Krista L. Scoggins, D.V.M.

Director of Graduate Education, Research Associate

Krista L. Scoggins, D.V.M.

Department: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Phone: (804) 828-7918


McGuire Hall, room 100E
1112 East Clay Street
Box 980524
Richmond, Virginia 23298


  • D.V.M., University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 1989

Research Interests

My initial research focused on the opioid drug abuse field, examining the mechanisms of tolerance and untoward side effects of chronic morphine exposure in rodents. My role in the Department has since evolved from laboratory bench research into developing compliance guidelines for multiple pharmacology laboratories. I work extensively with investigators to establish animal use protocols that meet both their animal needs for research as well as regulations stipulated by VCU’s Institutional Committee on Animal Use and Care (IACUC) following the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the National Research Council (8th Ed.). I assist VCU’s Division of Animal Resources veterinary staff to train new investigators and their laboratory personnel to handle rodents safely and compassionately for research procedures. As needed, I meet with laboratory personnel to develop aseptic surgical skills to achieve healthy survival outcomes.

Most recently, I have accepted the position of Director of Graduate Education for the Department. Along with their Advisors, I provide guidance to our Masters and Doctorate students as they advance towards their degrees.

Research Interests of Lab

• Exploring opioid analgesia including the development of tolerance and dependence using classical behavioral procedures in rodents.
• Screening potential drug therapies in rodent models to address opioid dependence and addiction
• Employing transgenic mice and ex vivo methodologies to elucidate the complexities of opioid pain pathways.

Research Associate: Assistance to Departmental Investigators

• Development and maintenance of animal regulatory protocols
• Training of laboratory personnel regarding access and review of regulatory protocols
• Training of investigators and lab personnel as to the process of amending regulatory protocols
• Guidance and participation during annual and bi-annual Post-Approval Monitoring meetings
• Preparation of labs for veterinary observations of survival surgeries and USDA Pain Category E procedures

Veterinary Assistance: Rodent Handling Classes

• Training in Basic Rodent Handling Techniques
• Introduction to Asepsis and Basic Surgical Techniques in Rodent Surgery
• Individual or laboratory training on specific rodent handling/surgical procedures

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