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Willis K. “Rick” Samson, Ph.D., Receives Two Honors

On July 16, Rick Samson, Ph.D., was installed as the 33rd president of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviors (SSIB), an international organization committed to advancing scientific research on food and fluid intake and its associated biological, psychological and social processes.

In August, Samson will be honored as a distinguished member of the International Regulatory Peptide Society (  His acceptance presentation will be “Challenges for the Field: Peptides as Therapeutics: Orphan G Protein-Coupled Receptor – Ligand Matching is Just the Beginning.” He will be highlighting results of a fruitful, 16-year-long collaboration with Dr. Gina L.C. Yosten, an associate professor in the department.

Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. Awarded Department of Defense Grant

Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. was awarded a grant entitled “Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Subtype 1: A Novel Target in the Treatment of Chronic Migraine” from the Department of Defense. The funding period is July 1, 2021-June 30, 2025 and the funded amount $1,280,322.

Migraine and post-traumatic headache (PTH) are widely prevalent disabling disorders. They are far more prevalent in military service personnel, as they are a common feature of mild traumatic brain injury, where a migraine predisposition is more likely to produce adverse outcomes. Despite their high prevalence there are major gaps in our understanding of their pathobiology. Moreover, our ability to treat the more frequent and chronically disabling forms of migraine and PTH are limited. The objectives of our proposal are to understand the roles of sphingolipids, and in particular S1P, in nociceptive mechanisms involved in the pathobiology of migraine-like headaches and the potential use of S1PR1 antagonists in these conditions.

John K. Walker, Ph.D., Elected as Senior Member of the 2021 Class of National Academy of Inventors - February 2021

John K. Walker, Ph.D., was elected as a NAI Senior member of the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of his dedication to invention and innovative work in his field. He is named an inventor on 13 issued U.S. patents, and is a co-founder of two companies (Pelagos Pharmaceuticals and Myonid Therapeutics) working in the drug discovery field, developing technologies partially identified in his lab.

The Future of Neuroscience, for the Service of Humanity - Fall 2020

Understanding how to treat diseases of the brain and nervous system, like ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and pain, requires more than just research, discoveries, and development in one scientific discipline, but rather a multidisciplinary approach that brings together several experts across disciplines, all of whom are committed to better understanding how neuroscience works. 

Gina Yosten Awarded Grant from the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research - Spring 2021

Gina Yosten, Ph.D., was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research in February in support of her proposal entitled, “Orphan GPCRs and the Neurobiology of Hyperphagia in Prader Willi Syndrome: Role of GPR160." The goal of Yosten's proposal is to evaluate the potential role of a molecule called cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, or CART, in appetite regulation using a rat model of Prader-Willi Syndrome. 

Daniela Salvemini Accepts Chair position, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology - March 2021

Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., has accepted the position of Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, effective March 1, 2021. Dr. Salvemini also holds the William Beaumont Professor and Chair. Dr. Salvemini received her Ph.D. from London University. She completed her postdoctoral study at The William Harvey Research Institute at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College and in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at Monsanto Corporate Research.

New Book by Former SLU Pharmacology and Physiology Chair Thomas C. Westfall Details History of Department - April 2021

Thomas C. Westfall, Ph.D., former William Beaumont Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology (1979-1990) as well as the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (1990-2013) at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, recently published a book, entitled: "The History of Pharmacology and Physiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine."

Dr. Gina L.C. Yosten Selected the Next Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Physiology - Summer 2020

After a lengthy international search the publications committee and executive council of the American Physiological Society have chosen Dr. Gina L.C. Yosten, assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology at the SLU School of Medicine, to be the next editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physiology (Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology).

Saint Louis University’s Daniela Salvemini Honored for Pain Discoveries - Winter 2020

Researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and physiology at Saint Louis University, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for her contributions toward understanding and finding better treatments for pain. Fellows of the NAI are academic inventors who have made a significant difference in the quality of life in society.

Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., Awarded the 2020 Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics from ASPET - April 2020

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Daniela Salvemini from Saint Louis University School of Medicine the 2020 Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics. The Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics recognizes and stimulates outstanding research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, basic laboratory or clinical research that has had, or potentially will have, a major impact on the pharmacological treatment of disease.