Biobehavioral Health Alumni Profile: Melloni Cook, Ph.D.

picture of Melloni Cook


B.S 1991 Biology, Mary Washington College
Ph.D. 1996 Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University

On the Ph.D. program, in her words:

“The diverse training and instruction that I received in the Biobehavioral Health Program has allowed me to address research questions from many different perspectives. This has, in turn, facilitated collaborations with investigators from many different fields of research.”

Current Position

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Memphis

Current areas of professional interest:

Genetics of Complex Traits

Doctoral Thesis

"Region-Specific Differences in Monoamine Response to Cocaine: Sex and Genetic Influences"

Brief description: This project investigated the roles of genetics, sex and sex hormones in monoamine response to cocaine. Mice from the C57BL/6J and DBA/2J strains were used. Based on preliminary observations of sex differences in neurochemical response to cocain, we were interested in the extent to which differences in sex hormones between males and females contribute to such differences. Findings from the dissertation research suggested that genetic constitution and sex are important covariates in CNS sensitivity to cocaine. Results also suggested that sex hormones may modulate monoamine response to cocaine, in a brain region-specific manner

Ph.D. advisor

Byron C. Jones