forensic) toxicology:) career)choices)and) development...

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  • Forensic   Toxicology:  

    Career  Choices  and   Development  

  • Barry  Logan  Ph.D,  DABFT   2013-­‐14  President,  AAFS  

    NMS  Labs  &   Center  for  Forensic  Science  Research  

    and  EducaNon   Willow  Grove,  PA  

     

    Michele  (Shelly)  Merves  Ph.D.,  DABFT   Assistant  Laboratory  Director-­‐  

    Toxicology   Pinellas  County  Forensic  Lab  

    Largo,  FL    

    Karen  ScoU  Ph.D,  MRSC,     C.  Chem.,  C.  Sci.  

    Associate  Professor,   Forensic  Science   Arcadia  University  

    Glenside,  PA    

  • Forensic  Toxicology   Answers  the  QuesNon:        Did  Alcohol  or  Drugs,  Cause  or   Contribute  to,  this  Person’s  Death  

    or  IntoxicaNon?  

    BL

  • PracNce  Areas  

    •  Human  performance   – Driving   – Post  Crash   – Drug  Facilitated  Sexual  Assault  

    •  Death  InvesNgaNon   •  Regulated   •  High  throughput  vs  less  casework/complex   (interpretaNon)  

    BL

  • Forensic  Toxicology  

    Analy&cal    Interpre&ve  

    SM

  • AnalyNcal  Toxicology   •  Understanding  the  chemistry  of  the  analyte.   •  Knowing  the  capabiliNes  of  various  analyNcal   pla^orms  (i.e.  how  instruments  work).  

    •  Understanding  Quality  Management  requirements.   •  Understanding  data  evaluaNon  and  assessment.   •  Applying  insight  into  working  with  problemaNc   specimens.  

    •  Understanding  method  development  and   opNmizaNon.  

    •  Performing  method  validaNon.   SM

  • InterpreNve  Toxicology   •  Understanding  the  source  of  the  sample  and  its   limitaNons.  

    •  Understanding  how  the  result  was  obtained  and  its   limitaNons.  

    •  Thorough  familiarity  with  the  published  literature  on   drug  concentraNons.  

    •  Knowing  the  therapeuNc,  toxic  and  potenNally  fatal   outcomes  associated  with  different  toxins.  

    •  RelaNng  laboratory  findings  to  invesNgaNve,  autopsy,   and  cogniNve  and  behavioral  findings.  

    SM

  • Key  Competencies   •  Chemistry   –  Organic,  Physical,  AnalyNcal  

    •  Anatomy  and  Physiology   •  Pharmacology   –  Pharmacodynamics,  PharmacokineNcs,  Metabolomics  

    •  Psychology   –  Psychomotor  Performance,  CogniNon  and  Behavior  

    •  CommunicaNons   – WriUen,  Spoken,  CriNcal  reading  

    •  Research   BL

  • Is  this  the  right  career  for   you?  

    •  Character  Traits:   – Love  Science   – Really  Love  Chemistry   – Broad  interest  in  mulNple  disciplines   – Excited  about  communicaNon   – Strong  stomach   – AUenNon  to  detail   – Open  mindedness  and  fairness  

    BL

  • Where  do  Forensic   Toxicologists  Work?  

    •  Government  Laboratories:   – Public  Health,  Police/Public  Safety,  AUorney   General,  Prosecutor,  Medical  Examiner/Coroner,   Military  

    •  Academic  Laboratories:   – Laboratory  medicine,  Pathology,  Toxicology  

    •  Private  Laboratories:   – Forensic  and  clinical  laboratories,  military   contractors  

    SM

  • A  Typical  Days  Work…   •  Receive,  inspect,  process  and  accession   specimens  for  tesNng.  

    •  Review  case  histories  or  requests  for  tesNng.   •  Assemble  batches  of  samples  from  alcohol   tesNng  and  drug  screening.  

    •  Review  screening  results,  and  order   confirmatory  tesNng.    

