl.). 173(3-4):318-25. IF: 4.061

3. Thompson, M.R., Li, K.M., Clemens, K.J., Gurtman, C.G., Hunt, G.E., Cornish, J.L. and McGregor, I.S. (2004). Chronic fluoxteine treatment partly attenuates the long-term anxiety and depressive symptoms induced by MDMA (“Ecstasy”) in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology, 29(4):264-704. IF: 8.678

2. McGregor, I.S., Clemens, K.J., Van der Plasse, G., Li, K.M., Hunt, G.E., Chen, F. and Lawrence, A.J. (2003). Increased Anxiety 3 Months after Brief Exposure to MDMA ('Ecstasy') in Rats: Association with Altered 5-HT Transporter and Receptor Density. Neuropsychopharmacology. 28(8):1472-84. IF: 8.678

1. McGregor, I.S., Gurtman, C.G., Clemens, K.J., Morley, K.C., Li, K.M., Blokland, A., Cornish, J.L. and Hunt, G.E. (2003). Increased anxiety and "depressive" symptoms months after MDMA ("Ecstasy") in rat: drug induced hypothermia does not predict long-term outcomes. Psychopharmacology (Berl.). 168(4):465-74. IF: 4.061 

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Research Award (2015)

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) (2012-2015)

Faculty of Science Research Grant (2013)

Faculty of Science Visiting Academic Fellowship (2013) Prof. Serge Ahmed

Macquarie University Research Fellowship (2010-2012)

Affiliations & Memberships

Asia-Pacific Society for Alcohol and Addiction Research (APSAAR)

International Society for Drug Abuse Research (IDARS)

International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN)

Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS)

Australian Learning Group (ALG)

Current Research Students

Matthew Castino (PhD Candidate) “Epigenetic mechanisms during extinction of nicotine seeking”

Jennifer Nguyen (Honours) "BDNF and lncRNA expression following cocaine exposure"

Andrew Davis (Honours) "Nicotine Self-Administration Under Restricted Access"