I’m Justin Brower and a Forensic Toxicologist. I only do postmortem work, meaning dead people, so I see a lot of weird stuff. It’s not quite like CSI – we’re not all beautiful people wearing sunglasses. But it’s still pretty cool.
I earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Organic chemistry for those that care, so I have a fondness for chemical structures, so you’ll see a lot of those. I started out in Big Pharma . . . OK, it was more like Micro Pharma. I then transitioned to a career in toxicology because it seemed like a good idea at the time. My company was shutting down, and I didn’t feel like staying in pharma, even though I love drug discovery and development. The industry is such a roller coaster, with not a lot of stability. So I got into toxicology and thought I’d stick around for 6 months to figure out my next move, and here I am, 8 years later. I’ve really grown to love postmortem work, and find it fascinating to see how people kill themselves and others. No two cases are the same.
I started this blog for several reasons, one of which was to push myself to learn more. So I took my love of chemical structures and things that kill people and morphed them into this.
So why Nature’s Poisons? Methadone and Oxycodone have been done to death. What I’m not likely to see in my job is someone dead from taipoxin. There’s just not too many Australian Inland Taipan snakes in my neck of the woods. Thank goodness, I hate snakes. So I can at least write about it. I also like plants and gardening, and seeing how there are thousands of plant based poisons, there’s no shortage of material.
Some things I will write about:
- Nature’s Poisons – all types chemical and biological
- Interesting poisonings – recent and historical
- Old uses of Nature’s Poisons
- Pharmacology and toxicology
Some things I will not write about:
- Cases I am involved with, either directly or tangentially. I’m sure you understand why.
If you know me, and the agency I work for, then you know that these writings are my own, with my own thoughts and opinions. I don’t represent my employer in any way, shape, or form. Ever.
So enjoy, and don’t try these things at home. If there is anything you’d like to know, or for me to write about, just send me a note: NaturesPoisons@gmail.com and follow along on Twitter @NaturesPoisons