Alphonse Poklis, PhD

Professor of Pathology


Margaret M. Grimes, MD, M.Ed.
Alphonse Poklis joined the Pathology Department in 1987 and is currently Director of the Toxicology Laboratory.


Dr. Poklis received a BS in Pharmacy in 1969 and a PhD in Forensic Toxicology in 1974 from the University of Maryland. He was worked as a toxicologist at Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Wilmington, Delaware; North Dakota State University Office of the State Toxicologist; and as Director of the Forensic and Environmental Toxicology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology at St. Louis University School of Medicine.  In addition to directing the department’s Toxicology Laboratory he is Director of the Core Mass Spectrometry Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at VCU School of Medicine. He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Forensic Sciences in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences and teaches Forensic Toxicology courses for undergraduates and graduate students, as well as directing student research in toxicology.


Dr. Poklis has regularly consulted and lectured on toxicology issues for many organizations including the FBI Academy, College of American Pathologists and the U.S. Department of Justice.  Dr. Poklis has contributed to over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He is a member and past President of the Society of Forensic Toxicologist and past Chairman of the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). In 1998, he received the Rolla Harger Award from AAFS “in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field and profession of forensic toxicology”.  A Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), in 2005, he received the ABFT Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his 15 year service as chairman and proctor of the board’s qualifying written examination. Since 2005, he has serviced as a governor’s appointee to the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. 


To learn more about Dr. Poklis, click here.