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Melissa Blank, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience; Director of Graduate Training; Coordinator of Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Click here to visit Dr. Blank's Research Page.


Dr. Blank received her Ph.D. degree in psychology in 2007 from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), after which she served as a visiting assistant professor at VCU for four years, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, for one year. She joined the WVU faculty in July 2012 as an assistant professor. 

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.


  • Psychology 426 – Physiological Psychology
  • Psychology 722 – Biological Aspects of Behavior
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