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Dr. Jeri Ropero-Miller Receives American Academy of Forensic Sciences Award for Outstanding Contributions in Forensic Toxicology

The award recognizes her thought leadership and extensive body of work in the field of forensic toxicology.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Jeri Ropero-Miller, Ph.D., senior director of RTI’s Center for Forensic Sciences, has been awarded the 2022 Rolla N. Harger Award for outstanding contributions in forensic toxicology by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a professional society dedicated to the application of science to the law.

Dr. Ropero-Miller was selected after a thorough review of nominations conducted by the AAFS Toxicology Section Awards and Scholarship Committee. The award recognizes her thought leadership and extensive body of work in the field of forensic toxicology.

“It is humbling to receive this recognition considering the many strong nominees,” said Dr. Ropero-Miller. “I am grateful to the committee for its consideration and humbled by my colleagues who nominated me. It is truly an honor to receive this award.”

A Board-certified Forensic Toxicologist with Fellow status in the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, Dr. Ropero-Miller has more than 25 years of experience conducting forensic toxicology, drug surveillance and hair drug-testing studies. A national and internationally recognized expert, she has led numerous projects that focus on laboratory efficiency, program monitoring and evaluation, technology transition, technology evaluation, forensic databases, and professional development and training in the criminal justice system.

Prior to Dr. Ropero-Miller’s tenure with RTI, she served as the deputy chief toxicologist at the North Carolina's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She is the 2020-2021 president of AAFS and serves on the AAFS Board of Trustees Forensic Sciences Foundation. She served on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and was on the Executive Committee of the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology.

She maintains active memberships in the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners, and the Forensic Sciences Standards Board of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Organization of Scientific Area Committees.

During her career, she has authored or co-authored more than 95 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, monographs, and technical reports. She has presented research nationally and internationally on more than 130 occasions.

“On behalf of her colleagues here at RTI, we are thrilled for Jeri, who is so deserving of this prestigious recognition,” said Duren Banks, vice president, Division for Applied Justice Research at RTI. “Jeri is an inquisitive toxicologist who has served the forensic community as a whole through her rigorous scientific work and tireless professional service. Jeri is a mentor to many and she truly exemplifies RTI’s mission to turn knowledge into practice. We are so proud that Jeri has been recognized by her industry peers.”

AAFS is a professional society dedicated to the application of science to the law. It provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. AAFS’s objectives are to promote professionalism, integrity, competency, education, foster research, improve practice and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences.

The award was presented to Ropero-Miller at the AAFS’s annual conference, held Feb. 21-25 in Seattle, Washington.