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Jennifer A. Minnix, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Science, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement


Jennifer A. Minnix, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the Tobacco Treatment Program. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Minnix is particularly interested in furthering the understanding of the affective processes of nicotine addiction and believes that the psychophysiological study of individual differences resulting from and/or leading to chronic nicotine use offers a promising line of inquiry. Moreover, this line of research can be integrated into future treatment strategies that may be able to target individual differences in smokers attempting to quit. Dr. Minnix is also interested in continuing to develop a multidisciplinary approach to the study of cigarette smoking, including expanding her knowledge of neuro-imaging and co-morbid mood disorders in a smoking population. Her expertise in psychophysiology in general and interest in neurobiological indices of high-level cognitive and affective processing in particular provides a unique potential for collaboration in the department’s Tobacco Research and Treatment Program. Dr. Minnix worked closely with a variety of mentors to increase her breadth and depth of knowledge related to nicotine dependence, cognitive and affective neuroscience, EEG and fMRI technology, and project administration through her awarded R-25 and K99 training grants. As an independent researcher funded by an R00 grant, Dr. Minnix mentors graduate students and post-docs in clinical research areas related to behavioral therapy for nicotine dependence as well as psychophysiological research design, methodology, and implementation. In addition to her own studies, Dr. Minnix has been an integral collaborator/ co-investigator on 10 NIH and industry-sponsored clinical trials for smoking cessation with a variety of populations including pregnant women and individuals with co-morbid psychiatric disorders. She is also heavily involved in the lung cancer prevention Moon Shot initiative for adult smoking cessation. Dr. Minnix received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University in 2005 and completed her clinical internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Research Interests

smoking prevention and cessation

neurobiological indices of affect and cue reactivity

genetic predictors of treatment response

co-morbid psychiatric disorders in smokers

individual differences in cessation and tailored treatment development

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2005 Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, PHD, Clinical Psychology
2002 Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, MS, Clinical Psychology
2000 The University of Texas, Austin, Austin, TX, BA, Psychology

Postgraduate Training

7/2005-8/2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Paul M. Cinciripini
6/2004-6/2005 Clinical Internship, Psychology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TN


Academic Appointments

Instructor, Department of Behavioral Science, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2008-5/2010

Honors and Awards

2002 Student Research Award, American Psychological Society
2002 Student Research Award, Society for Psychophysiological Research
2000 College Teaching Fellowship, Florida State University
1997-2000 Golden Key Honor Society, The University of Texas
1996-2000 National Dean's List, The University of Texas

