Michelle Peace, M.F.S., Ph.D.


Associate Professor
(804) 828-8420

Dr. Peace holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio where she majored in Chemistry and minored in Biology.  She has worked as a research technician for Liqui-Box Corporation, developing flavored bottled water and improved delivery systems for wine and condiments in bag-in-box units.  She was also a research technician for Procter and Gamble in the Paper Products Division, improving diaper and feminine hygiene products. 

After several years at the bench, she returned to school to receive her Master of Forensic Science degree from George Washington University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University‚Äôs Medical Campus, specializing in Forensic Toxicology. 

She helped develop the undergraduate program in Forensic Science at VCU.  She has served as the Laboratory manager of Kroll Laboratories, a private forensic toxicology laboratory specializing in urine drug testing, where she monitored and optimized work flow of approximately 4,000 specimens per day, interpreted results and testified for clients, and trained staff and probation officers.  She returned to VCU in August 2007 as the Associate Chairperson of the Department of Forensic Science. 

Dr. Peace continues to consult for Kroll Laboratories and private companies developing drug testing programs.  She also helps to train crime scene investigators in the Mid-Atlantic region in the identification, collection, and preservation of entomological evidence and develops and teaches forensic science workshops for elementary and high school teachers.

Interests include substance use trends with novel psychoactive substances, legal drugs, and over-the-counter medications. Research includes developing analytical methods for new drugs and assessing the impact of substance use in communities, such as developing a rapid tool for identifying community drug spread, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and using wastewater to assess community health. Current grant supported research is to study the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as an illicit drug delivery system.