Ruth E. Winecker Receives American Academy of Forensic Sciences Award for Outstanding Contributions in Forensic Toxicology

February 11, 2019

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Ruth E. Winecker, senior research forensic scientist at RTI International, has been awarded the 2019 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.

This award recognizes Winecker’ s body of work in the field of forensic toxicology. Winecker has more than 20 years’ practice in toxicology research and postmortem forensic toxicology/medico-legal death investigation. During her career she has published more than 80 articles, book chapters and abstracts related to forensic toxicology and served as officer and board member of many forensic professional organizations. Traditionally, all contributions to the field of forensic toxicology including educational advancement of the profession and analytical achievement are considered in this award.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multidisciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system.  The objectives of the Academy are to promote professionalism, integrity, competency, education, foster research, improve practice, and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences.

Winecker joined RTI in August 2018 and quickly made an impact on the National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP) taking on the role of project director in February 2019. The NLCP is designed to protect the integrity of drug test results for federally regulated workplace programs through research, proficiency testing, inspection and accreditation of forensic drug testing laboratories. Further, she has partnered with others, inside and outside RTI, to prepare and publish original research in the field of forensic toxicology.  

“Ruth demonstrates scientific curiosity and persistence to solve some of the most challenging toxicology issues in forensic science,” says Duren Banks, RTI Division Vice President for Applied Justice Research. “We at RTI are very proud that she has received this prestigious industry recognition.”

This year’s AAFS awards winners will be recognized at an awards presentation during the AAFS’s 71st  Annual Meeting in Baltimore on Feb. 20.