R & D
Rebecca Heltsley, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research & Development
Dr. 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.
Dr. Heltsley 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. Following completion of her Master of Science, she received her Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She is a member of the American Chemical Society.
David M. Schwope, Ph.D.
Research Scientist Manager
Dr. Schwope is the Research Scientist Manager and part of the Research and Development team. Dr. Schwope obtained a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science in forensic science from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Miami University.
Dr. Schwope’s 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. He is a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the American Chemical Society and has contributed to more than 20 research articles focusing primarily on human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Brandi L Puet, Pharm.D.
Clinical Scientist, Healthcare
Dr. Puet is an expert in toxicology, medication use, and safety. She has completed residencies in pharmacy practice with the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and 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 currently holds affiliate faculty positions with the colleges of pharmacy for Belmont University, Lipscomb University, and the University of Tennessee. She has published in toxicology and pharmacy journals and presented at numerous meetings. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and American Society of Medication Safety Officers.
Andrew C Holt, Pharm.D.
Clinical Scientist, Healthcare
Dr. Holt completed his pre-professional curriculum at the University of Memphis and received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He currently holds licenses in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Before joining Aegis, Dr. Holt worked for the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy as Executive Director and most recently was Director of Tennessee’s Controlled Substance Monitoring Database. He also has experience in both nuclear medicine and community pharmacy, with certifications in immunization and medication therapy management.
Dr. Holt is an assistant professor for the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. He holds memberships in the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, American Chemical Society, and American Pain Society. He is also a member of the Tennessee Department of Health’s Chronic Pain Treatment Guideline Committee.
Joshua Schrecker, Pharm.D.
Clinical Scientist, Healthcare
Dr. Schrecker completed his pre-professional curriculum at the University of Tennessee and received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. Prior to Aegis, Dr. Schrecker completed an American Society of Health System Pharmacists-accredited Post Graduate Year 1 Pharmacy Residency at Hospital Corporation of America. During his time as a pharmacy resident, Dr. Schrecker focused on both evolving as a clinical pharmacist as well as developing leadership skills within a corporate environment. He also received certifications through completion of advanced cardiac life support courses and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Teaching and Learning Program.
Currently, Dr. Schrecker holds memberships in the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, and is a board member of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.
Amber R. Watson, Pharm.D.
Clinical Scientist, Healthcare
Dr. Watson received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. As one of two inaugural fellows participating in the pharmacy fellowship program offered by Aegis Sciences Corporation in partnership with Belmont University College of Pharmacy, Dr. Watson will gain experience in pharmacogenetic testing and healthcare toxicology applications. Dr. Watson will serve as a member of the Clinical Science team, educating internal and external team members in clinical and toxicology-related subject matter, offering expert consultation, and collaborating with Aegis team members to support current market segments and develop new testing options. She will also serve as an adjunct faculty member for Belmont University, gaining experience in academia and developing the skills necessary to become a drug information specialist.
Dr. Watson is a member of multiple pharmacy organizations, including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Nashville Area Pharmacists Association, and Tennessee Pharmacists Association.
Sheila Dawling, Ph.D.
Vice President, Lab Operations
Dr. Sheila Dawling joined Aegis from Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she was the associate director of clinical chemistry, and director of the toxicology laboratory since 1996. A London native, Dr. Dawling received her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Surrey, and her Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of London. She worked as an analyst in London (Guy's Hospital) for almost 20 years. She is the author of more than 80 research publications and 25 book chapters on drug kinetics, metabolism and analytical techniques. Dr. Dawling is a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, and the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, and is board certified by the American Board of Bioanalysis.
Cheryl Hild, Ph.D.
Vice President, Quality
Dr. Hild is the Vice President of Quality for Aegis and received her Ph.D. in management science and industrial statistics from the University of Tennessee. 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 more than 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. 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.
Darcie Wallace-Duckworth, D.A.
Manager, Technical Training
As Technical Training Manager, Dr. Wallace-Duckworth is responsible for team member orientation, training, and continuing education. She is charged with developing and improving each team member’s 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 American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Quality, the American Society for Training and Development, and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Her certifications include Six Sigma Black Belt, certified manager of quality and organizational excellence, certified toxicologist through NRCC, and licensed Lab Director Toxicology State of Tennessee.
Melinda Shelby, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Sports
Dr. Shelby is responsible for reviewing and interpreting test results, daily workflow management, team member management, analytical method development, validation, and troubleshooting for Aegis Sports Testing Services. 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.
Richard Crooks, Ph.D., D-ABFT, D-ABCC
Dr. Crooks brings more than 30 years of experience in toxicology and forensic pathology to Aegis. He joined the company after serving as Laboratory Manager for Alere Toxicology, Tennessee Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, and National Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Inc. throughout 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 in 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 more than 19 publications.
Matthew Hardison, Ph.D., FACMG
Laboratory Director, BioPharma
Dr. Hardison is the laboratory director for the BioPharma laboratory. Prior to joining Aegis Sciences Corporation in 2015, he was the founding laboratory director of Assurance Scientific Laboratories in Birmingham, AL.
Dr. Hardison received his Bachelor of Science from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, and his Doctorate of Philosophy in molecular physiology and biophysics from the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) in Birmingham, AL. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at UAB, Dr. Hardison completed a fellowship in Clinical Molecular Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
Dr. Hardison is a member of the American College of Medical Genetics and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. He has published numerous peer reviewed publications, book chapters, and presented at several scientific meetings in the fields of immunology, toxicology, and genetics.