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Trainees

A major objective of the Yale TCORS is to train new investigators who will conduct translational interdisciplinary research with an emphasis on the basic science underlying nicotine addiction, understanding of the constituents of tobacco and tobacco products, and knowledge of tobacco regulatory processes.

Our training and mentoring plan recruits new investigators from multiple entry levels, ranging from graduate students to postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members.

If you are interested in learning more, or inquiring about available positions, please contact stephanie.omalley@yale.edu.

Tobacco Regulatory Science Course

An integral component of the training and mentoring plan is the Tobacco Regulatory Science Course that is offered through the Yale School of Public Health. Read more about the course.

Current Trainees

Deniz Bagdas, DMV, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Bagdas received her DVM and then she earned her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology. During her PhD and post-doctoral career, she has had an extensive training in behavioral neuroscience. Her interests are focused on the role of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in brain function and addiction as well as pain and inflammation. Currently, she has been investigating the impact of flavors on nicotine consumption with a focus on behaviors related to nicotine addiction in both adult and adolescence.

Krysten Bold, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Bold’s research aims to identify risk factors for tobacco use to inform prevention and intervention efforts. Through the Yale TCORS, she conducts longitudinal surveys and uses novel experimental designs to understand tobacco use patterns and examine the appeal and addictive potential of tobacco products among youth and adults.

Danielle Davis, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Davis’ received her PhD in 2019 at University of Vermont. During her doctoral studies she investigated the effects of reduced nicotine content cigarettes in populations especially vulnerable to smoking. As a Yale TCORS trainee, she will investigate how nicotine content and flavors can alter the appeal and addiction potential of tobacco products.

Hanno C. Erythropel, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Erythropel’s research interest lies in the safer design of products and service molecules. A first step to safer design is the identification of potential hazardous compounds. To do so within TCORS, he has been active in the detection, identification, and quantification of additives, and most recently focused on flavor additives to liquids for electronic cigarettes, small cigars, and classic and mentholated cigarettes. Knowledge of additive concentrations in such products can then be used to inform a variety of assays, including irritation potential and various toxicity end-points. With this knowledge, informed decisions about safer design as well as regulatory questions can be made.

Lisa M. Fucito, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Yale University School of Medicine
Director, Tobacco Treatment Service
Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven

Dr. Fucito directs the Tobacco Treatment Service at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. An expert in tobacco use, her research focuses on: (1) better understanding the co-occurrence of tobacco use and other negative health behaviors (e.g., heavy alcohol use) (2) identifying innovative strategies to engage individuals to change their tobacco use, and (3) developing novel interventions that promote multiple health behavior change. As a TCORS trainee, she is investigating the potential reduction in harm of switching from combustible cigarette smoking to an e-cigarette in adult smokers with co-morbid medical conditions. She will examine changes in tobacco harm exposure from switching as well as factors that may influence the likelihood of switching such as nicotine concentration and flavor.

Sairam V. Jabba, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Anesthesiology
Duke University School of Medicine

Dr. Jabba’s research primarily involves investigating the addictive and toxicological effects of novel tobacco products, including E-cigarette liquids. He is interested in determining the pharmacological effects of flavorant chemicals added to the E-liquids on sensory irritant receptors. In addition, he is interested in determining the respiratory irritant responses (in vivo) and toxicological effects (in vitro and in vivo) upon flavorant chemical exposures. Dr. Jabba is also investigating the role of sweeteners and flavoring agents in the preference and aversion of nicotinic product consumption in mice.

Asti Jackson, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Jackson received her PhD in 2017 at Virginia Commonwealth University. During her doctoral studies, she investigated the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mouse models of nicotine dependence. As a TCORS trainee, she will investigate the effect of flavors on e-cigarette use in adolescents.

Lauren (Da Mi) Kim, MRes
Postgraduate Associate
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Ms. Kim, a postgraduate associate, works with the Yale TCORS investigating youth responses to e-cigarette advertisements using fMRI and the influence of flavors and nicotine on the appeal of e-cigarettes among youth. Through her involvement in the on-going studies of our faculty and formal training opportunities, Ms. Kim will develop a greater understanding of issues surrounding youth tobacco addiction. Furthermore, she will gain experience with directly interacting with parents, school staff and students. All these experiences will be instrumental in her future goals of developing substance use prevention curriculums for youth.

Eric Nunes, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Nunes’ research involves working with a novel pre-clinical approach to examine the role of intra-oral flavorants on nicotine reinforcement and consumption. We show that intra oral appetitive flavorants that increase phasic DA signaling also increase self-administration behavior when combined with i.v. nicotine delivery. These preclinical findings have important implications regarding menthol and sweet flavorant additive effects on tobacco product use and can be used to inform policy decisions on tobacco product flavorant regulation.

Isha Sen, MSc, MRes
Postgraduate Associate
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

As a Yale TCORS trainee, Ms. Sen leverages her background in clinical psychology, developmental psychopathology and neuroscience to study the effects of flavored tobacco product use on adult e-cigarette users. She is also assisting with a project that will examine automatic approach tendencies towards e-cigarette use among adolescents.

Former Trainees

John Buckell, PhD
Dr. Buckell continues to work on the Yale TCORS 2.0 as a consultant on a pilot project.

Elise DeVito, PhD
Dr. DeVito continues to work on the Yale TCORS as a Co-Investigator on Project 2.

Yann Mineur, PhD
Dr. Mineur continues to work on the Yale TCORS as a Co-Investigator on Project 1.

Patricia Simon, PhD
Dr. Simon continues to work on the Yale TCORS as a Co-Investigator on the Admin Core to analyze the PATH data set and provide PATH expertise to Center Investigators.

Laura Rupprecht, PhD

Margaret Mayer, PhD