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Kenneth E. Ferslew, Ph.D., F-ABFT
Professor/Director of the Section of Toxicology
East Tennessee State University
Quillen College of Medicine
William L. Jenkins Forensic Center
Section of Toxicology
Johnson City, Tennessee 37614
Shipping address: ETSU Toxicology, 325 Treasure Lane, Johnson City, TN 37614
Location address: ETSU Toxicology, Bldg 6, Magnolia Ave and Fifth St, Mountain Home, TN 37684
Education and Professional Background:
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, University of Florida
Master of Science in Veterinary Science, University of Florida
Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology/Toxicology, Louisiana State University Medical Center - Shreveport
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 his laboratory,
ETSU Toxicology, is part of the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center. He is a Fellow
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 has served frequently as an officer
in his professional societies and is currently a member of the Exam Committee for
the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. He serves on the editorial board of the
Journal of Analytical Toxicology and is a regional, national, and international clinical
and forensic toxicology consultant.
• Clinical and Forensic Toxicology
• Alcohol and 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, toxicological techniques are used to determine therapeutic, toxic and fatal drug concentrations in biological specimens from the deceased as well as the effects of 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, our 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.
More recent 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 have also been researching the effects of fire on ethanol and ethyl glucuronide concentrations in postmortem specimens.
A complete list of our numerous areas of research and all our collaborators can be found at our web site (https://www.etsu.edu/com/dbms/toxicology/toxicology.php ).
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. (https://www.etsu.edu/com/dbms/toxicology/toxicology.php ).
Emily C. Lemieux, B.S., MT (ASCP); Lab Supervisor
Lai Mooi Chai-Skocik, Secretary
KE Ferslew and AN Hagardorn. Capillary Ion Electrophoresis in Forensic Science. The Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry; R.A. Meyers, Editor in Chief; John Wiley & Sons, LTD., Chichester, England, 1-11 (2000)
KE Ferslew, AN Hagardorn, and TA Robert. Capillary Ion Electrophoresis of Endogenous Anions and Anionic Adulterants in Human Urine. J Forens Sci 46(3):191-202 (2001)
DL Burrows, AN Hagardorn, GC Harlan, EDB Wallen and KE Ferslew. A Fatal Drug Interaction Between Oxycodone and Clonazepam. J Forens Sci 48(3):1-4 (2003)
DL Burrows, A Nicolaides, GC Stephens and KE Ferslew. The Distribution of Sevoflurane in a Sevoflurane Induced Death. J Forens Sci 49(2):1-4 (2004).
BR Manno, JE Manno, and KE Ferslew. Epidemiological Basis of Alcohol-Induced Psychomotor Impairment (PMPI), Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol, 5th edition, JC Garriott, editor, Lawyers & Judges
Publishing Company, Inc., Tucson, AZ, Chapter 12, p 303-345 (2008)
JE Manno, BR Manno, and KE Ferslew. Experimental Basis of Psychomotor Performance Impairment, Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol, 5th edition, JC Garriott, editor, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc., Tucson, AZ, Chapter 13, p 347-378 (2008)
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).
Wright, T., Ferslew, K.E.:
Biotransformation of Ethanol to Ethyl Glucuronide in a Rat Model After a Single High Oral Dosage. Alcohol, 46:159-164 (2011).
TH Wright, K. Cline-Parhamovich, D. Lajoie, L. Parsons, M. Dunn, KE Ferslew. Deaths Involving Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDVP) In Upper East Tennessee. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58(6):1558-62 (2013).
Ferslew, K.E.: Epidemiological Basis of Alcohol Induced Psychomotor Performance Impairment
in Garriott's Medicolegal Aspects of Alcohol, 6th Edition, B. Goldberger and Y. Caplan, Editors, Lawyer & Judges Publishing Company,
Inc., Tucson, AZ, Chapter 13, pages 315-381, 2015.
Ferslew, K.E.: Experimental Basis of Alcohol-Induced Psychomotor Performance Impairment
in Garriott's Medicolegal Aspects of Alcohol, 6th Edition, B. Goldberger and Y. Caplan, Editors, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company,
Inc., Tucson, AZ, Chapter 14, pages 382-422, 2015.