Dr Peter Maskell

Senior Lecturer

School School of Science, Engineering and Technology

Department Division of Science

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8632

Biography

I started my career as a Pharmacologist and have significant experience of working in forensic toxicology both in industry and academia. I hold a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and a PhD in GABAA receptors (which influence cognition). 

I joined Abertay in 2017 from the University of Huddersfield where I was a Senior Lecturer in forensic toxicology.  I’ve held academic positions at the University of Dundee, the University of Bristol, the University of Birmingham and Oxford Brookes University. 

As a Case Active Forensic Toxicologist at the University of Dundee, I was responsible for quality management of the forensic toxicology laboratory that provided analysis of post-mortem samples in unexplained death cases under contract from the Scottish Crown Office.

My research is focused on post-mortem drug redistribution, novel psychoactive substances - particularly benzodiazepines, uncertainty of measurement in forensic science and the interpretation of forensic toxicology results using Bayesian statistics.

I’m a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Chemist,a Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists, LTG, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. 

I’m also actively involved in public science events and recently won the RSC Molecules zone on I'm a Scientist Get Me Out of Here – an X-Factor style competition between scientists, judged by students.

Peter teaches chemistry, toxicology and pharmacology and forensic casework on a varity of modules:-

ELE006 - Global Change

ELE020 - Forensic Investigation

LSC101 - Biology Principles and Practice

ENV101 - Introduction to environmental Sciences

FOR201 - Advanced Chemical Process

FOR212 - Investigative Analytical Science

FOR310 - Pharmacology and Toxicology

LSC401 - Project Research Methods

LSC402 - Honours Project (Biomedical Sciences)

FOR410 - Forensic Science Project

 

Current research areas:-

His research is focussed on post-mortem drug redistribution, novel psychoactive substances (particularly benzodiazepines), uncertainty of measurement in forensic science and the the interpretation of forensic toxicology results using bayesian statistics. 

I am currently supervising 2 PhD projects:

1) Is the bladder a site of post-mortem redistribution?

2) Physicochemical properties and metabolism of new psychoactive substances

Journal Publications

 

Maskell PD, Speers RA, Maskell DL (2017). Improving uncertainty in Widmark equation calculations: Alcohol volume, strength and density. Science & Justice. DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2017.05.006

Manchester KR, Lomas EC, Waters L, Dempsey FC, Maskell PD (2017). The emergence of new psychoactive substance (NPS) benzodiazepines: A review. Drug Test Anal. DOI: 10.1002/dta.2211

Smith PR, Cole R, Hamilton S, West K, Morley SR, Maskell PD (2016). Reporting Two Fatalities Associated with the Use of 4-Methylethcathinone (4-MEC) and a Review of the Literature. J Anal Tox. 40:553-60.

Maskell PD, Smith PR, Cole R, Hikin L, Morley SR (2016). Seven fatalities associated with ethylphenidate. Forensic Sci Int. 40:553-60.

Lomas EC, Maskell PD. (2015) Phenazepam: More Information coming in from the cold. J For Leg Med. 36:61-2.

Crichton ML, Shenton CF, Beer LJ, Seetohul LN, Maskell PD (2015). Analysis of Phenazepam and 3- hydroxyphenazepam in Postmortem Fluids and Tissues. Drug Testing and Analysis. 7:926-36.

Maskell PD, Albeishy M, De Paoli G, Wilson NE, Seetohul LN. (2015). Postmortem Redistribution of the Heroin Metabolites Morphine and Morphine-3-Glucuronide in Rabbits over 24 hours. Int J Legal Med 130:519-31.

Seetohul LN, De Paoli G, Drummond G, Maskell PD (2015) Nefopam Hydrochloride: A fatal overdose. J Anal Tox. 39:486-9.

Seetohul LN, De Paoli G, Maskell PD (2015) Volatile Substance Abuse still of concern. J Anal Tox. 39:415.

