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 marina.picciotto@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

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.

John Anthony Stephen Buckell, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
School of Public Health
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Buckell’s work involves using online experiments to understand the choice behavior of smokers. As a TCORS trainee, his research focuses on how smokers choose between combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes, with a focus on the features of cigarettes such as flavors. In addition, the work seeks to understand how observed behaviors vary among groups and individuals. With this, he provides evidence to inform policymaking for tobacco control.

Elise E. DeVito, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. DeVito’s addiction research has used behavioral, subjective, neuropsychological and neuroimaging measures, and behavioral and pharmacological interventions, in the context of human laboratory studies and clinical trials, to probe the mechanisms contributing to risk for, maintenance of, and recovery from addiction. Her research has also assessed individual differences in these mechanisms related to sex/gender or genetics. As a TCORS Trainee, she has completed a TCORS-funded pilot study on the impact of flavors on the subjective perception and self-administration of e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, using a genetic variant linked with smoking risk to model individual differences in sensitivity to nicotine aversiveness.

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.

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.

Margaret Mayer, MPH
Graduate School Student
School of Public Health Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Yale School of Medicine

Ms. Mayer, a doctoral student, works with the Yale TCORS investigating patterns of emerging tobacco product use among adolescents. Her dissertation research aims to characterize the association between tobacco use and food insecurity by evaluating the relationship at the individual, household, and environmental (policy) level.

Yann Mineur, PhD
Research Scientist
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Mineur’s research focuses on the neurobiology of nicotine addiction and its relationship to tobacco use. He is interested in the interaction between nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and tobacco flavorings such as menthol, and studies the molecular and behavioral consequence of nicotine and menthol use.

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.

Laura Rupprecht, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Rupprecht received her PhD in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh. Her graduate work focused on the potential behavioral and physiological effects of reducing the allowable nicotine content in cigarettes, a regulatory strategy being considered by the FDA. As a member of the Yale TCORS, Laura will investigate the effects of sweet and coolant flavors on nicotine choice, consumption, and seeking.

Patricia Simon, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Department of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Simon’s research program focuses on the prevention of substance use among racial minority and low-income adolescents. As a TCORS trainee, Dr. Simon has participated in the development and administration of a school-wide survey examining adolescents’ attitudes toward use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. She has developed manuscripts examining the role of socioeconomic status on e-cigarette and polytobocco use and is currently examining individual, family and marketing factors as mediators and moderators of the association between e-cigarette and polytobacco use.