The CFSRE, working with our partners at Arcadia University and Thomas Jefferson University, has developed research projects and initiatives that apply new technologies to problems in forensic science, and validate existing methods and techniques. The CFSRE has an active research program in many forensic disciplines, focusing on forensic biology, forensic chemistry and forensic toxicology.
Our facility in Willow Grove, PA, is equipped with state of the art instrumentation acquired through the generosity of the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation, and our partners at NMS Labs, Agilent Technologies, Sciex, and Waters. The instrumentation is used exclusively for faculty and student research, as well as teaching in both our academic programs and our continuing education courses.
In addition, the CFSRE successfully pursues grant opportunities with government and private funding agencies, such as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Safety Council (NSC), for laboratory based research projects, field assessments of new technologies, practitioner surveys of forensic testing practices, development of guidelines and recommendations for best practices, and much more. Our researchers publish in cutting edge peer reviewed journals and present their work at regional, national, and international forensic science meetings.
The forensic toxicology research conducted at the CFSRE focuses on effects and adverse events associated with the use of drugs and alcohol. Three main areas of research include drug impaired driving, medicolegal death investigations, and clinical overdose scenarios. A large portion of our research programs involve the toxicology and chemistry of novel psychoactive substances (NPS). Additional research aspects focus on analytical and interpretative challenges associated with forensic toxicology.
Research conducted at the CFSRE focuses on novel approaches to serological identification, evaluating newly released or upcoming products and methods, and improving methodology for the collection and analysis of challenging sample types. Our most current work is focused on protein mass spectrometry-based techniques for body fluid identification, in particular its application to the analysis of sexual assault kits, as well as the development of robust approaches for the genetic analysis of firearms, cartridge cases and explosives and evaluating and validating probabilistic genotyping platforms.
As the forensic chemistry discipline covers a multitude of various topics ranging from drug identification to arson and explosives analysis, the research conducted at the CFSRE in this area is diverse. Our research in this field focuses on the identification of the botanical material, pills and powders; in particular, novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and the identification of toxic adulterants as well as evaluating emerging technology for forensic chemistry applications.