Skip to main content

Melissa Blank, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Melissa Blank

(304) 293-8341



Graduate Training

Biological Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University


Moffitt Cancer Center, Behavioral Oncology

Lab website:

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
2nd year graduate student 

Jonathan Stoltman
1st year graduate student


Blank, M.D., & Eissenberg, T. (in press). Protecting individual and public health by regulating electronic cigarette nicotine delivery. Addiction.

Chen, X., Aggen, S.H., Chen, J., Li, L, Kendler, K., Blank, M.D., Eissenberg, T. (in press). Genetic risks to nicotine dependence predict negative mood and affect in current non-smokers. Scientific Reports. 

Blank, M.D., Cobb, C.O., Eissenberg, T., & Nasim, A. (in press). Acute effects of “hyping” a Black&Mild cigarillo. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 

Cobb, C.O., Blank, M.D., Morlett, A., Shihadeh, A., Jaroudi, E., Karaoghlanian, N., Kilgalen, B., Austin, J., Weaver, M.F., & Eissenberg, T. (2015). Comparison of puff topography, toxicant exposure, and subjective effects in low- and high-frequency waterpipe users: a double-blind, placebo-control study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 17(6), 667-674.

Nasim, A., Blank, M.D., Cobb, C.O., & Eissenberg, T. (2015). Adolescent former cigarette smokers’vulnerability to other tobacco products. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 24(2), 113-118.

Cobb, C.O., Nasim, A., Jentink, K., & Blank, M.D. (2015). The role of caffeine in the alcohol consumption behaviors of college students. Substance Abuse, 26, 1-9.

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 Investigator.