    SM

  • A  Typical  Days  Work…   •  Perform  instrument  maintenance  and  set-­‐up.   •  Batch  and  extract  samples  for  confirmatory   tesNng.  

    •  Analyze  and  review  data  from  chromatographic   tesNng.  

    •  Batch  and  extract  samples  for  quanNtaNve   tesNng.  

    •  Review  all  data  in  the  context  of  the  case  and   generate  a  report.  

    SM

  • A  Typical  Days  Work…   •  Develop  or  validate  new  methods.   •  Review  QC  data.   •  Research  interpreNve  data  to  prepare  a  report.   •  Discuss  case  and  opinion  tesNmony  with   aUorneys  and  invesNgators.  

    •  TesNfy  in  Court  or  at  DeposiNon.   •  AUend  training.   •  Obtain/maintain  CerNficaNon(s)  

    SM

  • Becoming  a  Toxicologist   •  Three  stages:   – High  school   – Undergraduate  degree   – Graduate  degree(s)  

    •  Important  to  keep  opNons  open  

    KS

  • Becoming  a  Toxicologist   •  High  School:   – Chemistry,  Biology,  Physics   – English   – Math  &  StaNsNcs   – Experience  in  public  speaking/presenNng   – Highest  level  of  Chemistry,  Biology,  Math  will   facilitate  undergraduate  learning  

    KS

  • Becoming  a  Toxicologist   •  Undergraduate:   – Course  choices  could  include:  

    •  Organic  Chemistry,  AnalyNcal  Chemistry,  Biochemistry,   Toxicology,  Biology,  Pharmacology,  WriNng,  BiostaNsNcs,   Research  

    – Degree  opNons  include:   •  Chemistry,  Biology,  Forensic  Science,  Biochemistry   •  Must  be  in  a  Natural  Science   •  Accelerated  programs  available  

    KS

  • Becoming  a  Toxicologist   •  Graduate:   – MS  and  PhD  programs  available   – MS  need  not  be  track  selected  but  should  include    

    •  Instrumental  Analysis,  preferably  analysis  of  biological   samples  and  Pharmacology   •  Forensic  Chemistry  or  Forensic  Science   •  Allows  entry  to  labs  at  a  higher  level  than  with  just   degree  

    – No  bespoke  PhD  programs  in  US  at  present   •  Senior  level  entry  posiNons  

    KS

  • Forensic  Science  v  TradiNonal   Science  Degrees  

    •  Both  are  acceptable   •  FS  UG  or  MS  degree  includes  addiNonal   benefits  of  courses  in  law,  ethics,  quality   management  

    •  Same  core  subjects  (chemistry/biology)  should   be  covered  but  with  FS  applicaNon  

    KS

  • FEPAC  

    •  Forensic  Science  EducaNon  Programs   AccreditaNon  Commission  

    •  Maintains  and  enhances  the  quality  of   forensic  science  educaNon  through  a  formal   evaluaNon  and  recogniNon  of  college-­‐level   academic  programs.    

    •  BS  and  MS  programs  are  accredited    

    KS

  • Your  First  Job   •  Gehng  Hired   – Understand  the  material,  don’t  just  memorize  it.   – Be  AcNve  in  Undergrad  and  Grad  School.   – Research  and  Internships.   –  Join,  volunteer,  read,  tutor.   – Have  a  broad  knowledge  of  the  State  of  Forensic   Science.  

    – Be  flexible.  

    BL

  • Your  Ideal  Job   •  Service  Work?   •  Research?   •  Management?   •  Technical  Supervision?   •  Teaching?  

    BL

  • Building  Your  Resume   •  Consider  Graduate  School.   •  ParNcipate  in  Professional  OrganizaNons.   •  ParNcipate  in  Young  Forensic  ScienNst  Groups.   •  Network,  collaborate,  visit  other  labs.   •  Seek  out  training.   •  Seek  CerNficaNon.   •  Find