Laboratory Director, Associate Professor
Matthew Halquist, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology in 1998 along with minor studies in chemistry and forensics science. After eight years of working at PPD Bioanalytical Labs in Richmond, Virginia, developing and validated LC-MS bioanalytical methods under cGLP regulations, he returned to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. During his graduate work, Halquist continued working as technical director in the Bioanalytical Shared Laboratory at VCU directing collaborations and helping graduate students with their research. Since 2015, Halquist has been the director of the Bioanalytical Shared Resource Laboratory and continues to foster collaborations within VCU and with other academic and industrial partners. His research interests include bioanalytical techniques for analysis of therapeutic proteins, tobacco product characterization and biomarkers of exposure, pharmacokinetic studies, separation sciences, stability indicating methods, and building in vitro release devices than can predict in vivo performance of parenteral dosage forms.
Laure Keatts Ray, B.S.
As the laboratory manager in the VCU Bioanalytical Shared Resource Laboratory, Ray started her career at Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s in marine science and minors in chemistry and psychology. As an undergraduate Ray conducted research in environmental microbiology and environmental chemistry. Upon graduation, she and her husband moved to Newport News, Virginia, where she started her career with an environmental firm as an environmental chemist and then moved to further her career at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, continuing her undergraduate environmental microbiology research. In 2002 she started a family and for 15 years concentrated on raising two daughters and coaching swimming. In 2018, Ray returned to the lab as a chemist in the Bioanalytical Shared Resource Laboratory, helping with bioanalysis of small and large molecules, product analysis and managing administrative and operational activities.
Adam Pearcy, Ph.D.
Dr. Adam Pearcy received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2014 and his Ph.D. in 2019 from Virginia Commonwealth University in physical chemistry. His research interests include mass spectrometry, bioanalysis, pharmacokinetics and pharmacology.
Leon Kosmider is an affiliate assistant professor of the Bioanalytical Shared Resource Laboratory within the Department of Pharmaceutics at the VCU School of Pharmacy. After Dr. Kosmider received his Pharm.D, he earned his PhD in Pharmacy and Toxicology from Medical University of Silesia, Poland. He has conducted research in toxicology of various tobacco products including e-cigarettes and cigarettes. He has studied smoking topography and yields of toxic agents in tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapor generated under various smoking conditions. Dr. Kosmider was the Principal Investigator for the design and construct smoking machine - Palaczbot. Twice at Queen Mary University for two months internship. He was involved in the standard development for electronic cigarettes and e-liquids as an expert for the Polish National Committee for Standardization, the European Committee for Standardization, and the International Organization for Standardization. See more on Google Scholar and ORCID.
Melissa A. Morgan
Melissa joined the BAL in February 2020 as a Laboratory Specialist. She has a B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech.
Halquist Graduate Student
Haley is a PhD student in the VCU Bioanalytical Shared Resource Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Halquist. Haley completed a Bachelors of Science in Forensic Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 and a Masters of Science in Forensic Science in Forensic Chemistry with a focus in drug chemistry and toxicology in 2018. Haley was the recipient of the Educational Research Award from the Society of Forensic Toxicologists and presented her masters research featuring opioid aerosol in electronic cigarettes at their annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN in October 2018. She has technical experience with method development in gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid-liquid extraction, and solid phase microextraction (SPME) techniques for the analysis of e-liquid aerosol for drugs of abuse.
Halquist Graduate Student
Vinit is a graduate student in Department of Pharmaceutics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Vinit received his Bachelor in Pharmacy from University of Pune, India in 2010. He later earned his MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Southern California. After achieving his MS, he joined pharmaceutical industry, Piramal Healthcare in Analytical Research and Development. As an analytical scientist, he worked on several dosage forms such as tablets, injections, liposomes and semi-solids. With industrial expertise developed in method development, validation and technology transfer, he decided to move back to academia to achieve his doctoral degree in Biopharmaceutical Analysis. Currently, he is pursuing his Doctoral degree at VCU under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Halquist. His research is focused on analysis of e-cigarettes. He has presented his research on e-cigarettes in SRNT conferences. He is also a recipient of Schwartz Award, Thakker Award and Graduate Poster Award at VCU. Besides being passionate about the analytical field, he enjoys being active member of professional committees such as AAPS and SRNT.
Catherine Del Guidice, M.S., M.T.(ASCP)
Halquist Graduate Student
Catherine Del Guidice received a B.S. in Chemistry from Christopher Newport University in 2011. She then received a M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Sciences with a concentration in Clinical Chemistry in 2014 from Virginia Commonwealth University, at which point she became a certified medical technologist (ASCP). While working on her Masters degree, Catherine worked at both the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services as a Scientist I and at St. Mary’s Hospital as a Medical Laboratory Technician. Upon graduation, she accepted a full-time position at St. Mary’s Hospital as a Medical Technologist in the Chemistry and Hematology Laboratory. In 2015, she left St.Mary’s Hospital to work at PPD Laboratories as a Quality Assurance Auditor. Following that, she continued working at PPD Laboratories as a Project Manager for the Biologics by LC-MS/MS Research and Development group. While employed as a Project Manager, Catherine is currently working on her Ph.D. part-time in Pharmaceutical Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Halquist. Her research is focused on method development for quantification and characterization of antibodies and antibody fragments in human biofluids (plasma, vitreous and aqueous fluid) using hybrid LBA-LC-MS/MS.
Student Worker Opportunities, Federal Work Studies
We offer federal work study (FWS) positions. Our students work to support collaborations within our research infrastructure including assisting with sample processing, preparing reagents, extractions, and documentation.