The Aegis® Expert Team
The Expert Team includes seventeen PhD Scientists (including four Board Certified Toxicologists), four PharmD's, one MD, thirty-plus certifying scientists, and over two hundred other laboratory Team Members. Our Laboratory Team has extensive experience in chain of custody documentation, immunoassay, chromatography, spectrophotometry, and mass spectrometry sciences. All Team Members participate in continuing education programs and many are licensed and/or certified.
David L. Black, Ph.D., D-ABFT, FAIC - Founder/CEO
Dr. David L. Black is an internationally recognized forensic toxicologist and founder of Aegis®. Currently, Dr. Black serves as a consultant to major organizations for development of substance abuse prevention and testing programs. Dr. Black has extensive experience as an expert witness in local, state, national and international court cases involving drug use and testing.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Loyola College in Baltimore Md and doctorate degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Dr. Black is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (D-ABFT) and a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists (FAIC). Dr. Black is currently a Clinical Associate Professor with an appointment in Pathology at Vanderbilt University.
Timothy A. Robert, Ph.D., D-ABCC - Chief Science Officer
Before joining Aegis® in 1996, Dr. Timothy A. Robert was the Vice President of Forensic Toxicology at National Psychopharmacology Lab in Knoxville, TN and the Director of Chemistry and Toxicology at International Clinical Labs, Inc. in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Robert is a member of the Society for Toxicology and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. He has contributed to two published books, Methodology for Analytical Toxicology and Evaluations of Drug Interactions.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mi. He received his doctorate degree in biomedical science from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Dr. Robert is a Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (D-ABCC).
Rebecca Heltsley, Ph.D. - Vice President of Research and Development
Dr. Rebecca Heltsley conducts research in measurement science to enable Aegis® to respond to the emerging needs in the forensic drug testing arena. She is responsible for the development, implementation and assessment of new technologies.
Prior to joining Aegis Sciences Corporation in 2007, Dr. Heltsley completed a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship and served as a Research Chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Charleston, SC.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, environmental science and biology and master’s degree in chemistry from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY and doctorate degree in environmental toxicology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Richard Crooks, Ph.D., D-ABFT, D-ABCC - Senior Scientist of CRIMES™
Dr. C. Richard Crooks brings more than 30 years of experience in toxicology and forensic pathology to the CRIMES™ business segment of Aegis Sciences Corporation. He joined the company after serving as Laboratory Director for Alere Toxicology, Tennessee Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, and National Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Inc. spanning over his extensive laboratory career. He also served as Assistant Toxicologist for the State of Maryland, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.
Dr. Crooks earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, MD. He has received such honors as the Dunning Fellowship, Graduate School Fellowship, and Certificate of Honor. He currently is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (D-ABFT) and of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry in Toxicological Chemistry. Dr. Crooks also holds a Laboratory Director License in New York, is a Registered Pharmacist in the state of Maryland, and is a member of the American Academy of Forensic sciences and Society of Forensic Toxicologists. He has contributed to over 19 publications.
Melinda Shelby, Ph.D. - Senior Scientist for Sports Services
Dr. Melinda Shelby is responsible for reviewing and interpreting test results, daily workflow management, team member management, analytical method development, validation, and troubleshooting of the Aegis® Sports Testing Services Division. Previously, Dr. Shelby was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Associate Toxicologist at The Sports Medicine Research & Testing Lab in Salt Lake City; one of only two labs in the U.S. accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). She earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.
Amy B. Cadwallader, Ph.D. - Senior Scientist for Life Sciences
Dr. Amy B. Cadwallader is the Senior Scientist for Life Sciences working with the Aegis Research and Development Team and Aegis Sports Testing Services. She joins the team with a wealth of experience and, most recently was employed with the Laboratorio Antidoping FMSI in Rome, Italy, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory certified to conduct human doping control sample analyses and antidoping research. During this time, Dr. Cadwallader also served as Adjunct Faculty for John Cabot University in the Department of Mathematics, Natural Science and Computer Science.
Dr. Cadwallader earned her Bachelor of Science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, her Master of Science, Biology (with a focus in Forensic Science) from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA and her Doctor of Philosophy, Pharmacology/Toxicology (Center for Human Toxicology) from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT.
