Emanuele Alves

Emanuele Alves, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

(804) 828-8420

T. Edward Temple Building, 901 W. Main St., room 3305C

Office hours: Wednesdays 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


  • Ph.D., Forensic Sciences, Porto University, Porto, Portugal (2017)
  • M.Sc., Chemistry, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2011)
  • Postgraduate Crime Scene Investigation, UCB, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007)
  • B.S., Pharmacy, UFF, Niterói, Brazil (2005)
  • Technician in Biotechnology, Federal Technical School of Chemistry, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1999)


Dr. Alves is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Forensic Science at VCU. She is currently the principal investigator of the Experimental Toxicology Research Laboratory (ETRL). Prior to VCU, Dr. Alves worked for the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil where she was involved in projects dedicated to developing vaccines and cell bank certifications. She was also involved in forensic projects in association with the Rio de Janeiro State Police. She is experienced in cell culture, virology, pathology, molecular biology, biochemistry, organic and analytical chemistry, and toxicology. Dr. Alves also has a vast teaching experience being a professor in Brazil, Portugal, Cape Verde, and the U.S.

Research Interests

Dr. Alves is a Forensic Toxicologist interested in developing projects focused on new psychoactive substances (NPSs) and homemade drugs. Her main topics of research include the development and investigation of new pharmacologically active substances obtained/inspired in illicit homemade drugs; the development of alternative extraction and analytical methodologies to study NPSs in "real-world" samples and biological tissues; natural poisons; the mechanistic study of several intoxications and respective antidote development; metabolomics; pharmacokinetics; and the study of drug-drug interactions. Research in the Alves Research Team focuses on organic synthesis, analytical techniques and classical toxicology assays in vivo and in vitro.

Select Publications

  • FLEMING, J.H.; BABYAK, C.M.; ALVES, E.A.; Analysis of Heavy Metals Content in Commercially Available Kratom Products in Richmond, Virginia. Journal of Forensic Chemistry, v.33, 100474, 2023.
  • RESNIK, K.; BRANDÃO, P.; ALVES, E.A.; Dark Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Bucinnazine. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, v. 12 (19), p. 3527-3534, 2021.
  • ALVES, E. A.; Dark Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Krokodil. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, v. 11, p. 3968-3978, 2020.
  • ALVES, E. A.; BRANDÃO, P.; NEVES, J. F.; CRAVO, S.M.; SOARES, J. X.; DUARTE, J. A.; GRUND, J.P.C.; AFONSO, C.M.; NETTO, A.D.P.; CARVALHO, F; DINIS-OLIVEIRA, R.J. Repeated subcutaneous administrations of Krokodil causes skin necrosis and internal organs toxicity in Wistar rats. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, v. 32(3), 2017.
  • ALVES, E. A. ; SOARES, J.X.; AFONSO, C.M.; GRUND, J.P.C.; AGONIA, A.S.; CRAVO, S.M.; NETTO, A.D.P.; CARVALHO, F; DINIS-OLIVEIRA, R.J. The Harmful Chemistry Behind Krokodil: Street-like Synthesis and Product Analysis. Forensic Science International, v.257, p.76-82, 2015.


  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), Member – Toxicology, 2018-present
  • The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT), Member, 2017-present
  • Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), Member, 2018-present
  • The Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC), Member – Chemistry Section – Subcommittee of Seized Drugs, 2021-present
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Member – Toxicology, 2022-present


  • FRSZ 671: Instrumentation in Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
  • FRSC 400: Forensic Chemistry
  • FRSC 445: Forensic Toxicology and Drugs


  • National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) – Science Without Borders Fellow – Research Fellowship, 2013
  • VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty Scholarship Recognition Award, 2023