Dr Clemence Girardet
Dr Clemence Girardet, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr Andrew Butler’s laboratory, was awarded a scholarship from the Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) .
Katie Stockstill, graduate student in Dr. Salvemini's laboratory, was awarded the American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award  to attend the the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, April 30- May 3, 2014 in Tampa, FL. Katie will be presenting her poster entitled "Bortezomib-induced neuropathic pain is blocked and reversed by blocking the the S1P/S1PR1 axis" on Thursday, May 1, 2014 as a part of this Annual Scientific Meeting.
Contact Us
Department of Pharmacological and Physiology
Room M 362 || 1402 South Grand Blvd
St. Louis, Missouri 63104
Phone: 314-977-6400
Fax: 314-977-6410

William Banks, M.D.

Departments of Internal Medicine, Geriatric Division and Pharmacological and Physiological Science
M.D., University of Missouri, columbia, 1979
previously on the staff of Tulane University



Our laboratory investigates the ability of peptides, regulatory proteins, and related substances to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The ability of these substances to cross the BBB forms the basis for a humoral mediation of interactions between the central nervous system and the peripheral tissues. The applications of this premise are broad and our laboratory uses a variety of in vivo, in situ, and in vitro models to investigate various aspects of this field.

    Examples of currently active programs are:


  1. The role of peptide transport system (PTS)-1, a saturable system that transports methionine enkephalin (ME) from blood to brain, in regulating brain ME levels in alcohol dependence and withdrawal.
  2. The role that cytokine transport across the BBB plays in the neuroimmune axis.
  3. The role that the BBB plays through control of the exchange of leptin, insulin, pancreatic polypeptide and other feeding hormones in the regulation of body weight, appetite, and feeding behaviors.
  4. The mechanism used by the AIDS virus to enter and exit the central nervous system.
  5. The pathophysiology of prion penetration of the BBB.
  6. Alterations of neurotrophin and cytokine transport systems located at the BBB with various types of neurological injury including spinal cord trauma, animal models of multiple sclerosis, and brain ischemia.

Numerous other active projects relate to the pathophysiologic mechanisms of altered BBB function and the role that those alterations play in disease and health.


  1. During, M.J., L. Cao, D.S. Zuzga, J.S. Francis, H.L. Fitzsimons, X. Jiao, R.J. Bland, M. Klugmann, W.A. Banks, D.J. Ducker, and C.N. Haile. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor is involved in learning and neuroprotection. Nature Medicine 9:1173-1179, 2003.
  2. Banks, W.A., A.B. Coon, S.M. Robinson, A. Moinuddin, J.M. Shultz, R. Nakaoke, J.E. Morley. Triglycerides induce leptin resistance at the blood-brain barrier. Diabetes 53:1253-1260, 2004.
  3. Urayama, A., J.H. Grubb, W.A. Banks, W.S. Sly. Epinephrine enhances lysosomal enzyme delivery across the blood-brain barrier by up-regulation of the mannose 6-phosphate receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 12873-78, 2007.

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