Forensic Science Program

College of Pharmacy

Publications and Monographs

>> Juhascik MP, Negrusz A, Faugno D, Ledray L, Greene P, Lindner A, Haner B, Gaensslen RE. 2007. An Estimate of the Proportion of Drug-Facilitation of Sexual Assault in Four U.S. Localities. J Forensic Sci 52(6,Nov):1-5

Abstract: In recent years, drugs including flunitrazepam, GHB, ketamine, and ethanol, have become popularly associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault. Other drugs are also candidates as factors in DFSA. The true extent of DFSA is not known, and is difficult to estimate.
We recruited sexual assault complainants at four clinics in different parts of the U.S. to anonymously provide urine and hair specimens, and to answer questions about suspected drugging, drug use, and the sexual assault incident. Urine and hair specimens were tested for 45 drugs, including ethanol, pharmacologically capable of inducing sedation, amnesia, or impairment of judgment. Analytical test results were used to estimate the proportion of subjects, and the proportion of all complainants to the clinic in the same time period, who were victims of DFSA.
Overall, the cases of 43% of 144 subjects, and 7% of 859 complainants, were characterized as DFSA. Subjects underreported their use of drugs. The role of toxicological results and history in characterizing DFSA cases is discussed.


 >> Andrews LB, Buenger N, Bridge J, Rosenow L, Stoney D, Gaensslen R.E., Karamanski T, Lewis R, Paradise J, Inlander A, Gonen D. 2004. Constructing Ethical Guidelines for Biohistory. Science 304 (Apr 9): 215-6

Abstract: Biohistorical research exists at the intersection of various disciplines including genetics, chemistry, history, and anthropology. Existing professional ethics codes provide a starting point for developing guidelines for biohistory, but most assume that the way to handle particularly thorny ethical issues is to keep confidential the identity of the research subject. Biohistory by its very nature deals with an identifiable subject, generating information about that figure and often about his or her family. Developing specific guidelines for undertaking biohistorical analysis is important to clearly establish researchers’ ethical and scientific responsibilities. privacy, property, and other rights, as well as religious beliefs or cultural feelings require that she be consulted before testing is done. This is already the norm in studying remains of Native Americans. This project was a collaboration of the Chicago Historical Society and the Institute for Science, Law, and Technology at Illinois Institute of Technology, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Loyola University Chicago, the McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.


>> Bommarito, A. Forensics programs prove education and experience go hand in hand. In Chemistry 2002;12(2, Nov/Dec), an on-line journal of the American Chemical Society featuring articles primarily by students concerning education in chemistry. Angelo Bommarito earned his M.S. in forensic science from the UIC program in 2002. He participated in the UIC Residency Program with the Illinois State Police while in the program.
Abstracted text of the In Chemistry article.


>> Gaensslen, R.E. Forensic science education and education requirements for forensic scientists. New Engl Assn Chem Teachers J 2002;21(1):19-23
Link to full text of this article, posted here with the kind permission of Dr. Judith Kelley, Editor of NEACT J and Dr. Ladislav Berka, Editor of the Forensic Sciences column


>> Peterson BL, Su B, Chakraborty R, Budowle B, Gaensslen RE. 2000. World population data for the HLA-DQA1, PM® and D1S80 loci with least and most common profile frequencies for combinations of loci estimatted following NRC II guidelines . J Forensic Sci 2000; 45(1,Jan):118-45

Abstract: All published and unpublished gene frequency data for the PCR-based loci HLA-DQA1, LDLR, GYPA, HBGG, D7S8, GC, and D1S80 that could be located are presented in summary tables. These gene frequencies provide the data necessary for estimating probabilities of chance match according to NRC II guidelines for any DNA profile that includes any combination of these loci for any of the populations. To illustrate the range of polymorphism for combined locus profiles, least and most common profile frequencies were estimated following NRC II guidelines for: the PM loci for all populations for which PM data were available; and for combinations of HLA-DQA1/PM, HLA-DQA1/D1S80, PM/D1S80, and HLA-DQA1/ PM/D1S80 for populations for which data were available for the relevant combinations. The profile frequencies were calculated at u values of zero and 0.01. Minimum allele frequencies (MAF) were calculated, and are shown, for each data set for which the MAF was greater than the lowest observed allele frequency. Least common profile frequencies were calculated using MAF in those cases to illustrate a conservative estimate. The effect of using MAF versus lowest observed allele frequency in estimating least common profile frequencies is briefly illustrated as well. We finally show that aggregate U.S. gene frequency data for the classical MN and GC polymorphisms for both Caucasian and African-American populations is fully in accord with the DNA-based gene frequency data obtained from PM(r) reverse dot-blot strips for GYPA and GC, respectively.


