Research and Scholarly Activity

Faculty and staff in toxicology at WMed are engaged in conducting toxicology laboratory and clinical research. This includes:

Swift Toxicology of Opioid-Related Mortalities (STORM)

The increased frequency of opioid overdoses and consequential opioid-related deaths underscores a need to rapidly identify individuals with suspected opioid exposure. he lengthy time typically required to identify and report opioid exposure poses an ongoing threat to public health and public safety. An opioid surveillance program that provides a rapid turnaround time of laboratory test results has the potential to affect real-time responses to the opioid crisis.

The Swift Toxicology of Opioid-Related Mortalities (STORM) project at WMed is an opioid surveillance project funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The STORM project began in September, 2017 and yields enhanced and rapid estimates of deaths associated with opioid use, as well as providing the identification of specific opioids present at the time of death. Postmortem blood specimens are submitted by medical examiner offices covering counties throughout Michigan, and are assayed using a rapid and reliable liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method to identify forty-two (42) opioids and several non-opioid substances. STORM results are reported to the State within 48-72 hours from receipt of specimens at WMed.