2023 JAT Special Issue

I am grateful that the incoming SOFT president, Erin Spargo, has put her trust in me to be the Guest Editor for the 2023 SOFT Special Issue of JAT in conjunction with the annual meeting in Denver 2023.

I attended the Cleveland meeting in spirit only because staffing concerns kept me away. Remembering the 2021 meeting in Nashville, I was honored to present at the Young Forensic Toxicologists Symposium where I discussed the importance of making the time for forensic toxicology research. I asked the question, “Will there ever be adequate funding and staff for research within government forensic labs?” In our lab, we currently have limited time within our 40-hour work week to experiment with novel ideas and write manuscripts, yet that additional time can often be the most gratifying and motivating. We have contributed to the SOFT Special Issue in the past, and it is now my time to ask a favor of the ToxTalk readers. Will you find the time to research a forensic problem, explain a novel method, or write a case study? Can you collaborate with a fellow SOFT member(s)?

My final thoughts are to embrace the process by keeping deadlines in mind (see below), while not getting discouraged. Seek out words of encouragement. Try to prevent stress and burnout by taking breaks and by using the team approach rather than shouldering the responsibility as a lone author. I could not have survived the challenging summer (and now fall) without the incredible team at the NC Toxicology Lab, so please work together on a common goal. We are all resilient and capable of great things, even in difficult times!

Thank you in advance for your consideration to either submit a manuscript or help in the review process. Please remember that all accepted manuscripts in which the first author is a SOFT member will be eligible for the 2023 Experimental Design and Impact on Toxicology (EDIT) award for outstanding content and wide impact on forensic toxicology.

I am excited to receive and review your submissions and (finally) see you in person in Denver.

Take care!
Sandra C. Bishop-Freeman, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Toxicologist
North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (NC OCME



March 3: Title and abstract submitted by email

March 17: Final paper submitted through JAT Manuscript Central (please designate SOFT Special Issue)