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Basic Science Network
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Welcome to the Basic Science Network

Basic science network welcomes new co-chairs
Brandon Henderson, PhD

Brandon Henderson is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Joan C Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University and Director of the Neuroscience and Developmental Biology Research Cluster. Brandon started his training in nicotine-related research as a graduate student at the Ohio State University in the Division of Pharmacology within the College of Pharmacy. During this period, he concentrated on computational modeling and the design of allosteric ligands for nicotinic receptors to be used for nicotine cessation.


In 2012, after receiving his PhD, Brandon joined the lab of Henry Lester at the California Institute of Technology. There, Brandon was trained in brain slice electrophysiology and microscopy methods that allowed him to identify the neural mechanism that allow menthol to enhance nicotine reward. Upon being awarded a K99/R00 to further study menthol’s role in nicotine addiction, Brandon pursued additional training in the labs of Drs. Nii Addy and Marina Picciotto at Yale University. In 2017, Brandon joined the faculty at Marshall University where he continues his research on the mechanisms by which tobacco flavors alter nicotine reward and reinforcement.


You can follow the Henderson lab’s progress and activities at:

Sven-Eric Jordt, PhD

Sven-Eric Jordt is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine, teaches in Duke University’s Program of Environmental Health and Toxicology and is Associate Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. He is founding member of the Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) and the Duke Center of Translational Pain Medicine (CTPM).
Sven trained as a biochemist at the Free University of Berlin and continued with doctoral studies on brain and lung chloride channels in Hamburg, receiving his Ph.D. in 1997. From 1998-2004 he trained as a postdoctoral scholar at UCSF, where he contributed to breakthrough discoveries in pain and chemosensation research by identifying TRP ion channels as receptors for painful natural products. Studies on the cold/menthol receptor, TRPM8, provided insights into the mechanisms that enable animals to sense temperature.
In 2005, Sven joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at Yale School of Medicine where he identified TRPA1 as the sensory irritant receptor for acrolein, the major noxious aldehyde in cigarette smoke. TRPA1 also functions as a mechanistic link between toxicant exposures and allergic conditions such as asthma. Studies on the cigarette flavor additive, menthol, revealed that menthol suppresses respiratory irritation responses to cigarette smoke and increases nicotine intake. 
After relocating to Duke University in 2014 he continued his research on flavor chemicals in tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, revealing the powerful behavioral effects of these compounds leading to addiction. The Jordt lab identified novel reaction products in electronic cigarettes with concerning toxicological properties.
Among other awards, Sven received the 2006 Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the 2019 Leading Edge in Basic Science Award by the Society of Toxicology. 
2019-20 Priorities
  1. Development and production of webinar (topic to be determined)
  2. Improve communications between network leadership and members
  3. Possible mentor/mentee gathering at annual conference
  4. Pre-con workshop proposal
  5. Possible poster tour at annual conference
About the Basic Science Network

Charge:  To provide an outlet for SRNT members undertaking basic science research to network with one another; to provide guidance to the SRNT Board and committees as necessary to better inform programs and/or discussions that address basic science; to help SRNT advance the field of basic science research globally.

What we define as Basic Science for SRNT: Any field of study where data are collected and/or analyzed with the intent of understanding the etiology, the mechanisms, or the consequences of tobacco/nicotine use. Examples include:

  • Behavioral and pharmacological studies conducted in pre-clinical (any animal model, including humans) and clinical models
  • In vitro experiments on cell lines and immortalized lymphoblastoid cells fMRI studies
  • Genetic, epigenetic, and/or environmental influences on tobacco/nicotine use
  • Effects of flavorants, tobacco derivatives, and/or metabolites on the use of tobacco products
  • Effects of tobacco/nicotine on a variety of factors, including tumor growth, social and/or physical health, and self-concept
  • Brandon Henderson, PhD
  • Sven-Eric Jordt, PhD
Advisory Committee
  • Rick Bevins, PhD

  • Adriaan Bruijnzeel, PhDM.
  • Imad Damaj, PhD
  • Sairam Jabba, DVM, PhD
  • Shannon Kozlovich
BSN Trainee Task Force
  • Miranda Fisher, PhD
  • Valeria Lallai, PhD
  • Theresa Patten, PhD


Basic Science Network Publication

 Fowler CD, Gipson CD, Kleykamp A, Rupprecht LE, Rees VW, Gould TJ, Oliver J, Bagdas D, Damaj MI, Schmidt HD, Harrell PT, Duncan A, and DeBiasi M, on behalf of the Basic Science Network of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (2017) Basic science and public policy: Informed regulation for nicotine and tobacco products.  Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Epub ahead of print.

PMID: 29065200 


 From Our Field: Scientist Spotlight 

If you would like to nominate a scientist to be interviewed for a future Scientist Spotlight edition, please email Brandon Henderson,,  or Sven-Eric Jordt ,  , and include 'SRNT Basic Science Scientist Spotlight Nomination' in the email subject line. We encourage nominations for individuals at all levels (junior to senior scientists) in Academia or Industry. We look forward to receiving your nominations!


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