Leading the Way in Toxicology: Spotlight on Lisa Reidy, Ph.D.
Lisa Reidy, Ph.D., associate professor of pathology, serves as director of the Clinical, Forensic, and Research Toxicology Laboratory. The laboratory analyzes biological samples using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry equipment for the presence and quantitation of illicit, prescription, and other drugs.
Dr. Reidy and her team examine cases submitted from drug-facilitated crime victims, suspected driving under the influence cases, and traffic homicide investigation for criminal investigations cases in both Miami-Dade and Broward County. The clinical laboratory analyzes samples from pain management patients at UHealth to ensure compliance with controlled substance prescription use. The research laboratory supports NIDA, NIH, and other federal and locally funded researchers to develop tests for drugs, chemicals, and biological markers.
Dr. Reidy, who also serves as chair of the National Drug-Facilitated Crime Committee, strives alongside her laboratory to be involved with current drug trends and is actively involved in publishing and developing tests for new fentanyl analogs, synthetic cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, and cathinone. This is a fitting endeavor for Dr. Reidy; she enjoyed science but wanted to be involved in the legal field as a student.
“By joining the two disciplines, it led me on the path to forensic science,” Dr. Reidy said.
Dr. Reidy also took on the major task of leading the department’s development of COVID serological tests. The laboratory evaluated 15 different tests that helped inpatient care and led to some rewarding collaborative projects published in PLOS ONE and the International Journal of Obesity.
Merce Jorda, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, remarked, “Lisa is a rare faculty member able to pivot in a time of need. Her skill set in toxicology was ideally suited to evaluate the flood of serological assays that were marketed early in the pandemic. She is an energetic leader backed by a great technical staff.”
Pathology residents are now rotating through the toxicology laboratory, allowing them to experience analytical chemistry and interpret toxicology results with clinical data in forensic and clinical cases.
“I hope we can translate the excitement that we have about this special field to these trainees,” said Dr. Reidy. “It is quite a delight to host them in our laboratory.