Research Lab: Skillman

Dr. Skillman’s research interests are primarily in forensic toxicology with some interest in seized drug analysis. Her experience in toxicology involves the detection of a wide variety of substances in various biological specimens using advanced instrumentation techniques such as liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Dr. Skillman’s long-term research goals are to improve efficiency of laboratory processes by incorporating novel psychoactive substances in existing scopes of traditionally tested compounds which would allow laboratories to update existing methodologies, thereby decreasing analysis times and backlogs.

Major areas of interest include:

  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Novel Psychoactive Substances
  • Sedative Hypnotics
  • Liquid Chromatography
  • High Resolution Mass Spectrometry
  • Method Development and Validation
  • Dr. Britni Skillman is an Assistant Professor of Forensic Science. She obtained a PhD in Forensic Science with a research focus in forensic toxicology. Dr. Skillman is a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) where she presents at meetings and publishes in associated peer-reviewed journals. She is also board certified as a fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT). Dr. Skillman has previous experience as a toxicologist in an accredited laboratory performing development and validation activities, as well as a bench-level casework activities, where she gained experience working with opioids, opiates, over-the-counter medications, antipsychotics, stimulants, benzodiazepines, sedative hypnotics, fentanyl analogs, ethanol and other volatiles, and many other compounds in a wide variety of biological specimens. Her research interests include sedative hypnotics, novel psychoactive substances, liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry methods, and the improvement of efficiency in the crime laboratory through the development of novel analytical techniques.

    Dr. Skillman’s current research group endeavors:

  • Detecting novel and traditional benzodiazepines in biological specimens using liquid chromatography quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF/MS) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
  • Traditional and novel techniques for identifying nitazene analogs in biological specimens for toxicological screening
  • Physicochemical characterization, quantitation, and metabolism of nitazene analogs for forensic toxicology interpretation
  • Detection of hallucinogenic compounds and metabolites in biological samples using LC/MS/MS
  • Detection and quantitation of novel sedative hypnotics, such as dual orexin receptor antagonists and metabolites, in blood using LC-QTOF/MS and LC/MS/MS
  • Lab Group

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