Anne Z. DePriest, Pharm.D., BCPS - Senior Scientist for Healthcare Services
Dr. Anne Z. DePriest, joined Aegis Sciences Corporation as the Senior Scientist for Healthcare Services. Dr. DePriest received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College. She completed a residency in pharmacy practice at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, and an advanced practice Pain Management Traineeship with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Florida. Dr. DePriest has worked with inpatient and outpatient pain management teams, most recently as the Pharmacy Clinical Specialist for Pain Management at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. She is a Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the ACCP Pain and Palliative Care Practice and Research Network.
Julie L. Knight, Pharm.D. - Clinical Scientist for Healthcare Services
Dr. Julie L. Knight is a Clinical Pharmacist for Healthcare Services working primarily with pain management physicians utilizing our PainComp® testing services. She joins the Aegis® team with a wealth of experience and, most recently, was employed with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute as a practicing Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Pain and Palliative Care. Dr. Knight also serves as a Clinical Consultant Pharmacist for TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care in Sarasota, FL, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research with the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.
Dr. Knight earned her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She also completed a specialty residency in Pain Management, Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine at Helios Pain and Psychiatry in Tampa, FL.
Brandi L. Puet, Pharm.D. - Clinical Scientist for Healthcare Services
Dr. Puet is an expert in medication use and safety. She has completed residencies in
Pharmacy Practice with the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and most recently Medication Use Safety with the Hospital Corporation of America/University of Tennessee. In 2007, she received the Unit Commendation for Exemplary Performance of Duty from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Puet earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and her Doctor of Pharmacy from Auburn University in Auburn, AL. She is member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and American Society of Medication Safety Officers.
Katie L. Miller, Pharm.D. - Clinical Scientist for Healthcare Services
Dr. Miller completed a residency in Pharmacy Practice at Centennial Medical Center and Medication-Use Safety residency with Hospital Corporation of America/University of Tennessee in Nashville, Tennessee. Her interest in pain management began during a clinical rotation in inpatient/outpatient pain management. She has enjoyed the opportunity to train healthcare professionals and students in various clinical pharmacy topics, medication/patient safety, and risk assessment strategies.
Darcie Wallace-Duckworth, Ph.D. - Quality Manager/Training
As Assistant Director of Training, Dr. Darcie Wallace-Duckworth is responsible for team member orientation, training and continuing education. She is charged with developing and improving each team members understanding of forensic analytical toxicology and quantitative chemical analysis. Before joining Aegis®, Dr. Wallace-Duckworth was a professor at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. She earned a doctor of arts degree in chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in education from Goucher. Dr. Wallace-Duckworth is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and the American Chemical Society.
Ryan Paulsen, Ph.D. - Laboratory Director of Healthcare Services
Dr. Ryan Paulsen joined Aegis Sciences Corporation as a Research Scientist and has recently been promoted to Laboratory Director of Healthcare Services. Previously, Dr. Paulsen was the Scientific Director at the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and PH.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Utah. He has published peer-reviewed articles and presented research on drug analysis and drug development at the national and international levels.
Tonya H. Mitchell, Ph.D. - Forensic Lab Manager
Dr. Mitchell received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining Aegis, Dr. Mitchell was the Associate Director at Aperian Laboratory Solutions for 5 years, where she had multiple responsibilities within the lab. Dr. Mitchell has extensive Toxicology Training from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division where she served as a Forensic Toxicologist for the State of South Carolina. We are very excited about the knowledge and experience Dr. Mitchell will bring to Aegis.
Randi Gant-Branum, Ph.D. - Research Scientist
Dr. Randi Gant-Branum joins Aegis Sciences Corporation as a Research Assistant and will be part of the Research and Development Team. Dr. Gant-Branum comes to Aegis with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her wealth of knowledge in Mass Spectrometry can be found in many peer-reviewed articles she has published and research she has presented nationally.
Min Huang, Ph.D. - Research Scientist
Dr. Min Huang joins the Aegis Research and Development Team in the role of Research Scientist. Min received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Wuhan University, China. He has extensive experience with nutrition chemistry and food safety, including LC-MS and LC-MS/MS techniques for quantitation of various small molecules, including vitamins and other nutrients, drugs and contaminants. Additionally, he has over 20 years experience with various analytical techniques and holds 4 US patents.
