Implementation Workshop: TOF/QTOF Mass Spectrometry for Identification, Screening, and Confirmation in Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry

Implementation Workshop: TOF/QTOF Mass Spectrometry for Identification, Screening, and Confirmation in Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry


This event originally occurred on October 18, 2023
Duration 5.5 hours

This virtual workshop aims to provide guidance to forensic science service providers (FSSPs) involved in the planning, purchase, use, or quality assurance surrounding TOF/QTOF-MS instrumentation. The speakers for this workshop were selected with the goal of curating a panel of subject matter experts with many combined years of user experience to provide a multifaceted and in-depth perspective on the topic, without endorsing a particular vendor or instrument. Each presenter has a unique role within their respective organizations and can offer their own specialized perspectives on the topics that will be discussed.

Time-of-Flight and Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (TOF/QTOF-MS) systems can be a powerful, versatile analytical technology for FSSPs with proper setup and use. Even for forensic laboratories fortunate enough to have the budget to consider expanding their capabilities with TOF/QTOF-MS instrumentation, full implementation can still be a challenge without experience or expertise using TOF/QTOF-MS systems. Challenges can include conflicting vendor information or a lack of information specific to FSSP needs related to available upgrades, hardware, and software.

Challenges experienced during the implementation of a TOF/QTOF-MS system in a forensic laboratory include unforeseen costs associated with use, complicated upkeep and maintenance, a steep learning-curve for hardware and software, increased data complexity, considerations surrounding sample preparation, avoiding instrument down-time, and regulatory compliance. Many of these issues will require additional training and experience of the operational FSSPs.

Speakers will candidly discuss the challenges they have encountered—ranging from instrumental maintenance to data management bottlenecks—and will offer proven solutions based on their own experiences. The coverage will extend to the day-to-day operational realities that can be overlooked but are essential for successful system implementation and operation, such as instrument maintenance, data management, and reporting. For participants particularly interested in the analytical capabilities of these technologies, the workshop will delve into detailed recommendations concerning scope definition, method development, and validation processes. In sum, this virtual workshop event aims to equip attendees with an understanding to support the effective and efficient integration of TOF/QTOF-MS systems into FSSP operations.

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will receive guidance on selecting a TOF/QTOF-MS instrument system that will meet general and specific forensic analytical requirements. 
  2. Attendees will learn from experts how to avoid and overcome obstacles to implementing TOF/QTOF-MS instrumentation. 
  3. Attendees will increase their confidence in making decisions related to the procurement, setup, validation, and ongoing use of a TOF/QTOF-MS system. 


  • Alex Krotulski, Ph.D. | Associate Director, Center for Forensic Science Research and Education 
  • Luke N. Rodda, Ph.D. MRACI CChem | Chief Forensic Toxicologist and Director, San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • Dani C. Mata, MSFS | Senior Forensic Scientist, Forensic Chemistry Bureau of the Orange County Crime Lab
  • Kaitlyn Palmquist, Ph.D. | Toxicologist, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences
  • Kristin W. Kahl, M.S., D-ABFT-FT, NRCC-TT | Toxicologist 3, University of Miami Toxicology Laboratory
  • Ryan Pieters | Forensic Scientist, Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
  • Michael Truver, Ph.D. | Deputy Director of Forensic Toxicology, University of Florida
  • Joshua DeBord, Ph.D. | Senior Scientist, Center for Forensic Science Research and Education

Virtual Workshop

Implementation Workshop: TOF/QTOF Mass Spectrometry for Identification, Screening, and Confirmation in Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM ET
Lunch break between 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET

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Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event was provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this event are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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