Toxicology Section Update

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Source: Madeleine J. Gates, PhD, Section Program Chair

It seems like quite a bit has happened since we last met just a few weeks ago at the 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Anaheim, California. Given recent events, I think we are all looking forward to returning to normal schedules and traveling again.

As we slow down a bit, I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of you that made this meeting such a success! The Toxicology Section officers, workshop chairs, program chairs, session moderators, abstract reviewers, and countless volunteers helped put on such an excellent event and without them none of this would have been possible. The scientific program for the Toxicology Section was outstanding because of your hard work that resulted in three excellent workshops (“Drug Delivery Homicide,” “The Investigation and Analysis of Health Care Serial Killers,” and “A Decade of Designer Drugs”), an Annual Lectureship courtesy of Dr. Dary Fiorentino, 45 Poster presentations, and 37 Oral presentations (including the 20th Annual Postmortem Pediatric Forensic Toxicology session).

Special recognition to the following financial supporters and their continued generous support: Agilent Technologies, UTAK Laboratories, RTI (Best Poster Award), Lipomed, Thomson Instrument Company, Waters Corporation, SCIEX, Cayman Chemical, Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (Workshop #1) and NMS Labs (Workshop #10, Workshop #21, and Wednesday Night Owl).

Our annual Toxicology Luncheon was well attended with 70 registered attendees. We received updates from Jen Limoges on the progress of the ASB standards development and from Michelle Peace on her blossoming mentorship program. We surprised Brad Hepler as the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Honoree with tributes from Dwain Fuller, Dan Isenschmid, Bob Osiewicz, Eric Lavins, Hee-Sun Chung and his daughter Erin Worrell. We also celebrated the following Toxicology Section awards: Christine Moore (Rolla N. Harger Award), Eric Lavins (Ray Abernethy Award), Nathalie Desrosiers (Irving Sunshine Award), and Haley Mulder (June K Jones Award). Congratulations to our honoree and awardees!

Preparations for the 73rd AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston, TX, February 15-20, 2021, are taking place on schedule albeit in a virtual fashion for now. AAFS President Jeri Ropero-Miller has chosen the theme of One Academy–Pursuing Justice Through Truth in Evidence. I’m sure that my colleagues will agree that we are looking forward to celebrating unity and justice over the coming year. We expect another exciting program with a variety of workshops, scientific sessions, breakfasts, luncheons, and traditional sessions including Drugs and Driving, Postmortem Pediatric Toxicology, and our joint session with the Pathology/Biology Section.

With this year’s theme in mind, please start thinking about workshop proposals, abstract topics, or nominations for the section awards. The August 1 deadline for submissions is less than four months away!

Please note the following section appointees for 2020-21:

Sherri L. Kacinko, PhD, Section Chair (
Sabra R. Botch-Jones, MS, Section Secretary (
Madeleine J. Gates, PhD, Section Program Chair (
Amanda L.A. Mohr, MSFS, Section Program Co-Chair (
Timothy P. Rohrig, PhD, Awards and Scholarship Chair (

Moderators and volunteers are essential to a successful meeting; such service is especially useful for those members wishing to promote. Please fill out this survey if you are interested in becoming an abstract reviewer or moderator: Should you be interested in promotion, please note October 1 is the application deadline. Please consult the AAFS website for general and section specific requirements.

Please mark your calendars now for another exciting meeting. Looking forward to seeing y’all in Houston!