Stabilization of a reaction–diffusion equation, in which the heat source depends on the temperature of the whole space, is considered by using boundary control. A new backstepping transformation is introduced, in which there are two kernels. Through a series of mathematical tricks, the exact solutions of kernels are obtained, and a control law is obtained specifically. The inverse transformation is derived, and stability of the closed loop system established. Simulation results show that the closed loop system is stable. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.