Toxicologist II

Sara WaltonSara Walton currently works at the CFSRE as a Forensic Toxicologist. Her work primarily falls under NPS Discovery, the CFSRE’s program for the identification and distribution of information regarding novel psychoactive substances. She focuses on the detection and characterization of these NPS, through sample-mining and data-mining, as well as the confirmation of NPS through method development and validation and characterizing these novel drugs by examining NPS trends and their metabolism. She also contributes to various other projects with clinical and seized drug collaborators.

Sara received her Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science with a biology emphasis from The Pennsylvania State University in 2019. Her undergraduate research focused on the collection, amplification, and sequencing of touch evidence. After completing her degree, she worked as a Forensic Toxicology Mentor for the Forensic Science Mentoring Institute at the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation. In 2021, Sara received her Master of Science degree in Forensic Toxicology from Thomas Jefferson University. Her research while at TJU focused on the development, validation, and application of a quantitative method for various novel synthetic opioids – nitazene analogs. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Temple University.

Sara has authored/co-authored ten papers in the field of forensic toxicology, primarily on NPS and is a part of many professional organizations, including the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT), the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and the International Society for the Study of Emerging Drugs (ISSED). She was awarded the SOFT Young Forensic Toxicologist Leo dal Cortivo Best Presentation Award in 2021, the SOFT Young Scientist’s Meeting Award (YSMA) in 2022, and the AAFS Emerging Forensic Scientist Award (EFSA) in 2023.

Highlighted Publications:

Sara E Walton, Alex J Krotulski, Barry K Logan. A Forward-Thinking Approach to Addressing the New Synthetic Opioid 2-Benzylbenzimidazole Nitazene Analogs by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry (LC–QQQ-MS), Journal of Analytical Toxicology (2021).

Alex J. Krotulski, Nancy Garibay, Donna Walther, Sara E. Walton, Amanda L.A. Mohr, Barry K. Logan, Michael H. Baumann. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of the Synthetic Cannabinoid, 5F-MDMB-PICA, in Male Rats. Neuropharmacology (2021).

AJ Krotulski, DM Papsun, SE Walton, BK Logan. Metonitazene in the United States – Forensic Toxicology Assessment of a Potent New Synthetic Opioid using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Drug Testing and Analysis (2021).