Research

Driven by the FIU and IFRI research mission, FATF plays a key role in assisting faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students to conduct relevant research using state-of-the art-instrumentation and approaches.

Strong educational support for the law enforcement agencies, academia, and forensic laboratories is also provided in our facility. Workshops on modern forensic toxicology techniques, analytical instrumentation, data interpretation and customized method development strategies are offered per request.

Research projects conducted at the FATF under the direction of Dr. DeCaprio are focused on the development and application of analytical methods to enhance the value of scientific evidence in analytical and forensic toxicology. These projects are supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Justice. Ongoing research projects in the Facility include:

  • Development of an ultra-trace LC-MS/MS method for the comprehensive identification of designer drugs, including phenethylamines, piperazines, and tryptamines, in human blood and urine.
  • Systematic examination of the cross-reactivities of designer drugs with existing immunoassay screening platforms.
  • Application of in vitro drug metabolism assays to model in vivo metabolism of important drugs of abuse.
  • Development of new technologies for long term monitoring of human exposure to drugs of abuse and chemical warfare agents based on chemical modification of blood proteins.
  • Ultra-trace analysis of polychlorinated biphenyl and other persistent pollutant metabolites by dual-column GC and ECD.
  • Optimization of GC-EI-MS and GC-NCI-MS separation and analysis of abused prescription drugs, including benzodiazepines, hydrocodone and oxycodone, Ritalin, and their metabolites, in human hair and other biological matrices.
  • Evaluation of headspace GC with simultaneous FID and MS detection in blood alcohol and volatiles analysis.