Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D.


Health Psychology
100 W Franklin St, rm 231
(804) 827-4617

Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher for 2017 Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher for 2018

Professor (tenured)

Co-Director, Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

Co-founder and laboratory director, Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies

Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 28

Ph.D. (1994), McMaster University

Doctoral Program Affiliation

Health Psychology


Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

Research Interests

My primary area of research is the behavioral pharmacology of drugs of abuse, focusing primarily on nicotine/tobacco.  I am Director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products whose mission is to develop and apply regulatory science to the evaluation of tobacco products and to train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists. To carry out this mission, the Center has established the following seven goals:

  1. To facilitate collaborative research and training efforts among faculty from different disciplines (including collaborations across academic departments and schools) that advances the field of tobacco regulatory science.
  2. To develop and maintain core facilities and services that support research on tobacco regulatory science.
  3. To facilitate the application of new knowledge to the development of effective tobacco product regulations through the conduct of translational research and the evaluation of tobacco product regulations.
  4. To develop opportunities for international research and training that supports the Center's mission.
  5. To develop and maintain an outstanding faculty of researchers and educators by assisting in the retention of current faculty and the recruitment of new faculty.
  6. To create new opportunities for individual faculty development, including mentoring for junior faculty.
  7. To train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists, including post-doctoral fellows and graduate students.

Select Publications

Soneji, S., Barrington-Trimis, J. L., Wills, T. A., Leventhal, A. M., Unger, J. B., Gibson, L. A., Yang, J., Primack, B. A., Andrews, J. A., Miech, R. A., Spindle, T. R., Dick, D. M., Eissenberg, T., Hornik, R. C., Dang, R., Sargent, J. D. (in press). Association between initial use of e-cigarettes and subsequent cigarette smoking among adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics.
Baldassarri, S. R., Hillmer, A. T., Anderson, J. M., Jatlow, P., Nabulsi, N., Labaree, D., Cosgrove, K. P., O'Malley, S. S., Eissenberg, T., Krishnan-Sarin, S., & Esterlis, I. (in press). Use of electronic cigarettes leads to significant beta2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor occupancy: Evidence from a PET imaging study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
Talih, S., Balhas, Z., Salman, R., El-Hage, R., Karaoghlanian, N., El-Hellani, A., Baassiri, M., Jaroudi, E., Eissenberg, T., Saliba, N., & Shihadeh, A. (2017). Transport phenomena governing nicotine emissions from electronic cigarettes: Model formulation and experimental investigation. Aerosol Science and Technology, 51, 1-11.
Meltzer, L. R., Simmons, V. N., Sutton, S. K., Drobes, D. J., Quinn, G. P., Meade, C. D., Unrod, M., Brandon, K. O., Harrell, P. T., Eissenberg, T., Bullen, C. R., & Brandon, T. H. (2017). A randomized controlled trial of a smoking cessation self-help intervention for dual users of tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes: Intervention development and research design. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 60, 56-62.
Bahelah, R., DiFranza, J. R., Ward, K. D., Eissenberg, T., Fouad, F. M., Taleb, Z. B., Jaber, R., & Maziak, W. (2017). Waterpipe smoking patterns and symptoms of nicotine dependence: The Waterpipe Dependence in Lebanese Youth Study. Addictive Behaviours, 74, 127-133.

Recent Courses

  • Grant Writing, graduate level
  • Tobacco Control in the 21st Century: The Role of Regulation and Regulatory Science, graduate level

Recent Grants

Center for the Study of Tobacco Products. 2013-2018. Co-Principal Investigator. FDA/NIH/NIDA (P50 DA036105-02), $13,000,000. 

REALTIME Waterpipe Tobacco Smoke Toxicant Sampling in the Natural Environment. 2011-2015. Co-Principal Investigator. NIH/NIDA (R01 DA025659-04R), $1,330,000.

Assessment of Tobacco Products Pharmacology and Behaviors. 2014-2016. Principal Investigator. FDA (PO# US001-0000426790), $12,000.

Behavior and Toxicant Exposure Among Dual Users of Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes. 2014-2016. Co-Investigator. FDA/NIH/NCI (R21 CA184634-01), $275,000.

Cigarillo Smoking: Smoke Toxicant Content and User Toxicant Exposure and Effects. 2012-2014. Co-Principal Investigator. NIH/NCI (R21 CA161317-01A1), $238,000.

Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults. 2010-2014. Co-Investigator. NIH/NCI (R01 CA140150-04), ~$80,000.

Recent Awards

  • VCU Distinguished Scholarship Award, 2015
  • VCU College of Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Scholar Award, 2011

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