Maskell PD, Hughes PS, Maskell DL (2014). When Is a Beer Not a Beer: Iso-α-Acids Not Necessarily Proof of Ethanol Consumption? J Anal Tox. 39:160.

Maskell PD, Seetohul LN, Livingstone AC, Cockburn AK, Preece J, Pounder DJ. (2013) Stability of 3,4- methylenedioxymethampetamine (MDMA), 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) and 3- trifluromethylphenylpiperazine (3-TFMPP) in formalin solution. J Anal Tox. 37:440-6.

Seetohul LN, Maskell PD, De Paoli, G & Pounder DJ (2013). Biomarkers for illicit Heroin: A previously unrecognised origin for Papaverine. J. Anal Tox. 37, 133.

McLaughlin P, Pounder D, Maskell P & Osselton D (2013), 'Real-time near-body drug screening during autopsy I: use of the Randox biochip drugs of abuse DOA I and DOA II immunoassays' Forensic Toxicology, pp. 1-6.

Maskell PD, De Paoli G, Seetohul LN and Pounder DJ (2012). Phenazepam: The drug that came in from the cold. J For Leg Med. 19: 122-125.

Maskell PD, De Paoli G, Seetohul LN and Pounder DJ (2012). Meptazinol and Ethanol: A Fatal Intoxication. J Anal Tox. 36: 69-73

Seetohul LN, Maskell PD, De Paoli G, Pounder DJ. (2012) Deaths associated with new designer drug 5-IT. BMJ. Aug 24: 345:e5625

Maskell PD, Paoli GD, Seetohul LN, Pounder DJ. (2011) Phenazepam is currently being misused in the UK. BMJ. Jul 5: 343

Maskell PD, De Paoli G, Seneviratne C, Pounder DJ. (2011) Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone)-related deaths. J Anal Tox. 35:188-91.

Paoli G, Maskell PD, Pounder DJ. (2011) Naphyrone: analytical profile of the new "legal high" substitute for mephedrone. J Forensic Leg Med. 18: 93.

Bin-Jaliah, I., Maskell P.D., and Kumar, P. (2005). Carbon dioxide sensitivity during hypoglycaemia-induced, elevated metabolism in the anaesthetized rat. J Physiol (Lond) 563: 883-893.

Bin-Jaliah, I., Maskell P.D., and Kumar, P. (2004). Indirect sensing of insulin-induced hypoglycaemia by the carotid body in the rat. J Physiol (Lond) 556: 255-266.

Maskell, P.D., Speder, P., Newberry, N.R. and Bermudez, I. (2003). Inhibition of human a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by open channel blockers of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Br J Pharmacol. 140, 1313-1319. (80%)

Slater, E.Y., Houlihan, L.M., Maskell, P.D., Exley, R., Bermudez, I., Lukas, R.G., Guerra-Tamayo, D.L., Valdivia and Cassels, B.K. (2002). Halogenated Cystisine Derivatives as Agonists at Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subtypes. Neuropharmacol. 44: 503-515.

Maskell, P.D., Wafford, K.A. and Bermudez, I. (2001). Influence of Receptor Subunits in the Effects of g- and d-Hexachlorocyclohexane in Recombinant Human GABAA receptors: A Comparison to the Subunit Dependency of Barbiturate and Picrotoxin Effects. Br J Pharmacol. 132: 205-212.

Books

Forensic science education and training : a tool-kit for lecturers and practitioner trainers. Williams, A., Cassella, J. P. & Maskell, P. D. (eds.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Book Chapters

Cassella, J. P., Williams, A. & Maskell, P. D. The future of forensic science education  (2017) in  Forensic science education and training: a tool-kit for lecturers and practitioner trainers. Williams, A., Cassella, J. P. & Maskell, P. D. (eds.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, p. 301-310 10 p.

