Virginia Tech® home

Jim Knight

Professor, Reproductive Physiology
Headshot of Dr. Jim Knight.
School of Animal Sciences
3160 Litton-Reaves Hall
175 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

My current primary research focus is on enhancing scientific understanding of the role of oxidative stress in porcine oocyte maturation, fertilization, and early embryonic development. We are specifically investigating the role of a unique amide product in enhancing embryonic development following the assisted reproductive technologies of in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and pronuclear microinjection. Other research interests and previous areas of research publications include uterine function, maternal-conceptus interrelationships during pregnancy, placental function, placental steroidogenesis, and production of transgenic swine that express human therapeutic proteins. I also have an ardent interest in the application of basic scientific knowledge to contemporary ethical, moral and philosophical issues associated with human reproduction.

  • ALS 3304, Physiology of Reproduction, 3 credits, Spring (Three 3-hour lab sections, 75 - 85 students) and Fall (Two 3-hour lab sections, 55 - 60 students).
  • APSC 3004, Junior Seminar Lecture, Fall, (45 - 55 students) and APSC 3004, Junior Seminar Recitation, "Controversial Issues in Agriculture", Fall, ~ 15 students,(One 2-hour recitation section; 2 credits for combination of APSC Lecture and Recitation).
  • UH 3004H, Honors Colloquium, "Controversial Issues in Science and Society", 3 credits, Fall, 15-18 students.
  • APSC 4004, Contemporary Issues in Animal Science Lecture, (60-70 students) and
  • APSC 4004, Contemporary Issues in Animal Science Recitation, (~15 students, one 2-hour recitation section; 2 credits for combination of Lecture and Recitation)

Additional (team teaching/guest lectures)

  • ALS 5314, Comparative Reproductive Physiology, Spring, alternate years, (20 - 33%)
  • HD 2314, Human Sexuality, Spring and Fall (3 - 5 lectures/semester)
  • BIOL 1206, Honors Biology, Spring, (1 - 2 lectures)
  • Ph.D., Reproductive Physiology, 1975, University of Florida
  • M.S., Reproductive Physiology, 1972, University of Florida
  • B.S., Animal Science, 1970, University of Louisiana-Lafayette


  • USDA Excellence in College and University Teaching, Southern Region Award, 2002
  • Monroe Moosnick Distinguished Visiting Professor for 1993 at Transylvania University, Lexington, KY
  • Recipient of Virginia Tech’s inaugural Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, 1992
  • Recipient of Virginia Tech's W.E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1987
  • Inducted into Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence, 1987
  • Recipient Virginia Tech Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award of Merit, 1987
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,1983


  • Recipient of Bundes-Angestellentarifvertrag grant by the Bundesrepublik Deutschland Bundesforschungsanstalt fur Landwirtschaft (German Ministry of Agriculture) to support research sabbatical, 1988
  • Book, Preventing Birth: Contemporary Methods and Related Moral Controversies, co-authored with Joan C. Callahan, selected by Choice magazine of the American Library Association as one of the Outstanding Academic Books for 1990-1991


  • Awarded membership in the Virginia Tech Academy of Faculty Service, 1994
  1. Whitaker B., J. Knight. (2008) Mechanisms of oxidative stress in porcine oocytes and the role of anti-oxidants. Reproduction, Fertility, and Development, 20:694-702.
  2. Whitaker B.,  B. Carle, T. Mukai, A. Simpson, L. Vu, J. Knight. (2008) Effect of exogenous glutathione supplementation on motility, viability, and DNA integrity of frozen-thawed boar semen, Animal Reproduction, 5:127-131.
  3. Whitaker B., S. Clark, Z. Crouse, W. Matin, K. Waters, J. Knight. (2008) The effects of thawing procedure and supplementation on the motility and viability of frozen-thawed boar semen. Virginia Journal of Science, 59:185-192.
  4. Knight J. 2006. "Teaching: The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On". In the book “Teaching Excellence At a Research-Centered University:  Energy, Empathy, and Engagement in the Classroom”. 2006. pp. 139-145. ISBN 0-536-31227-3. Pearson Custom Publishing. 75 Arlington Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02116.
  5. Estienne, M., A. Harper, J. Knight. 2006. Reproductive traits in gilts housed individually or in groups during the first thirty days of gestation. Journal of Swine Health and Production. 14(5):241-246.
  6. Estienne, M., A. Harper, J. Knight. 2006. Reproductive traits in gilts housed individually or in groups during the first thirty days of gestation. Journal of Swine Health and Production. 14:241-246.
  7. Horsley B., M. Estienne, A. Harper, S. Purcell, H. Baitis, W. Beal and J. Knight. 2005. Effect of P.G. 600 on the timing of ovulation in gilts treated with altrenogest. Journal of Animal Science. 83:1690-1695.


Career Publications Summary

1 Book; 9 Chapters in Books; 72 Refereed Journal Articles; 107 Abstracts; 50 University Research Reports; 16 Extension/Other