Cheryl Hild, Ph.D. - Director of Quality
Dr. Cheryl Hild is the Director of Quality for Aegis Sciences. She serves as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Tennessee’s Center for Executive Education and Department of Statistics, Operations and Management Sciences. She served over nine years as a senior associate with Six Sigma Associates, where she consulted with major organizations, including H&R Technical, Johnson Controls World Services, Whirlpool, Asurion, PP&G, Tamko, Pfizer Capsugel, Embraco of Brazil and others. Dr. Hild has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and is co-author of the book, The Power of Statistical Thinking. Dr. Cheryl Hild is the Director Of Quality for Aegis Sciences. She is an active public speaker in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma, including Industry Week Best Plants, International Lean Six Sigma, and ASQ. She received her Ph.D. in Management Science and Industrial Statistics from the University of Tennessee.
Erin L. Karschner, Ph.D. - Research Scientist
Dr. Erin Karschner joins Aegis Sciences Corporation as a Research Scientist and will be part of the Research and Development Team. Dr. Karschner comes to Aegis with a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Maryland-Baltimore and a bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Her doctoral and post-doctoral research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program focused on natural and synthetic cannabinoid pharmacology. She has published multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts and has presented her research at national and international venues.
David M. Schwope, Ph.D. - Research Scientist
Dr. David Schwope joins Aegis Sciences Corporation as a Research Assistant and will be part of the Research and Development Team. Dr. Schwope comes to Aegis with a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Maryland, an MS in Forensic Science from the University of Illinois and a BS in Chemistry from Miami University. His professional positions include service for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH/NIDA/IRP) Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section and University of Illinois at Chicago, Animal Forensic Toxicology Laboratory.
Senator William Frist, MD - Healthcare Advisor
Senator William Frist, MD is currently an Adjunct Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University and is a partner and Chairman of the executive board of Cressey & Co., a private investment firm focused on the health care industry.
Dr. Frist served as U.S. Senator from the State of Tennessee from 1995 to 2007. He was Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate from 2003 until 2007 and held seats on the Finance Committee overseeing health policy and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Prior to the U.S. Senate, Dr. Frist was a heart and lung transplant surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
He is consistently recognized as one of the most influential leaders in American health care and is one of only two individuals to rank in the top ten of Modern Health care Magazine annual surveys of the most powerful people in health care in the United States, from 2002 to 2006.
Dr. Frist earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in Princeton, NJ and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.
Edward J. Cone, Ph.D. - Consulting Toxicologist
Dr. Edward J. Cone received his B.S. in chemistry from Mobile College in 1967. He earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1971 from the University of Alabama. From 1971 to 1972 he held a post-doctoral appointment in the Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky. In 1972, he joined the staff of the Addiction Research Center, National Institute on Drug Abuse, where he served as Chief of the Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section until 1998. Dr. Cone was a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service and had the rank of Permanent Director Grade (CO-06). He was appointed as a member or the Research Officer's Group of the USPHS in 1989. From 1977 to 1985 he served as a member of the adjunct faculty in the Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Analysis, School of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky. Presently, he has an appointment as Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Cone has maintained his academic association by training six candidates for their Ph.D. degree in Forensic Toxicology, by presenting lectures to medical, pharmacy, pharmacology, and toxicology students on the chemistry and pharmacology of drugs of abuse and by hosting graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting foreign fellows in his laboratory. Dr. Cone currently serves as a consultant to private industry on matters relating to drug testing, pharmacokinetics and drug delivery systems.
Yale H. Caplan. Ph.D., D-ABFT - Consulting Toxicologist
Dr. Yale H. Caplan received his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy (1963) and Ph.D. degree in Medicinal Chemistry (1968) from the University of Maryland at Baltimore (School of Pharmacy). After a year as Research Associate and Supervisor in Experimental Toxicology at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Caplan came to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (State of Maryland) as an Assistant Toxicologist in 1969 and served as Chief Toxicologist and Scientific Director of the State of Maryland’s Alcohol Testing Program (1974-1991). He was Director of Toxicology and Forensic Toxicology for Quest Diagnostics, (National Center for Forensic Science) in Baltimore (1977-1999). Dr. Caplan is currently Director of National Scientific Services, Director of Laboratories for the State of Maryland, Division of Parole and Probation, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Caplan’s professional activities and awards include: President of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology of which he is a Diplomate; President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (1987-1988), and recipient of the Academy’s Rolla N. Harger Award (1989) (forensic toxicology) and the Distinguished Fellow Award (1996); President of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (1981); Chairman (1991-1993) of the National Safety Council’s Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs and the recipient of the Council’s Robert F. Borkenstein Award (2000); Chairman of the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society (1973) and recipient of the 1994 Maryland Chemist Award. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and the Journal of Analytical Toxicology and serves as an advisor to attorneys and government agencies regarding alcohol and drug testing issues.