Dr. Frank Etscorn

Frank Etscorn, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Psychology and Education

Research Areas

  • Conditioned flavor aversion learning
  • Percutaneous drug delivery
  • Behavioral effects of nicotine and tobacco smoke
  • Behavioral pharmacology and toxicology
  • Conditioned immune responses
  • Non-toxic, environmentally safe techniques for suppression of animal damage
  • Effects of exposure to 70kv electromagnetic fields
  • Cutaneous Drug Delivery

Patents Held

First patent holder for the nicotine patch for use in tobacco cessation. The patent was licensed to Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis, and sold as the Habitrol patch. It is also marketed over-the-counter by Walmart (Equate), Kroger and Walgreens.

Etscorn, F. & NM Tech Research Foundation. Title: Transcutaneous application of   nicotine Issued July 1, 1986. U.S. Patent Number 4,597,961

Etscorn, F. & Lorenzo Torres. Title: Animal repellent. Issued October 7, 1997. U.S.   Patent, Number 5,674,496.

Academic Positions

  • Kennedy Center Scientist, The John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Education and  Human Development,
  • Institute on Mental Retardation and Intellectual Development, Comparative-Developmental Laboratory, Nashville, TN
  • Professor of Psychology, New Mexico Tech
  • Dean of Students New Mexico Tech
  • American Cancer Association, Celebrity Speaker’s Bureau
  • New Mexico Academy of Science and New Mexico Tech Visiting Scientist Lecture Program


Named in most influential Kentuckians of the 20th Century. Lexington Herald-Leader

“Products of the Year.” “Innovation." for the Nicotine Patch (Habitrol). Fortune magazine

“The Best Products of 1992.” Habitrol Nicotine Patch. Time magazine

Winner of the first New Mexico Inventor Of The Year award. Presented by the New Mexico Entrepreneurs Association, The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and The Rodey Law Firm

Winner of 1990 Distinguished Teaching Award. NM Tech