Cassella, J. P., Maskell, P. D. & Williams, A. Forensic science education: the past and the present in and out of the classroom (2017) in : Forensic science education and training : a tool-kit for lecturers and practitioner trainers. Williams, A., Cassella, J. P. & Maskell, P. D. (eds.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, p. 1-18 18 p.

Maskell, P.D., Rusius, C.J., Whitehead. K.J. and Kumar, P. (2006). Adrenaline increases carotid body CO2 sensitivity: An In vivo study. Adv Exp Med Biol.;580, 245-50.

Wafford, K.A., Maskell, P.D., Aspinwall, L.A., Beadle, D.J. and Bermudez, I. (1999). The effects of hexachlorocyclohexane isomers on human GABAA receptors In: Beadle, D.J. (Ed.), Progress in Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology of Pesticides and Drugs, Royal Society of Chemistry pp.100-105.

More Information

Funding

PhD Studentship (2015)
University of Huddersfield, School Studentship
Competitively awarded fully funded PhD studentship to investigate the physicochemical properties of new psychoactive substances (£60,000)

Home Office CAST/Ocean Optics Road Side Drug Testing (2014)
Grant for the investigation of novel methods for non-invasive determination of drug blood levels at the roadside (£50,000)

Equipment grant (2014)
University of Huddersfield, Faculty Equipment Award
Competitively awarded £27,000 to purchase an HPLC-DAD to study in vitro postmortem redistribution and drug metabolism.

PhD Studentship (2013)
University of Huddersfield, School Studentship
Awarded fully funded PhD studentship to investigate the Post-mortem redistribution (£60,000)

Pharmacology Pre-practical Quiz development (2009)
University of Bristol, AIMS/CETL
Jointly awarded £16,000 to pay for a 6 month teaching assistant post to develop pre-practical quizzes for Pharmacology practicals for Pharmacology Level 1, Level 2, Medic and Dental Practicals. The quizzes are now used across the department.

Research Grant (2005)
Scientific Projects Committee, The Medical School. University of Birmingham (£2,500). 1 Year
investigation of the CO2/Proton sensitivity of human nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

Esteem

Visting Lectureships

Visiting Senior Lecturer University of Huddersfield (2017 - Present)

 

Awards

Winner RSC Molecules zone. I'm a scientist get me out of here

 

Affiliations

Chartered Chemist

Chartered Scientist

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Professional Member of United Kindon and Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists (UKIAFT)

Member of London Toxicology Group (LTG)

Member of Society of Forensic Toxicologist

Member of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists

 

Reviewing

Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Drug Testing and Analysis

Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology

Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental

Abstract reviewer for Sofiety of Forensic Toxicology Annual Meeting 

Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow Awards

Athena SWAN Panel Member

 

Examiner

MSc Forensic Toxicology (Bournmouth Univeristy)

2 PhD Thesis (External Examiner)

1 PhD Thesis (Internal Examiner)

 

Invited Talks

Worldwide Distilled Spirits (2017). The Science of Sensible Drinking.

Public Lecture Series Hudderflield (2016). Murder or Sucide: The role of Forensic Toxicology in Death Investigations.

UKIAFT main meeting (2014).  Postmortem redistribution.

Nottingham Trent University (2014) -  Toxicology of phenazepam

University of Exeter (2014) - Translational Science Seminars

British Pharmacological Society winter meeting (2007).  The use of Human Patient Simulators in Pharmacology undergraduate teaching.

 

Conference organisation

UKIAFT Annual Meeting (Manchester 2016) - Organising Commitee Chair

TIAFT Annual Meeting (Birmingham 2019) - Organising Commitee Member (Corporate Liason)

Outreach

I am regularly involved in outreach. I speak at local schools and colleges, I also take part in public science events (such as science week). I won the RSC Molecules zone for I'm a scientist get me out of here.

Meet the rest of the team

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Dr Sean Brown

Division of Science | Senior Lecturer

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Dr Keith Sturrock

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