>> Negrusz A, Moore CM, Stockham TL, Poiser KR, Kern JL, Palaparthy. Elimination of 7-aminoflunitrazepam and flunitrazepam in urine after
a single dose of rohypnol®. J Forensic Sci 2000;45(5,Sep):1031-40

Abstract: The hypnotic benzodiazepine flunitrazepam (Rohypnol®) has been identified as the drug of choice for the purposes of "drugging" unsuspecting victims and raping them while they are under the influence of this substance. The objective of this paper was to study elimination of flunitrazepam and 7-aminoflunitrazepam in urine collected from ten healthy volunteers who received a single 2 mg oral dose of Rohypnol®, to determine how long after drug administration 7-aminoflunitrazepam can be detected. A highly sensitive NCI-GC-MS method for the simultaneous quantitation of flunitrazepam (LOQ 100 pg/mL) and 7-aminoflunitrazepam (LOQ 10 pg/mL) in urine was developed. All samples were screened for benzodiazepines using optimized micro-plate enzyme immunoassay. The highest concentrations of 7-aminoflunitrazepam (70–518 ng/mL) and flunitrazepam (0.7–2.8 ng/mL) in urine were observed 6 h after drug administration in nine subjects and after 24 h in one subject. In six subjects 7-aminoflunitrazepam was detected up to 14 days after flunitrazepam administration, in one subject up to 21 days and in three subjects up to 28 days. In urine samples collected from six volunteers, flunitrazepam was detected three days after Rohypnol® intake, in three subjects 24 h, and in one subject 5 days later. Benzodiazepine micro-plate enzyme immunoassay kit allowed the detection of flunitrazepam and metabolities 5 to 21 days after drug administration.

>> LeBeau M, Andollo W, Hearn WL, Baselt R, Cone E, Finkle B, Fraser D, Jenkins A, Mayer J, Negrusz A, Poklis A, Walls HC, Raymon L, Robertson M, Saady J. Recommendations for toxicological investigations of drug--facilitated sexual assaults. J Forensic Sci 1999;44(1,Jan):227-30

Abstract: The recent increase in reports of drug-facilitated sexual assaults has caused alarm in the general public and prompted forensic toxicologists from across North America to address the toxicological issues surrounding this matter. The authors have developed recommendations and guidelines to inform law enforcement, medical, and scientific personnel of the requirements for performing successful toxicological examinations in cases of drug-facilitated rape.

>> Negrusz A, Perry JL, Moore CM. Detection of cocaine on various denominations of United States currency. J Forensic Sci 998;43(3,May):626-9

Abstract: The presence of cocaine on U.S. paper currency collected in many cities in the United States has previously been reported. Currency becomes contaminated during the exchange, storage and use of cocaine. Different currency denominations are also rolled by drug users and used to snort cocaine. Illicit cocaine is widely abused and therefore the contaminated paper currency can be easily found in common use. A total of 18 bills were analyzed in our laboratory for cocaine. Ten $20 bills were randomly collected in Rockford, IL and four $1 bills in Chicago. An additional four uncirculated $1 bills were analyzed as a control group. All bills were extracted with 0.1 M hydrochloric acid followed by solid-phase extraction. Cocaine was identified using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in full scan mode, and drug quantitation was performed in selected ion monitoring mode. A standard curve was prepared and doxepin was used as an internal standard. In addition, for method validation two levels of control solutions were analyzed simultaneously. Precision and accuracy values were within acceptable ranges. Cocaine was present on 92.8% of all bills collected from the general circulation. All $20 bills were contaminated with cocaine and the amount of drug varied from 0.14 to 10.02 mg of cocaine per bill (x = 2.86 mg). Only one $1 bill was cocaine free. In one case ($1 bill), only traces (below quantitation limit) of cocaine were found. All four uncirculated $1 bills were cocaine-free.

>> Browne S, Moore C, Negrusz A, Tebbett I, Covert R, Dusick A. Detection of Cocaine, Norcocaine, and Cocaethylene in the Meconium of Premature Neonates. J Forensic Sci 1994;39(6,Nov):1515-19

Abstract: Our objective was to investigate the methodologic detection of cocaine abuse during pregnancy by determining the viability of meconium analysis for cocaine and its metabolites using chromatographic procedures as an alternative to urine testing using enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique. Our design was as follows: meconium and urine were taken from 106 very low birthweight premature babies. Meconium analysis for cocaine and its metabolites using extraction and chromatographic analysis was compared with the criterion standard immunoassay testing for urine. The work was carried out at The University of Chicago Hospital, Department of Pediatrics and the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Pharmacodynamics. Our patients were very low birthweight, premature babies (mean birthweight 1109 g; mean gestational age 29.1 weeks). Gender was evenly divided between male and female. The outcome measures were as follows: two active metabolites, norcocaine and cocaethylene, were detected in the meconium, but not in the urine, of some of the neonates. Determination of cocaine exposure in the newborn influenced assignment of babies in research studies as well as psychosocial evaluation and subsequent treatment of the neonate. Our results were: of the 106 meconium samples analyzed, 21 (19.8%) were positive for cocaine (n = 19, 0.24–0.78 mg/kg), norcocaine (n 7, 0.10–0.56 mg/kg), cocaethylene (n = 1, 0.12 mg/kg) or combinations thereof. Benzoylecgonine was not detected in any of the samples. Of the urine samples analyzed by immunoassay, only 8 (7.5%) were positive for cocaine metabolites. We conclude that meconium is a better sample than urine for determining cocaine exposure in utero. The presence of two neuroactive metabolites, norcocaine and cocaethylene, is reported, norcocaine for the first time. Immunoassay screening procedures for urinalysis are inadequate because false-negative results are obtained.

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Blind Proficiency Testing Feasibility in DNA Laboratories - Final Report on Grant 96-DN-VX-0001 to National Institute of Justice, May 2001
Joseph L. Peterson and R.E. Gaensslen, Principal Investigators; George Lin, Monica Ho, and Ying-yu Chen, Research Assistants


Sexual Assault Evidence - National Assessment and Guidebook - Final Report on Grant 92-IJ-CX-0041 to National Institute of Justice, original report, July 1996; revised report, October 2001
Henry C. Lee and R.E. Gaensslen, Principal Investigators; Stephanie Jurta and Marla Fiorelli, Research Assistants