Matthew L. Banks, Ph.D.

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Matthew BanksAssistant Professor
Robert Blackwell Smith Building, Room 760A
410 North 12th Street
Box 980613
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0613
Phone: (804) 828-8466


  • Ohio Northern University, Pharm.D., 2003
  • Wake Forest University, Ph.D., 2007

Research interests

  • Medications development for opioid and psychostimulant addiction
  • Use of choice procedures in preclinical models of drug abuse
  • Neurobehavioral pharmacology

The overall theme of my research centers on understanding the neurobehavioral mechanisms of drug choice over other competing non-drug reinforcers. Our working hypothesis is that an effective treatment strategy, both pharmacological and behavioral, should facilitate reallocation of behavior away from drug choice toward choice of competing, alternative reinforcers. Ultimately the goal of our preclinical studies is to translate our results in developing efficacious clinical treatment strategies for drug addiction.

Selected publications

Banks ML, Negus SS (2017) Insights from preclinical choice models on treating drug addiction. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 38:181-194. doi: 10.1016/

Banks ML (2016) Utility of preclinical drug vs. food choice procedures to evaluate candidate medications for methamphetamine use disorder. Ann N Y Acad Sci. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13276.

Smith DA, Negus SS, Poklis JL, Blough BE, Banks ML (2016) Cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, methcathinone, and their 3,4-methylenedioxy or 4-methyl analogs in rhesus monkeys. Addict Biol, doi: 10.1111/adb.12399.

Solis Jr E, Suyama JA, Lazenka MF, De Felice LJ, Negus SS, Blough BE, Banks ML (2016) Dissociable effects of the prodrug phendimetrazine and its metabolite phenmetrazine at dopamine transporters. Sci Rep, 12:31385. doi: 10.1038/srep31385.

Banks ML, Hutsell BA, Schwienteck KL, Negus SS (2015) Use of preclinical drug vs. food choice procedures to evaluate candidate medications for cocaine addiction. Curr Treat Options Psychiatry 2:136-150. doi: 10.1007/s40501-015-0042-9.