Michelle Peace, PhD

Professor
Department of Forensic Science
Affiliate Faculty Member of the Institute of Drug and Alcohol Studies
Affiliate Faculty Member of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Peace is a forensic toxicologist and a Full Professor in the FEPAC-accredited Department of Forensic Science at VCU and is one of the founding faculty for the Department. She served as Associate Chair and Chair for nearly a decade. Dr. Peace has also served as a manager in a private forensic drug testing laboratory and has worked as a scientist for Procter & Gamble, where she holds 3 patents.

Dr. Peace has been funded by the National Institute of Justice since 2014 to study the efficacy of electronic cigarettes, particularly as they pertain to substance use and abuse. Her research has highlighted emerging issues of electronic cigarettes as a tool for vaping drugs other than nicotine and has characterized the merging of the cannabis and e-cigarette industries. Her current project is a clinical study to assess the impact of vaping on roadside impairment evaluations for suspected DUI and drug testing.

Dr. Peace is a Past President of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists and is a member of The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She is a member of the National Safety Council’s Alcohol, Drugs, and Impairment Division. She was nationally recognized for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring by the Society of Forensic Toxicologists.

Dr. Peace speaks regularly to train law enforcement and probation/parole officers, addiction specialists, attorneys, health system personnel, and primary and secondary education administrators on relevant issues regarding the mechanism of vaping and e-cigarettes as a tool to deliver drugs other than nicotine, as well as the effects of CBD and THC. She has provided testimony and opinions to develop scientifically relevant and robust policy and legislation at the state and federal levels, and she consults with companies and school systems as they re-develop smoking policies to include vaping.

Dr. Peace has testified to the Food and Drug Administration and the Virginia General Assembly regarding issues of quality assurance, public health, and public safety with the emerging cannabis industry. She has been featured in the New York Times, Consumer Reports, and AARP. The American Chemical Society and Discover Magazine featured her and her research in 2018 and 2019 as some of the most timely, interesting, or influential research in the nation.

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