Nicotine and Tobacco Research Team (NTRT)

The mission of the Nicotine and Tobacco Research Team (NTRT) is to promote NIDA nicotine and tobacco research interests, primarily across the Institute and NIH; to serve as a clearinghouse of information to NIDA staff on timely information related to nicotine and tobacco research (including Tobacco Regulatory Science); to inform the addiction research community on NIDA activities relating to nicotine and tobacco; to assist NIDA management in evaluating the nicotine and tobacco research portfolio; and to identify and support new research programs and directions as they relate to nicotine and tobacco.

The Core Group of NTRT Program Staff have the majority of the nicotine and tobacco portfolio and serve as a resource to investigators for inquiries regarding research in this area at NIDA. They represent a cross section of expertise such as pre-clinical, clinical, drug development, behavior, services, treatment, and epidemiology.

Goals of the NTRT include:

  • Invite speakers to present at NIDA, either in-person or via Webcast. Topics would be rotated across all areas of research supported by NIDA, including: basic neuroscience, behavior, clinical research, therapeutic development, epidemiology, and prevention.
  • Provide networking opportunities between NIDA program staff and the nicotine and tobacco research staff of NIH IC’s and other HHS organizations (e.g., NCI, NHLBI, NIAAA, NICHD, FDA, and SAMHSA).
  • Meet regularly with NIDA leadership to discuss the NIDA nicotine and tobacco portfolio, ongoing issues, and identify gap areas to further explore.
  • Plan and conduct Pre-Conference Workshops and/or Symposia Sessions at the SRNT Annual Meeting, possibly in collaboration with other NIH IC’s and/or FDA CTP staff.  
  • Distribute the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Team (NTRT) NEWSLETTER, which includes notifications of high-profile research publications, changes in tobacco regulation, seminars, meetings, funding opportunity announcements and related updates. 

Membership in the NTRT is open to all NIDA extramural and intramural staff.  If you would like to join and/or receive the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Team (NTRT) NEWSLETTER, please contact Flair Lindsey, flindsey@nida.nih.gov

For questions about the Nicotine and Tobacco Research Team, please contact either of the co-chairs, Mary Kautz, kautzm@nida.nih.gov, or Kevin Walton, kevin.walton@nih.gov.  

Core Membership

Investigators considering to apply for NIDA research grants pertaining to nicotine and tobacco are encouraged to contact the relevant Program Staff to discuss their proposal in relation to NIDA research priorities.  You can also review the NIDA strategic plan, which discusses the Institute's research priorities.

Name Program Staff Title Branch Division Areas of Expertise
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Will Aklin
Aklin, Will
Program Officer Clinical Research Grants Branch Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences Behavioral treatments targeting specific neurobehavioral processes (e.g., impulsivity, risk-taking propensity, decision-making), examination of theory-derived treatment targets and mechanisms of behavior change, adherence, neuromodulation, studies that integrate behavioral/pharmacological and technology-based treatment.
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Beth Babecki
Babecki, Beth
Training Coordinator Office of the DNB Director Division of Neuroscience and Behavior Training Coordinator, mentor to applicants and grantees for: institutional (T32 grants) and individual training grants (F30, F31 and F32 grants), Career Development (K-type) and Research Education grants (R25). Research area interests: nicotine and tobacco basic and clinical research with focus on chemistry, genetics, behavior and functional neuroscience.
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MeLisa Creamer
Creamer, MeLisa
Health Scientist Administrator

Epidemiology Research Branch

Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research Epidemiology and surveillance of tobacco use, marketing, point-of-sale, social media, and cognitive and affective factors related to tobacco use.
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Evan Herrmann
Herrmann, Evan
Health Scientist Administrator Clinical Research Grants Branch  Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences Human behavioral pharmacology of nicotine/tobacco, including designing and conducting studies examining smoking behavior, and clinical trials focused on treatment development; behavioral economic and smoking topography assessments; interactions between nicotine/tobacco and other medications/drugs of abuse; smoking cessation medications development research and; smoking during pregnancy/smoking cessation interventions targeting pregnant women.
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Mary Kautz
Kautz, Mary

Director, NIDA Tobacco Regulatory Science

Program Officer

Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Branch Division of Neuroscience and Behavior NIDA Liaison to the NIH-FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program; Human and animal studies on behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological antecedents of exposure to nicotine and other drugs of abuse, as well as mechanisms underlying consequences of the various phases of substance use.
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Heather Kimmel
Kimmel, Heather

The PATH Study Director at NIH

Program Officer

Epidemiology Research Branch Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research Epidemiology of tobacco use, comorbidity with psychiatric disorders, polysubstance use, genetic and environmental risk factors, marketing, point-of-sale, social media, and risk perceptions.
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Rik Kline
Kline, Rik
Branch Chief Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Branch Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences Director of the NIDA Drug Supply Program (where researchers can request/receive DEA controlled and non-controlled substances including varying doses of nicotine cigarettes); therapeutic development for treatment of drug abuse; oversees contract efforts aimed at creating cGMP active pharmaceutical ingredients for human clinical trials.
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Flair Lindsey
Lindsey, Flair
Program Analyst Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Branch Division of Neuroscience and Behavior Assists with program coordination for the NIDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program (TRSP), participates in cross cutting nicotine and tobacco special interest groups (SIGs) and serves as a resource on NIH Tobacco Regulatory Science Program (TRSP) & FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) research training and grant funding opportunities.
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Lizette Nkongho
Nkongho, Lizette
Scientific Program Analyst Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Branch Division of Neuroscience and Behavior Understanding the neuropsychological effects of tobacco/nicotine products using EEGS, program coordination for the NIDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program (TRSP), POC for the NIDA Nicotine Research Cigarettes Drug Supply Program.
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Vani Pariyadath
Pariyadath, Vani
Branch Chief Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Branch Division of Neuroscience and Behavior Cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, machine learning, computational modeling.
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Jonathan Pollock
Pollock, Jonathan
Branch Chief Genetics, Epigenetics, and Developmental Neuroscience Branch Division of Neuroscience and Behavior Genetics of substance use disorder, genetics and epigenetics of nicotine dependence, pharmacogenomics of smoking cessation.
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Dr. Kevin Walton, Ph.D.
Walton, Kevin
Branch Chief Clincial Research Grants Branch Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences Clinical trials evaluating new therapeutics or treatment paradigms for smoking cessation; repurposing of approved therapeutics; neuromodulatory/neurostimulatory treatments; integrated pharmacologic and behavioral therapies; co-morbid conditions; electronic cigarettes for harm reduction and nicotine cessation.
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Shelley Su
Su, Shelley
Program Director Services Research Branch Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research Implementation science, treatment services for nicotine and cannabis use disorders, chronic pain and opioid use disorder, social network support in SUD recovery, and leads the translational efforts bridging neuroscience and services research.
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Roger Sorensen
Sorenson, Roger
Branch Chief Integrative Neuroscience Branch Division of Neuroscience and Behavior Neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and neural circuit communication underlying nicotine dependence and withdrawal.
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Dr. Wilson Compton
Compton, Wilson
Deputy Director Office of the Director Office of the Director Population sciences (epidemiology, comorbidity, health services); research training; research workforce diversity; health disparities research; senior NIDA scientist on the FDA/Center for Tobacco Products and NIH/NIDA supported landmark Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study; member of the Department of Health and Human Services Tobacco Control Committee.