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Ruth Winecker

Ruth Winecker

Director, Forensic Sciences


PhD, Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology, University of Florida College of Medicine
BS, Biology, Oglethorpe University

Dr. Ruth Winecker is a principal scientist and co-director of the National Laboratory Certification Program. She supports program activities in the areas of applied scientific research, proficiency testing, regulated laboratory inspection, and other activities as requested by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She is an American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT)-certified forensic toxicologist (F-ABFT) with more than 25 years’ experience in postmortem forensic toxicology, anti-doping, and workplace drug testing.

Before joining RTI International, she served as the Chief Toxicologist for the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (NC-OCME) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Starting in 1999, she was responsible for all aspects of this ABFT-accredited laboratory, including analytical testing, records maintenance, and review of testing for >11,000 medical examiner cases per year. Dr. Winecker has published more than 90 articles, book chapters, and abstracts related to forensic toxicology, with topics including cannabinoids, analytical methodology, reviews of therapeutic and abused drugs, the toxicology of metals, and the measurement of therapeutic and abused drugs in alternative matrices. She is an active member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), and The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT). In addition, she has chaired and co-chaired workshops and presented various topics in the scientific sessions at these annual conferences since 1998 and has served as the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Director of SOFT, as Vice President and Director of AAFS and Treasurer and Director of ABFT. 

Currently, Dr. Winecker serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology and the TIAFT Bulletin and is an active member of various committees for AAFS, SOFT and ABFT. In February 2019, she accepted the Rolla N. Harger Award for outstanding contributions to the field and practice of forensic toxicology at the annual meeting of AAFS, a professional society dedicated to the application of science to the law.

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