Department head recognized for contributions to nicotine, tobacco research

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) has named Thomas J. Gould, Jean Phillips Shibley Professor and head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State, as an inaugural fellow in recognition of his contributions to nicotine research.

Previously, Gould served as president and chair of the professional association that supports those working across disciplines in the field of nicotine and tobacco research.

“I am both grateful and awed to be a member of the inaugural class of fellows of SRNT,” Gould said. “During the 23-year history of SRNT, the commitment of its members to generate and disseminate knowledge concerning nicotine in order to improve public health demonstrates the positive impact scientists can have. To be recognized as contributing to this mission is an honor and highlight of my career.”

The status of fellow recognizes outstanding contributions to the field having to do with the generation of new and useful knowledge. Accomplishments include scientific contributions to research, as well as clinical practice, public health, public policy, regulation and/or legislation.

Gould’s research focuses on nicotine addiction and understanding the contribution of genetics to changes in brain and behavior after nicotine exposure. He investigates the long-term impact of developmental nicotine exposure on brain and behavior, primarily examining changes in learning-related processes and in underlying brain regions. Additionally, he seeks to understand the comorbidity between nicotine exposure and anxiety disorders.

“The SRNT is a leader in understanding the ever-changing landscape of nicotine and tobacco products to reduce the detrimental impact of tobacco, while also decreasing the proliferation of new addictive and dangerous products,” Gould said.

Gould added, “The SRNT plays a critical role as a resource for evidence-based information for regulatory and policy agencies; in providing outreach regarding the health impact of tobacco to developing countries; in facilitating career development of our junior colleagues; and in facilitating research in tobacco and nicotine addiction. As a past president and inaugural fellow, I look forward to contributing to the development of the careers of junior scientists while continuing to support the growth of SRNT.”

The association’s mission is to stimulate the generation and dissemination of new knowledge concerning nicotine in all its manifestations. It accomplishes its mission by presenting an annual scientific conference, where its researchers at every career stage present their latest findings, and by providing an outlet for publication of cutting edge research through its scientific journal, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, which is published by the Oxford University Press. For more information visit

Thomas J. Gould, head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health, has been named a fellow of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) for his contributions to nicotine research and his service to SRNT. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated June 02, 2017