UTS Forensic Science papers receive national awards
UTS NIFS awardees. Left to right: Lucas Blanes, Claude Roux, Shanlin Fu, Natasha Stojanovska, Mark Tahtouh and Alison Beavis
The National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS) presents annual awards to professionals and researchers for the best research papers in the forensics field. Six members of the UTS Centre for Forensic Science have received awards for Best Literature Review Article and Best Technical Article.
Natasha Stojanovska is a UTS PhD graduate who works with the Australian Federal Police (AFP). She was awarded with Best Literature Review Article, along with group members Drs. Shanlin Fu (UTS), Mark Tahtouh (AFP), Tamsin Kelly (University of Canberra) and Alison Beavis (UTS), and Prof. Paul Kirkbride (Flinders University). Their paper was a review on impurity profiling and synthetic route of methylamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine, amphetamine, dimethylamphetamine and p-methoxyamphetamine.
The article is important for drug chemistry and analysis researchers as it summarises by-products, impurities, and methods of manufacture for many Amphetamine-type substances (ATS). The work relates to Natasha’s PhD, which focuses on synthesising and analysing ATS and other novel drug analogues, such as piperazine.
Natasha says that winning the award was a significant achievement for her:
”It demonstrates recognition and an appreciation for research in the area of drug analysis and profiling and fields alike.”
UTS Postdoctoral Fellow and Centre’s Core Member, Dr. Lucas Blanes was involved with the paper that won Best Technical Article, along with Aimee Lloyd, another UTS graduate, Matthew Russell (Institute of Environmental Science and Research in New Zealand- ESR), Profs. Philip Doble and Claude Roux (UTS). The article focuses on the analysis of real drug samples found in clandestine laboratories and the development of a method using a portable instrument named Bioanalyzer. The method developed provides a fast way to label specific drug molecules and to analyse them in a lab using chip technology. Lucas says their method of analysis was about 4-10 times faster than that which is currently employed (GC MS). This paper was one of the research outcomes of Aimee Lloyd’s PhD studies.
The awards ceremony was held on the 28th of February at UTS and the awards were handed out by Alastair Ross, Director of the National Institute of Forensic Science - Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency.