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Toxicology

Forensic toxicology deals with the application of toxicology to cases where the adverse, impairing, or toxic effects of drugs have administrative or medicolegal consequences, and where the analytical findings are likely to be used in a legal setting. The field of forensic toxicology involves three main sub-disciplines: postmortem forensic toxicology, human performance toxicology, and forensic drug testing. All sub-disciplines involve measuring substances, such as drugs, in biological matrices (i.e., blood or urine) for a given purpose. Further, a Forensic Toxicologist may be asked to provide expert testimony and/or reports on the interpretation of detected substances and what effects they may have had on the individual.

william-bill-johnson-toxicology-fellow-aafs-member

Membership in the Toxicology Section of the AAFS has created new and enhanced existing professional relationships/friendships, and exposed me to the larger world of forensic science. Committee memberships and leadership positions have allowed me to participate within the toxicology community and fostered interactions across disciplines. No matter your forensic science background or time within the Forensic disciplines, AAFS membership will pay long-term professional and personal dividends.

- William Johnson
Fellow

Hear from a Forensic Toxicologist

Individuals applying for membership in the Toxicology Section shall be engaged in research, education, practice or management in the following disciplines:  Body Fluids, Tissue Samples, Alcohol, Illegal or Prescription Drugs, Poisons, Metals, Gases, such as carbon monoxide, or Other Chemicals.

SECTION REQUIREMENTS

Entry Level Categories

Apply

Student Affiliate

Academy Requirements

Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program that would support a forensic science career.

Section Requirements

AAFS Basic Requirements for Student Affiliate must be fulfilled.

Trainee Affiliate

Academy Requirements

  1. Completed the educational requirements, but not the experience requirements for Associate Member
  2. Must be actively working toward completion of the experience requirements through training program/employment that supports a forensic science career 

Section Requirements

AAFS Basic Requirements for Trainee Affiliate must be fulfilled.

Associate Member

Academy Requirements

  1. Actively engaged in the field of forensic sciences and has made a significant contribution to the cause of advancing forensic science
  2. Earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a U.S. college/university accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies
  3. Has earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a non-U.S. college or university bearing equivalent accreditation

Section Requirements

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Associate Member must be fulfilled; and
  2. Applicant must have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in one (1) of the natural sciences from an accredited institution, and sixteen (16) semester credit hours in chemistry; and
  3. Provide transcripts of chemistry credits, graduate and undergraduate. International applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis if their transcripts do not document the required 16 hours of chemistry as hours or credits and may be subject to additional requirements; and
  4. Be actively engaged in forensic toxicology for at least one (1) year immediately prior to application; and
    1. Have made a significant contribution to the literature of forensic toxicology; or
    2. Have been pursuing a course of study for at least one (1) year for an advanced degree applicable to the educational needs of a forensic toxicologist; or
    3. Have advanced the cause of forensic toxicology by laboratory service or in some other significant manner; and
  5. Two (2) letters of reference. One (1) reference must be from a full Member or Fellow of the Toxicology Section of the AAFS and must be able to comment knowledgeably on the applicant's qualifications. The second reference may be from a Toxicology Section member, an AAFS member, or an acceptable reference from someone active in forensic toxicology and must be able to comment knowledgeably on the applicant's qualifications. Exceptions to this requirement may be considered for applicants residing outside of the United States and Canada, in which case, two references from non-members must be submitted and may be otherwise evaluated or accepted if approved by a majority vote of the membership present at an annual business meeting of the section. If exception is made, those seeking a waiver of requirements will be delayed approval of the application for one (1) year, and Associate Members applying for promotion to full Member will be required to provide two (2) references from full Members or Fellows of the Toxicology Section.
SECTION REQUIREMENTS

Promotion Categories

Apply
WHILE SERVING AS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER

To Member

Academy Requirements

  1. Attendance at the annual conferences and participation in the program
  2. Performs outstanding service in the execution of his/her regular responsibilities
  3. Contributions made to the AAFS or latest advancement as service to forensic science research
  4. Service in the area of forensic science education or training acquired throughout his/her career

Section Requirements

While serving as an Associate Member, the applicant must:

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion; and
  2. Register and attend a minimum of two (2) annual meetings of the AAFS. The meeting at which the title of Associate Member was conferred, if attended may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Member is being considered shall not be counted; and
  3. Attend one (1) Toxicology Section business meeting. Note: if the annual meeting requirement (as described in 2) for promotion was fulfilled prior to 2021, the section business meeting requirement will be waived, and
  4. Be actively engaged in the field of forensic toxicology at the time of application for advancement, and
  5. Applicants for promotion will be required to provide two letters of reference from full Members or Fellows of the Toxicology Section of the AAFS if eligible references were not provided when applying for Associate Member.
WHILE SERVING AS A MEMBER

To Fellow

Academy Requirements 

  1. Attendance at the annual conferences and participation in the program
  2. Performs outstanding service in the execution of his/her regular responsibilities
  3. Contributions made to the AAFS or latest advancement as service to forensic science research
  4. Service in the area of forensic science education or training acquired throughout his/her career

Section Requirements

While serving as a Member, the applicant must:

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion; and
  2. Be actively engaged in forensic toxicology at the time of application for advancement; and
  3. Register and attend a minimum of two (2) annual meetings of the AAFS and one (1) Toxicology Section business meeting after becoming a Member. The meeting at which the title of Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Fellow is being considered shall not be counted; and
  4. Attend one (1) Toxicology Section business meeting after becoming a Member. Note: if the annual meeting requirement (as described in 3) for promotion was fulfilled prior to 2021, the section business meeting requirement will be waived, and
  5. Advance the work and purpose of the Toxicology Section in three (3) or more of the following ways while an Associate Member or Member:
    1. Participate in the scientific program of the AAFS Toxicology Section by:
      1. Presenting at least two (2) technical papers at annual meetings of the AAFS as oral or poster sessions; or
      2. Presenting at least one (1) technical paper and co-author at least two (2) technical papers at annual meetings of the AAFS at oral or poster sessions; or
      3. Co-authoring at least four (4) technical papers at annual scientific meetings of the AAFS at oral or poster sessions; or
    2. Participate in AAFS meeting activities by participating as a moderator, assistant moderator, chair, assistant chair, faculty member, or panelist at two (2) or more annual meetings of the AAFS in scientific sessions, workshops, breakfast sessions, roundtables, Student Academy, or other recognized AAFS meeting sessions; or
    3. Participate in Toxicology Section activities by:
      1. Serving as an active member or chair of a committee of the Toxicology Section for one (1) or more years, or
      2. Serving as a Toxicology Section abstract reviewer for two (2) years, or
      3. Other equivalent service to the Toxicology Section, such as newsletter editor; or
    4. Register and attend a minimum of six (6) annual meetings of the Toxicology Section of the AAFS. The meeting at which the title of Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Fellow is being considered shall not be counted; and
    5. demonstrating service to the forensic toxicology profession by:
      1. Submitting evidence of teaching or training activities in the area of forensic toxicology, or
      2. Obtaining certification by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, or
      3. Contributing to three (3) or more publications in peer-reviewed journals as author or co-author, or
      4. Publication of one (1) or more peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Forensic Sciences as author or co-author.

References not required.