John 'Randy' James, Ph.D.
Affiliate Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutics
  •   Off-Site
  • School of Pharmacy - Dept of Pharmaceutics
    410 N 12th Street
    Box 980533
    Richmond, VA 23298-0533


  • Ph.D., Psychology (Virginia Commonwealth University, 1992)
  • M.S., Psychology (Virginia Commonwealth University, 1991)
  • B.S., Psychology (University of Oregon, 1987)
  • B.S., Forestry (North Carolina University, 1972)

Post-Graduate Training

  • Post Doctoral Fellow - Pharmacology and Toxicology (Virginia Commonwealth University, 1993)

Professional Experience

  • (1996 - Present) Research Assistant Professor, Manager, Biopharmaceutical Analysis Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • (1995 - 1996) Research Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • (1994 - 1994) Visiting Scientist, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Professional and Scholarly Interests

  • Nicotine's mechanism of action in the central nervous system

Research Interests

  • Trained as a biological psychologist (behavioral pharmacologist) research has centered on nicotine's mechanism of action in the central nervous system (CNS). Research techniques include; (1) drug discrimination, (2) activity paradigms, (3) stereotaxic surgery, (4) receptor binding, (5) microdialysis and (6) GC/MS sample analysis. The research has two goals; (1) determination of the CNS mechanism of action of addiction for nicotine and (2) determination of molecular differences between people able to quit smoking "cold turkey" and people unable to ever quit smoking. As the manager and compliance officer of the Biopharmaceutical Analysis Laboratories an FDA approved facility, the key areas of interest are Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and FDA regulations both for analysis of clinical samples and submission of New Drug Applications (NDA).


PubMed Search
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Books/Book Chapters

  • Prus AJ, James JR and Rosecrans JA: “Conditioned Place Preference”. In: Methods of Behavior Analysis in Neuroscience. Second Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, ISBN: 978-1-4200-5234-3, 59-76, 2008.

Recent Publications

  • Pehrson AL, Philibin SD, Gross D, Robinson SE, Vann RE, Rosecrans JA and James JR: “The Effects of Acute and Repeated Nicotine Doses on Spontaneous Activity in Male and Female Sprague Dawley Rats: Analysis of Brain Area Epibatidine Binding and Cotinine Levels”, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 89(3): 424-431, 2008.
  • Prus AJ, Vann RE, Rosecrans JA, James JR, Pehrson AL, O’Connell MM, Philibin SD and Robinson SE: “Acute Nicotine Reduces Repeated Nicotine Increases Spontaneous Activity in Male and Female Lewis Rats”, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 91: 150-154, 2008.
  • Robinson, SE, Vann RE, Britton AF, O’Connell M, James, JR and Rosecrans JA: “Cellular Nicotinic Receptor Desensitization Correlates with Nicotine-Induced Acute Behavioral Tolerance in Rats”, Psychopharmacology, 192(1): 71-8, 2007.