Who We Are

Leadership Team

Owatha "Tootie" Tatum, Ph.D. - Laboratory Director

Owatha "Tootie" Tatum joined Advanta Toxicology as the Laboratory Director in August 2015. Dr. Tatum founded the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laboratory for Molecular Diagnostics and served as Associate Professor in the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (2002-2011).

She was instrumental in the development of Pathogenius Laboratories and served as the Laboratory Director from its inception (2008-2011). She was also the Director of Project Management for the Joint Genome Institute at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a massive-scale genome sequencing facility that grew out of the Human Genome Project.

Dr. Tatum is board certified as a high-complexity laboratory director and as a clinical consultant in molecular diagnostics. She also serves as a voting member on the American Board of Bioanalysis (2013-2016), as well as a CAP specialty inspector in molecular diagnostics and team leader.

Brian L. Robbins, Ph.D. - Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Robbins is a motivated hard working laboratorian with a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of North Dakota. He has over 25 years of post-graduate experience in the sciences. This ranges from 12 years in laboratory management in CAP/CLIA environments to conducting research on the bench and developing high complexity urine, plasma and intracellular assays.

Dr. Robbins completed post-doctoral work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and stayed on conducting 20 years of research in HIV drug metabolism and assay development using HPLC, RIA and LC-MS/MS techniques. Furthering his carrier by joining University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Robbins was instrumental in the design and establishment of the UNMC Antiviral Pharmacology Laboratory while progressing his work in HIV research developing plasma and intracellular drug assays.

Dr. Robbins most recent work has involved developing and validating multi-drug LC-MS/MS assays in urine for pain management as he continues other scientific and method development activity at Advanta Analytical Laboratories.

Mary Long, Ph.D., NRCC - Technical Director

Dr. Long received her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and her Doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is certified as a toxicologic chemist by the National Registry of Certified Chemists. Dr. Long has been working in high-complexity clinical laboratories developing LC/MS/MS assays since 2006.

Dr. Long's previous experience includes developing LC-MS/MS assays for a major CRO and starting clinical reference laboratories from the ground-up. As a licensed high complexity clinical laboratory director, Dr. Long understands the importance of working towards scientific excellence and maintaining regulatory compliance. Having worked in regulated laboratories, she has a great deal of familiarity with CLIA, CAP, COLA, and FDA requirements and enjoys implementing process improvements that help to maintain the quality of our results.

Damien A. Narcisse, Ph.D. - LCMS Development Scientist

Dr. Narcisse joined Advanta Analytical Laboratories in June 2016 bringing his expertise in analytical chemistry and instrumentation. He received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana (2000) and a Doctorate in Analytical Chemistry from Louisiana State University (2009), where he studied On-line Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry.

Prior to joining Advanta, Dr. Narcisse did Postdoctoral work in Food Science at the LSU Agriculture Center and was an Assistant Professor in Chemistry at Southern University in Baton Rouge. Some of his laboratory experience includes GC- and LC-MS/MS, microfluidics, organic synthesis, liquid- and solid-phase extraction, quantitative analysis and laboratory management. Dr. Narcisse worked under funding provided by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. He has lectured abroad, tutored youths for national chemistry competitions, has numerous scientific publications and presentations, and is a member of the Institute of Food Technologist, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and the American Chemical Society.

Currently, Dr. Narcisse is optimizing current assays and developing new assays for clinical toxicology using ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry.

Mindy Williams, Ph.D. - Toxicologist

Dr. Williams received her Masters degree in Biochemistry from The University of Mississippi (2013) and a Doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Miami (2016) where she pursued a specialty in Toxicology. She is currently preparing for a Board Certification with the American Board of Toxicology in the Fall of 2017.

Before joining Advanta, Dr. Williams spent an ample amount of time dedicating herself to the E Liquid industry where she worked closely with the FDA and TPD to improve the molecular integrity of vapors. She spent many years validating ingredients used in E Liquid products that are sold on the market today. With her experience in operating HPLC and GC/MS, Dr. Williams has had great success in organizing ISO and GMP operations while directing many production and analytical laboratories. She is a member of many associations including: The National Registry of Certified Chemists, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The Smoke Free Americans Trade Association.

Kevin Strathdee - Chief Process Officer

Kevin Strathdee is the Chief Process Officer and Project Manager at Advanta Analytical Laboratories. He has more than 25 years of experience in management, engineering, and medicine.

Prior to joining Advanta he worked at Texas Instruments, where his responsibilities included statistical process control and process automation support for missile circuit board manufacturing, surface mount technology processes, and, later, in the area of business development for microchip array products.

Over the last 15 years, Kevin has also led collaborative efforts for medical companies to create more strategic value from existing operations by managing critical initiatives focused on increasing growth and improving operational strengths. Kevin holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.