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Buckner JD, Farris SG, Zvolensky MJ, Shah SM, Leventhal AM, Minnix JA, Schmidt NB. Dysphoria and smoking among treatment seeking smokers: the impact of smoking inflexibility/avoidance. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In Press.
2. Stotts AL, Northrup TF, Cinciripini PM, Minnix JA, Blalock JA, Mullen PD, Pedroza C, Blackwell S. Randomized, controlled pilot trial of bupropion for pregnant smokers: challenges and future directions. Am J Perinatol. e-Pub 8/2014. PMID: 25111040.
3. Versace, F, Engelmann, JM, Robinson, JD, Jackson, EF, Green, CE, Lam, CY, Minnix, JM, Karam-Hage, M, Brown, VL, Wetter, DW, Cinciripini, PM. Pre-quit fMRI Responses to Pleasant and Cigarette Cues Predict Smoking Cessation Outcome. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 16(6):697-708, 6/2014. e-Pub 12/2013. PMID: 24376278.
4. Blalock JA, Minnix JA, Mathew AR, Wetter DW, McCullough JP, Cinciripini PM. Relationship of childhood trauma to depression and smoking outcomes in pregnant smokers. J Consult Clin Psychol 81(5):821-30, 10/2013. e-Pub 6/2013. PMCID: PMCPMC3905676.
5. Minnix JA, Versace F, Robinson JD, Lam CY, Engelmann JM, Cui Y, Brown VL, Cinciripini PM. The Late Positive Potential (LPP) in Response to Varying Types of Emotional and Cigarette Stimuli in Smokers: A Content Comparison. Int J Psychophysiol 89(1):18-25, 7/2013. e-Pub 5/2013. PMCID: PMC3771859.
6. Cui Y, Versace F, Engelmann JM, Minnix JA, Robinson JD, Lam CY, Karam-Hage M, Brown VL, Wetter DW, Dani JA, Kosten TR, Cinciripini PM. Alpha Oscillations in Response to Affective and Cigarette-Related Stimuli in Smokers. Nicotine Tob Res 15(5):917-24, 5/2013. e-Pub 10/2012. PMCID: PMC3621581.
7. Cinciripini PM, Robinson JD, Karam-Hage M, Minnix JA, Lam C, Versace F, Brown VL, Engelmann JM, Wetter DW. Effects of Varenicline and Bupropion- Sustained-release Use Plus Intensive Smoking Cessation Counseling on Prolonged Abstinence from Smoking and on Depression, Negative Affect and Other Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal. JAMA Psychiatry 70(5):522-533, 5/2013. e-Pub 3/2013. PMCID: PMC4128024.
8. Robinson JD, Versace F, Lam CY, Minnix JA, Engelmann JM, Cui Y, Karam-Hage M, Shete SS, Tomlinson GE, Chen TT, Wetter DW, Green CE, Cinciripini PM. The CHRNA3 rs578776 variant is associated with an intrinsic reward sensitivity deficit in smokers. Front Psychiatry 4:114, 2013. e-Pub 9/2013. PMCID: PMC3779859.
9. Versace F, Lam CY, Engelmann JM, Robinson JD, Minnix JA, Brown VL, Cinciripini PM. Beyond cue reactivity: Blunted brain responses to pleasant stimuli predict long-term smoking abstinence. Addict Biol 17(6):991-1000, 11/2012. e-Pub 10/4/2011. PMCID: PMC3252422.
10. Lam CY, Robinson JD, Versace F, Minnix JA, Cui Y, Carter BL, Wetter DW, Cinciripini PM. Affective reactivity during smoking cessation of never-quitters as compared with that of abstainers, relapsers, and continuing smokers. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 20(2):139-150, 4/2012. e-Pub 10/2011. PMCID: PMC3381955.
11. Engelmann JM, Versace F, Robinson JD, Minnix JA, Lam CY, Cui Y, Brown VL, Cinciripini PM. Neural substrates of smoking cue reactivity: A meta-analysis of fMRI studies. Neuroimage 60(1):252-262, 3/2012. e-Pub 12/21/2011. PMCID: PMC3288122.
12. Versace F, Engelmann JM, Jackson EF, Costa VD, Robinson JD, Lam CY, Minnix JA, Brown VL, Wetter DW, Cinciripini PM. Do brain responses to emotional images and cigarette cues differ? An fMRI study in smokers. Eur J Neurosci 34(12):2054-63, 12/2011. e-Pub 11/20/2011. PMCID: PMC3237919.
13. Blalock JA, Nayak N, Wetter DW, Schreindorfer L, Minnix JA, Canul J, Cinciripini PM. The relationship of childhood trauma to nicotine dependence in pregnant smokers. Psychol Addict Behav 25(4):652-63, 12/2011. e-Pub 9/2011. PMCID: PMC4093831.
14. Minnix JA, Blalock JA, Marani S, Prokhorov AV, Cinciripini PM. Self-efficacy mediates the effect of depression on smoking susceptibility in adolescents. Nicotine Tob Res 13(8):699-705, 8/2011. e-Pub 4/11/2011. PMCID: PMC3150689.
15. Versace F, Minnix JA, Robinson JD, Lam CY, Brown VL, Cinciripini PM. Brain reactivity to emotional, neutral, and cigarette-related stimuli in smokers. Addict Biol 16(2):296-307, 4/2011. e-Pub 12/2010. PMCID: PMC3058803.
16. Blalock JA, Cinciripini PM, Gritz ER, Karam-Hage MA, Lam CY, Minnix JA, Robinson JD. The effect of mood, anxiety and alcohol use disorders on smoking cessation in cancer patients. Journal Cognitive Psychotherapy 25(1):82-96, 3/2011.
17. Robinson JD, Lam CY, Carter BL, Minnix JA, Cui Y, Versace F, Wetter DW, Cinciripini PM. A multimodal approach to assessing the impact of nicotine dependence, nicotine abstinence, and craving on negative affect in smokers. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 19(1):40-52, 2/2011. PMID: 21341922.
18. Minnix JA, Robinson JD, Lam CY, Carter BL, Foreman JE, Vandenbergh DJ, Tomlinson GE, Wetter DW, Cinciripini PM. The Serotonin Transporter Gene and Startle Response During Nicotine Deprivation. Biol Psychol 86(1):1-8, 1/2011. e-Pub 10/1/2010. PMID: 20888887.
