Moshe Szyf, Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill  University;

Founding Director of the Sackler Program in Epigenetics and Psychobiology, McGill University


Szyf is a professor of pharmacology and held a Glaxo Smith Kline and James McGill Chair in Pharmacology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Szyf has pioneered research in DNA methylation for the last three decades and his interests span a broad spectrum from basic mechanisms to cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as addiction, behaviour and chronic pain.

Positions and Honours

1989-1993 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, McGill Medical School, Montréal, Canada

1993-2000 Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, McGill Medical School, Montreal, Canada

2000-present Professor, Department of Pharmacology, McGill Medical School, Montréal, Canada

Other Experience and Professional Memberships:

2013-present Member scientific Review Board Israel Cancer Society.

1999-present Member Scientific Advisory Board Israel Cancer society.

2004-2013 Fellow Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

2007-present Founding director of the Sackler Progarm in Epigenetics and Psychobiology, McGill University

Honors and Awards

1987– American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellowship.

1989- 1995– National Cancer Institute of Canada, Scientist Career Award.

1999– Elliot Osserman Award for distinguished service from the Israel Cancer Research Fund

1999– First Carrie Derrick Award for Graduate Teaching and Supervision

2001– Faculty of Medicine honour list in teaching

2004– James McGill Professorship

2007– Glaxo Smith Kline chair in Pharmacology

2009– Radio Canada Scientist of the Year

2011– CCNP Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology Award

2013 – Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

2018-Fellow of the Canadian Academy for Health Research

Szyf in collaboration with Prof. Gal Yadid (Israel) provided the first evidence for epigenetic therapeutics to stably reprogram a drug addictive state into a less addictive state using the rat cocaine seeking model (Massart, Barnea et al. 2015).

In another study, Szyf lab demonstrated in a double-blind placebo-controlled DHEA add-on study  delineated the genome-wide DNA methylation signature of drug addiction in peripheral T cells by comparing DNA methylation profiles of addicts and healthy controls and demonstrated that DHEA treatment which reduces drug-abuse relapse also reverses the altered DNA methylation pattern of several genes in pathways related to neurotransmission and corticotrophin release.




Nestler, M. Szyf and G. Yadid (2015). “Role of DNA methylation in the nucleus accumbens in incubation of cocaine craving.” J Neurosci 35(21): 8042-8058.

Link to PubMed for Szyf articles (316 in total)


Additional PDFs

Chapter fifteen- Dehydroepiandrosterone and Addiction

DHEA and Addiction- historical monograph – (for clinicians)

DHEA and Addiction- historical monograph FINAL

DHEA supplement study – translation for Searidge


MOH Isr Recommendation letter

The Role of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in Drug-seeking Behavior (NBR1302)