This fifth episode in the "Just So You Know" series of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Just Science podcast series consists of an interview with Dr. Megan Grabenouer about her work as a member of the team at NIJ's Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.
She first discusses her educational and work background. Her undergraduate degree consisted of two majors, which were chemistry and mathematics. Her doctorate is in chemistry, with a focus on the features of neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. When she was first hired by RTI, she was involved in grant writing for chemistry-related research. This led to involvement in forensically related research. A major project in which she was involved was the development of a web-accessible database of mass spectra of emerging psychoactive drugs. As she became involved in forensic research applications, she became a member of the FTCoE team, where she manages research projects that involve grant funding. With FTCoE, she is involved in the dissemination of forensic results to forensic practitioners, so they can incorporate forensic research findings in their work. A current research project in which she is involved is attempting to determine how to measure whether a person has engaged in impaired driving due to marijuana consumption. This is an effort to develop a research base for legislation and law enforcement in the wake of marijuana legalization.