Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Original Release Date: February 5, 2021

In episode three of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science sat down with Amanda Mohr and Dr. Alex Krotulski from the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education to discuss the analytical and interpretative challenges associated with emerging drug threats. 

The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, otherwise known as the CFSRE, oversees a collaborative effort to better understand emerging drug threats. CFSRE researchers Amanda Mohr and Dr. Alex Krotulski are working on a project called NPS Discovery, a model for monitoring, forecasting, and responding to emerging novel psychoactive substances. Listen along as our guests return to Just Science to discuss NPS Discovery, analytical challenges associated with novel psychoactive substances, and the value of community partnerships. 

This season is in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP) funding to respond to illicit substance use and misuse in order to reduce overdose deaths, promote public safety, and support access to services.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen to or download the episode here:

View or download the episode transcript here:

Guest Biography

Dr. Alex J. Krotulski serves as a Research Scientist III at CFSRE and oversees the collaborative efforts of NPS Discovery, our flagship program for the identification of new synthetic drugs and the dissemination of information surrounding their impact. Dr. Krotulski primarily works as a forensic toxicologist in his role but conducts work as a forensic chemist as well. Dr. Krotulski received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Analytical Chemistry from Temple University following receipt of his Master of Science degree in Forensic Science from Arcadia University and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Loyola University New Orleans. In his short career, Dr. Krotulski has authored or co-authored 23 publications in the areas of forensic toxicology and forensic chemistry, in addition to 34 presentations across various areas of forensic science and analytical chemistry. Dr. Krotulski’s current research and casework focus heavily on aspects related to the detection and characterization of novel psychoactive substances (NPS), including studies that examine NPS positivity, trends, metabolism, and effects through intelligence, surveillance, monitoring, and response efforts.

Amanda L.A. Mohr is a graduate of The University of Montana graduating with dual degrees in in Human Biological Sciences and Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology. She then obtained a Masters of Science in Forensic Science from Arcadia University. Currently, Mandi serves as the Associate Director of Research at the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education. In this role, Mandi works on variety of analytical projects associated with toxicology samples, teaches graduate students on analytical and instrumental toxicology lab and serves as a principle investigator or co-principle investigator on grant-funded research. Mandi maintains an active research agenda and is funded through the National Institute of Justice. Her current research interests include method development for the identification and prevalence determination of novel psychoactive substances, oral fluid drug testing, and drug impaired driving. She has author or co-authored over 20 peer reviewed publications and has presented her work nationally and internationally. In recognition of the advancements she has made to the field of forensic toxicology, Mandi was awarded the Forensic Sciences Foundation Student Scholarship Award by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 2013, UCT’s Excellence in SPE Award in 2016 and most recently the 2019 Irving Sunshine Award by the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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