Kenneth Ferslew, Ph.D., DABFT
Emily C. Lemieux, B.S., MT (ASCP); Lab
Debbie Bailey, MLT, Laboratory Technician
Kathy Bryant, MLT, Laboratory Technician
Kimberly Hughes, MLT, Laboratory Technician
Beverly Cedrone-Meckes, Secretary
Lai Mooi Chai-Skocik, Secretary
Education and Professional Background:
Dr. Ferslew is Professor and Director of the Section of Toxicology at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. He practices through ETSU Physicians and Associates and his laboratory is part of the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Master of Science in Veterinary Science from the University of Florida and received his Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a member of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, the Society of Toxicology, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. He is currently the Chairman of the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a member of the Exam Committee for the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. He serves on numerous advisory boards and is a regional, national and international toxicology consultant.
• Clinical and Forensic Toxicology
• Drugs of Abuse
• Pharmacokinetics and Toxicokinetics
Our principle areas of research are analytical, clinical and forensic toxicology. In our basic research we develop new methods to detect drugs and their metabolites in biological fluids and tissues. These have significant applications in developing new drug delivery systems and determination of drug pharmacokinetic parameters. Our laboratory is part of the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center. In performing analyses for our medical examiners these techniques are used to determine toxic and/or fatal drug effects in humans as well as postmortem distribution and redistribution. Determination of significant drug interactions has been a specific interest of our lab. Several of our investigations have been the first reported cases of fatal drug interactions.
Since we are involved with clinical and forensic drug analysis of biological specimens to determine human psychomotor impairment and drug abuse, recent research has taken us into development of methods to detect urine adulterants (substances used to produce false negative test results) and the extent of their effects on drug screening and confirmation techniques. We have developed capillary electrophoretic and colorimetric techniques to detect and confirm ionic adulterants such as nitrates and chromates as well as other anions and cations. Investigation of the hindrance by papain (meat tenderizer) of the detection and confirmation of marihuana metabolites has recently revealed that the mechanism of this adulterant is nonspecific binding to the analyte. The impact of papain on urine drug screening and the detection and confirmation of papain warrants further research.
Current research has been on determining the impact of alcohol and drugs, especially opiates and benzodiazepines, in the lethal forensic cases we have investigated over the past six years at our forensic center. Identification of trends in these cases can help us determine the causes and origins for these drugs’ fatal impact in our society. We are also researching the effects of fire on ethanol and ethyl glucuronide in postmortem specimens.
Our lab supports the various hospitals, clinics and programs associated with the James H. Quillen College of Medicine.
Active Research funding:
Funding for our research is primarily though regional, state and corporate contracts and grants. Other areas of research and collaborative interests can be found at our web site.
Burrows, D.L., Nicolaides, A., Stephens, G.C., and Ferslew, K.E.: The Distribution of Sevoflurane in a Sevoflurane Induced Death. Journal of Forensic Science 49(2):1-4 (2004).
Burrows, D.L., Nicolaides, A., Johnson, D.A., Duffourc, M.M., and Ferslew, K.E.: Papain, A Novel Urine Adulterant. Journal of Analytical Toxicology 29:275-295 (2005)
Yin, D., Woodruff, M., Zhang, Y., Whaley, S., Miao, J., Ferslew, K. Zhao, J., and Stewart, C.: Morphine Promotes Jurkat Cell Apoptosis Through Pro-apoptotic FADD/P53 and Anti-apoptotic 13K/Akt/NF-6B Pathways. Journal of Neuroimmunology 174:101-107 (2006).
Yarrobino, T.E., Kalbfleisch, J.H., Ferslew, K.E., and Panus, P.C.: Lidocaine Iontophoresis Mediates Analgesia in Lateral Epicondylalgia Treatment. Physiotherapy Research International 11(3):152-160 (2006).
Manno, B.R., Manno, J.E., and K.E. Ferslew: Epidemiological Basis of Alcohol-Induced Psychomotor Impairment (PMPI) in Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol, 5th edition, J.C. Garroitt, editor, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc., Tucson, AZ, Chapter 12, pages 303-345 (2008).
Manno, J.E., Manno, B.R., and K.E. Ferslew: Experimental Basis of Psychomotor Performance Impairment in Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol, 5th edition, J.C. Garroitt, editor, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc., Tucson, AZ, Chapter 13, pages 347-378 (2008).
Miller, M.N., Newell, C.L., Miller, B.E., Frizzell, P.G., Kayser, R.A. and K.E. Ferslew: Variable Dosing of Sertraline for Premenstral Exacerbation of Depression: A Pilot Study. Journal of Women’s Health 17(6):993-7 (2008).
Li, Y., Sun, X., Huang, J., Hanley, G., Ferslew, K.E., Peng, Y., and D. Yin: Morphine Promotes Apoptosis Via TLR2, and This is Negatively Regulated by Beta-Arrestin 2. Biochemical and Biophysics Research Communications, 378:857-861 (2009).
Haupt, T., Lemieux, E., and K.E. Ferslew: K14 Quantitative Determination of Ethylene Glycol Using Capillary Gas Chromatography by Direct Specimen Injection. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences 15:397-8 (2009).
Harrell, C., Benson, P.V., Campbell, T., Lemieux, E., Lisenby, D., Parsons, L., Bryant, K., Bailey, D., Hughes, K., and K.E. Ferslew: K24 Impact of Drugs and Alcohol on the Manner of Death by Sex and Age Among Autopsy Cases Performed at the Upper East Tennessee Forensic Center in 2007. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences 15:403 (2009).