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Melissa Blank, PhD – Assistant Professor of Psychology

(304) 293-8341

2214 Life Sciences Building


Psychology; Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute

Graduate Training

PhD, Biological Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University


Moffitt Cancer Center, Behavioral Oncology, Tampa, FL

Research Interests

Dr. Blank’s research aims to identify the primary determinants and consequences of smoking behavior using human models of drug dependence. Dependent measures typically include toxicant exposure (carbon monoxide, nicotine, carcinogens), genetic substrates (nicotinic receptor polymorphisms), topography of use (puffing behavior, frequency of consumption), cardiovascular response (heart rate, blood pressure), and subjective ratings (product acceptability, withdrawal suppression). Currently, Dr Blank is conducting research into the use of alternative tobacco products, such as cigars, smokeless tobacco, and waterpipes and the evaluation of novel tobacco products marketed as a means to reduce smoking-related harms.

Lab Personnel

Nicholas Felicione

Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Student


Ilana Haliwa

Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Student






Grant Funding

NIDA (R03 DA037583) Dual cigarette and SLT use: behavior patterns and toxicant
exposure Start Date: July, 2014. Duration: 2 years. Principal Investigator.

Centers for Disease Control U48: WV Prevention Research Center Start Date: September,
2014. Duration: 5 years. Co-Investigator.

WVU Senate Grant Influence of ECIGs on Smokers’ Choice to Make a Quit Attempt Start
Date: July, 2014. Duration: 1 year. Principal Investigator.

WVU Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Award ECIGs for Smoking Cessation among
Opioid Dependent Individuals in Treatment Start Date: April, 2014. Duration:
1 year. Co-Principal Investigator

NIDA (F31 DA018447) National Service Research Award Does puff topography measurement
alter smoking behavior? Start Date: September, 2004. Duration: 3 years. Principal

WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute