Analytical and Forensic Toxicology
Analytical and forensic toxicology research in the department is concentrated in the Center for Human Toxicology (CHT). The CHT is a laboratory that provides analytical services, education, and research for the University of Utah, the state of Utah, the inter-mountain area and the nation. The CHT faculty are internationally recognized leaders in the development of state-of-the-art assays for drugs and drug metabolites in human tissues and other physiological specimens. Assays developed and validated in the laboratory employ gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS; GC/MS/MS) and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC/MS; LC/MS/MS) techniques, as well as, immunoassays. Graduate students work on projects generated from within the CHT that vary from forensic to mechanistic toxicology emphases, and typically encompass the bioanalytical expertise associated with CHT. Other students and faculty throughout the college and university avail themselves of the expertise of the center; CHT faculty welcome collaborative projects that include instruction for students in analytical techniques. The CHT has a long-standing research emphasis on drugs of abuse, including psychostimulants that has expanded more recently to performance enhancing drugs, and select environmental toxicants. Previous work in the anti-doping arena resulted in the establishment of the now independent Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) devoted to the detection and interpretation of performance-enhancing drug use in sports competition. The service component of the lab is supported by Federal contracts and research collaborations with scientists in many Universities in the United States and abroad. Past and present CHT faculty received numerous awards for their work in bioanalytical sciences from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.