Department Chair

M. Scott Goodman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Forensic Science, M.S.


Chemistry Department


Kenneth F. Jonmaire, M.S., Coordinator, Forensic Chemistry

Department Home page

First Reader

Robert Osiewicz, Ph.D., Erie County Chief Toxicologist

Second Reader

Joonyeong Kim, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry

Third Reader

Jinseok Heo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Antipsychotic drugs or neuroleptics are used primarily for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, and bipolar disorder. In forensic science antipsychotics are drugs of considerable interest because of their potential abuse, involvement in suicides, and they are frequently associated with sudden death investigations. Well-characterized and fully validated analytical data is necessary to generate reproducible and reliable results. As a result, data can be correctly interpreted and objectively demonstrate in its applicability for the intended use. This research has developed and validated a method that is selective, sensitive and accurate using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) for the simultaneous determination of approximately 19 antipsychotics with deuterated internal standard in postmortem human blood. Compound optimization parameters for detecting a specific compound as well as a quantitative assay of the antipsychotic compounds were accomplished. Validation parameters such as determination of linearity, within and between day accuracy and precision, carryover evaluation, matrix effect and recovery, and peak purity and selectivity study were performed. These parameters yielded results for all of the compounds with only two (mesoridazine and thiothixene) requiring further study to improve their performance. The validated method has been successfully used to analyze postmortem human blood for application in forensic toxicology.