Faculty from WVPRC receive award from National Institute on Drug Abuse and Food and Drug Administration

The West Virginia Prevention Research Center (WVPRC) is pleased to announce that Melissa Blank, PhD, and Aaron Metzger, PhD, both of the WVU Department of Psychology, were awarded an Exploratory/Development Research Grant award (R21) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Blank currently serves as Faculty Lead for the WVPRC’s Substance Use Initiatives, a group of which Dr. Metzger also is a member. WVPRC Director and WVU School of Public Health faculty member, Geri Dino, PhD, will participate in the award in the role of Co-Investigator.

Melissa Blank , PhD
Melissa Blank , PhD

Over the course of two years, Drs. Blank and Metzger will receive $241,318 to conduct a secondary analysis of data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH), a national-level longitudinal study of tobacco use among youth and adults in the United States. The overall goal of this work will be to inform evidence-based public health efforts aimed at tobacco prevention in the earliest stages of use.

More specifically, the analysis seeks to examine changes in the use of individual tobacco products across time, as well as transitions between patterns of polytobacco use, from early adolescence into emerging adulthood (ages 12-22 years). Also examined will be the complex interactions between behaviors related to tobacco use and various risk and protective factors using a socio-ecological framework.

Kevin Larkin, PhD, chair of psychology, commented, “this is the latest project in our department’s ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with scientists at the Prevention Research Center. By bringing together expertise in behavioral sciences and public health, this team is a model for addressing some of the state’s most significant health problems.”

To learn more about the project, please contact Dr. Melissa Blank or Dr. Aaron Metzger.