Krista Highland (they/them)


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Deputy Director of Science, Research Associate Professor
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Pain Management, Health Equity, Healthcare Optimization


PhD Clinical Psychology, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Dr. Highland is the Deputy Director of Science at the Defense & Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM). They are a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in statistical methodology and clinical research and Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology (primary), Military and Emergency Medicine (secondary), and Medicine (tertiary). They are also a Henry M. Jackson Foundation contractor.

They are a principal investigator on multiple grants including two large CDMRP Chronic Pain Management grants. Their research examines pain management optimization through a health equity measurement framework and biopsychosocial lens. As such, Dr. Highland employs a range of statistical modeling approaches, including structural equation modeling and machine learning.

Dr. Highland completed their PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at the University of Washington's Level I Trauma Center, Harborview Medical Center, in the Behavioral Medicine and Neuropsychology Track. After their PhD, they completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

Spectrum (LGBTQIA+) Student Group Faculty Advisor

School of Medicine Diversity Committee Member

Department of Anesthesiology Faculty Development Committee Member

Defense Health Agency, Pain Management Clinical Support Service Member


Kent, M. L., Giordano, N. A., Rojas, W., Lindl, M. J., Lujan, E., Buckenmaier, C. C., 3rd, Kroma, R., & Highland, K. B. (2021). Multidimensional Perioperative Recovery Trajectories in a Mixed Surgical Cohort: A Longitudinal Cluster Analysis Utilizing National Institutes of Health Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Measures. Anesthesia and analgesia, 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005758. Advance online publication.

Scott-Richardson, M., Giordano, N. A., & Highland, K. B. (2021). The Public Health Need to Estimate State Readiness in Pain Management Policy Implementation and Equity. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), pnab240. Advance online publication.

Scott-Richardson M., Johnson G., Giordano N., Burnett S., Highland K.B. Policy Facilitators Versus Structural Barriers: Integrative Therapy Telehealth Changes in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Telemedicine and e-Health, in press.

Giordano, N., Kent, M., Andersen, S., Scott-Richardson, M., & Highland, K. B. (2021) Postoperative Pain Mediates the Association Between Peripheral Nerve Blocks and Postoperative Sleep Following Lower Extremity Arthroplasty. Clinical Journal of Pain.

Hodgkin, D., Adams, R. S., Ritter, G., Lee, S., Highland, K. B., Larson, M. J. (2021). Do Nonpharmacological Services Offset Opioids in Pain Treatment for Soldiers? Health Services Research.

Jaffe, E., Patzkowski, M. S., Hodgson, J. A., Foerschler, D. L., Gonzalez, S. C., Giordano, N. A., Scott-Richardson, M. P., & Highland, K. B. (2020). Practice Variation in Regional Anesthesia Utilization by Current and Former US Military Anesthesiology Residents. Military Medicine.

Kopp, J. A., Anderson, A. B., Dickens, J. F., Graf, A. C., Reid, C. O., Cagniart, P. C., Wang, J. M., & Highland, K. B. (2020). Orthopedic Surgeon Decision-Making Processes for Postsurgical Opioid Prescribing. Military Medicine, 185(3-4), e383-e388. doi:10.1093/milmed/usz397

Highland, K. B., Soumoff, A. A., Spinks, E. A., Kemezis, P. A., & Buckenmaier, C. C. (2020). Ketamine Administration During Hospitalization Is Not Associated With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Outcomes in Military Combat Casualties: A Matched Cohort Study. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 130(2), 402-408. doi:10.1213/ANE.0000000000004327

Giordano, N. A., Kane, A., Jannace, K., Rojas, W., Lindl, M. J., Lujan, E., Gelfand, H., Kent, M., & Highland, K. B. (2020). Discrete and dynamic postoperative pain catastrophizing trajectories across 6 months: A prospective observational study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Jannace, K. C., Giordano, N. A., Thelus, R., Mukherjee, D. V., Tilley, M. L., & Highland, K. B. (2020). A Time-series Analysis of the Association Between Occupational Health Policies and Opioid Prescription Patterns in United States Active Duty Military Service Members from 2006 to 2018. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.