The Leo Dal Cortivo Award

The Leo Dal Cortivo Memorial Fund allows the Young Forensic Toxicologists (YFT) committee to present two awards, each with a cash prize of $1,000 in addition to free registration at a future SOFT meeting. One award will be presented to the best poster presentation and the other for the best platform presentation. To be considered for these awards, the presenting author should mark the box on the abstract submission form that they are eligible for the YFT Award.

Eligibility criteria for the award are as follows:

  • Only the first author is eligible for the award and the first author must also be the presenting author.
  • The first/presenting author must register for the meeting.
  • The first/presenting author must be less than 41 years old on the first day of the meeting.
  • The first/presenting author or a co-author must be a SOFT member.
  • A person can only submit one entry, either poster or oral presentation, for consideration per year. If multiple submissions are received that author will be contacted and given the choice of which submission they would like to have judged.

The eligible abstracts with the highest scores, as determined by the YFT committee, will be chosen as candidates for the awards. Questions regarding the award completion should be directed HERE

For additional information on Dr. Leo Dal Cortivo, please visit created and updated by his nephew Vincent Fusaro.


Past recipients of the Leo Dal Cortivo Award

Platform Award Winners

2023 - Danai T. Taruvinga from Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, Cleveland, OH, for her presentation titled, “Fluorexetamine and 2-fluoro-2-oxo-phenylcyclohexylethylamine: New Dissociative Hallucinogens in Forensic Toxicology and Drug Chemistry Casework” 

2022 - Marthe Vandeputte from Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Bioanalysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium for her presentation titled “First identification, chemical analysis, and pharmacological characterization of N-piperidinyl etonitazene (etonitazepipne), a recent addition to the 2-benzylbenzimidazole opioid subclass”

2021 - Sara E. Walton from Center for Forensic Science Research and Education at the Frederic Reiders Family Foundation, Willow Grove, PA & Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA for her presentation titled “A Forward-Thinking Approach to  Tackling New Synthetic Opioid “Nitazene” Analogues by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry."

2020 - No Awardee

2019 - Kevin Schneider from Virginia Department of Forensic Science, Northern Laboratory, Manassas, VA, for his presentation titled "Casework Involving the Designer Benzodiazepine Clonazolam in Northern Virginia"

2018 - Sara Dempsey from Houston Forensic Science Center, Houston, TX for her presentation titled "Rapid determination of cocaine and its metabolites in serum using differential ion mobility tandem mass spectrometry (DMS-MS/MS)"

2017 - Nicholas Tiscione from Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for his presentation titled "Detected of Carfentanil in Driving Under the Influence Cases in Palm Beach County, FL, USA"

2016 - Jennifer Colby from Vanderbilt University in Nashville for her presentation titled "Comparison of Paired Umbilical Cord Tissue and Meconium Samples for detection of In-Utero Drug Exposure"

2015 - Karen Butler from Department of Forensic Science at Virginia Commonwealth University for her presentation titled "Presumptive Analysis of Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Using Solid-Phase Microextraction for Analysis by Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) and Direct Analysis in Real Time AccuTOF Mass Spectrometry (SPME-DART-MS)"

2014 - Jennifer M. Colby from Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of San Francisco for her presentation titled "High Resolution Mass Spectrometry: The Comprehensive Toxicology Screen of the Future?"

2013 - Nichole Bynum from RTI International for her presentation titled "The Evaluation of Laser Diode Thermal Desorption (LDTD) for High Throughput Analysis in Forensic Science"

2012 - Brian Waters from Department of Forensic Medicine at Fukuoka University for his presentation titled "A toxicological approach to confirm the inhalation of pyrolysis products in burned cadavers using headspace solid-phase microextraction and cryogenic gas chromatography-mass spectrometry."

Poster Award Winners

2023 - Alyssa Reyes from The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education in Willow Grove, PA, for her poster titled, “Urine Drug Surveillance in Philadelphia, PA, with Emphasis on Xylazine and its Metabolites”

2022 - Joseph Kahl from Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department, Miami, FL for his poster titled “When party balloons became taboo: Gas chromatograph carrier gas conversation from helium to hydrogen”

2021 - Ludmyla S. Tavares from Florida International University, Miami, FL for her poster titled “Comparison of In Vitro Systems for the Generation of Drug Metabolites in Forensic Toxicology”

2020 - No Awardee

2019 - Britni Skillman from Department of Forensic Science, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX for her poster titled "Comparison of Physicochemical Properties of Suvorexant with Quantitative Results using Authentic Samples"

2018 - Sandra Bishop-Freeman from Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Raleigh, NC for her poster titled "Postmortem Toxicological Consequences of Bariatric Surgery"

2017 - Timothy Lau from Boston University School of Medicine for his poster titled "Investigation in Stability of Eight Synthetic Piperazines in Human Whole Blood Under Various Storage Conditions Over Time"

2016 - Lacy Taylor from ARUP National Laboratory in Salt Lake City for her poster titled "Use of an Internal Hydrolysis Indicator for Monitoring β-Glucuronidase Activity"

2015 - Ann-Sophie Korb from Forensic Medicine and Science, University of Glasgow for her poster titled "Short-term Stability of Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in Oral Fluid"

2014 - M. Elizabeth Zaney from Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department for her poster titled "Will the Real "Molly" Please Stand Up? A Comparison of MDMA and Synthetic Cathinone Deaths in Miami-Dade County, Florida."

2013 - Rachel Y. Barnett from Franklin County Coroner's Office for her poster titled "What’s Up DOC?-A Case Report."

2012 - Claire Kaspar from Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for her poster titled "An explanation of lingering "opiate" deaths? Relative concentrations of opiates in medulla and femoral blood following lethal intoxications."

2011 - Monique A. Oles from the University of Massachusetts Memorial Department of Hospital Laboratories, Forensic Toxicology Laboratory. Her poster entitled "Evaluation of the i-STAT®1 Handheld Analyzer for Postmortem Vitreous Humor Chemistry Analysis."

2010 - James H. Watterson from the Forensic Toxicology Research Laboratory at Laurentian University for his presentation titled "Relative Distribution of Amitriptyline, Citalopram and Metabolites in Decomposed Skeletal Tissues: A Role for Parent Drug-Metabolite Ratios?"