19. Versace F, Robinson JD, Lam CY, Minnix JA, Brown VL, Carter BL, Wetter DW, Cinciripini PM. Cigarette cues capture smokers' attention: evidence from event-related potentials. Psychophysiology 47(3):435-41, 5/2010. e-Pub 1/2010. PMCID: PMC4037813.
20. Cinciripini PM, Blalock JA, Minnix JA, Robinson JD, Brown VL, Lam C, Wetter DW, Schreindorfer L, McCullough JP, Dolan-Mullen P, Stotts AL, Karam-Hage M. Effects of an intensive depression-focused intervention for smoking cessation in pregnancy. J Consult Clin Psychol 78(1):44-54, 2/2010. PMCID: PMC2881321.
21. Lam CY, Robinson JD, Carter BL, Wetter DW, Minnix JA, Cinciripini PM. Nicotine differentially inhibits the acoustic startle reflex in African American and Caucasian American smokers. Addict Behav 33(12):1521-8, 12/2008. e-Pub 7/2008. PMCID: PMC2612003.
22. Minnix JA, Romero C, Joiner TE, Weinberg EF. Change in "resolved plans" and "suicidal ideation" factors of suicidality after participation in an intensive outpatient treatment program. J Affect Disord 103(1-3):63-8, 11/2007. e-Pub 3/2007. PMID: 17341431.
23. Robinson JD, Lam CY, Minnix JA, Wetter DW, Tomlinson GE, Minna JD, Chen TT, Cinciripini PM. The DRD2 TaqI-B polymorphism and its relationship to smoking abstinence and withdrawal symptoms. Pharmacogenomics J 7(4):266-74, 8/2007. e-Pub 12/2006. PMID: 17189962.
24. Lam CY, Minnix JA, Robinson JD, Cinciripini PM. A brief review of pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 4(6):583-9, 7/2006. PMID: 16813725.
25. Blackhart GC, Minnix JA, Kline JP. Can EEG asymmetry patterns predict future development of anxiety and depression? A preliminary study. Biol Psychol 72(1):46-50, 4/2006. e-Pub 10/2005. PMID: 16223557.
26. Wingate LR, Bobadilla L, Burns AB, Cukrowicz K, Hernandez A, Ketterman R, Minnix J, Petty S, Richey J, Sachs-Ericsson N, Stanley S, Williams FM, Joiner TE. Suicidality in African American men: The roles of southern residence, religiosity, and social support. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors 35(6):615-629, 2005.
27. Minnix JA, Reitzel LR, Repper KA, Burns AB, Williams FM, Lima E, Cukrowicz KC, Kirsch L, Joiner TE. Total number of clinical scale elevations on the MMPI-II predicts premature termination after controlling for intake severity and personality disorder diagnosis. Personality and Individual Differences 38:1745-1755, 2005.
28. Cinciripini PM, Green CE, Robinson JD, Karam-Hage M, Engelmann J, Minnix J, Wetter D, Versace F. Benefits of varenicline vs. bupropion for smoking cessation among those with high cigarette reward sensitivity. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Submitted.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Low reward sensitivity and behavioral activation therapy for smoking cessation
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017
Title: Reward sensitivity and smoking cessation using counseling plus NRT or Varenicline
Funding Source: NIH/NIDA
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Paul M. Cinciripini
Duration: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017
Title: Intrinsic reward sensitivity & smoking cessation with varenicline or patch NRT
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Cinciripini, Paul M
Duration: 8/31/2014 - 8/30/2017
Title: Emotion Regulation Group Intervention for Smokers with Childhood Trauma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Blalock
Duration: 7/1/2014 - 6/30/2018
Title: Personalized Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Adult Smokers: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial
Funding Source: MDACC Moon Shot Donor Funds
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Paul M. Cinciripini
Duration: 9/1/2013 - present
Title: Suppression of negative affect indexed by the late positive potential in smokers attempting to quit
Funding Source: NIH/NIDA
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 5/1/2011 - 4/30/2015
Title: Preliminary effectiveness and safety of bupropion to promote smoking cessation during pregnancy
Funding Source: Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS)
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Stotts, AL & Cinciripini, PM
Duration: 9/1/2009 - 8/31/2011
Title: Effectiveness of varenicline plus bupropion for smoking cessation
Funding Source: NIH/NIDA
Role: Collaborator
Principal Investigator: Cinciripini, PM
Duration: 7/1/2009 - 12/31/2014
Title: Suppression of negative affect indexed by the late positive potential in smokers
Funding Source: NIH/NIDA
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 5/1/2009 - 4/30/2011
Title: Affective modulation of negative affect in response to nicotine administration (competitively awarded through an external review process)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Trainee
Principal Investigator: Richard Chamberlain
Duration: 12/2005 - 8/2008
Title: Pharmacogenetics, emotional reactivity and smoking
Funding Source: NIH/NIDA
Role: Collaborator
Principal Investigator: Cinciripini, PM
Duration: 7/15/2004 - 4/30/2012
Title: Emotion regulation, inhibitory control, and smoking cessation
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Paul M. Cinciripini

Last updated: 12/29/2014