Since becoming an FIU faculty member in 1988, he has authored or co-authored more than 800 publications and presentations and has been continuously funded for more than two decades with over $14 million in extramural grants. Dr. Furton’s research program has focused on separation science and the development of novel sample preparation methods including solid phase extraction, supercritical fluid extraction and, most recently, solid-phase microextraction (SPME). Recent research includes physicochemical measurements using chromatographic techniques and the development of column technology and instrumentation for chromatography. Specific projects have included the use of supercritical fluids in forensic toxicology, the use of SPME in arson, explosives and drug analysis, the discriminating power of glass fragments, chemical agents to detect illicit US currency, chemical methods to visualize latent fingerprints and behavioral olfactometry to study canine selectivity and sensitivity to chemical odor fingerprints associated with paper currency, drugs and explosives.
Examples of funded projects include:
1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, “FIU Science Collaborative (FSC)” (Co-PI with Laird Kramer as PI), Approved for funding 4/15/2010-4/15/2014, $1,000,000.
2. Department of Education, “Opening the Gateway: The High Tech High Touch Initiative” (PI) 10/1/2010-10/1/2015, $2,447,448.
3. TSWG (DoD), “Evaluation of the Scent Collection System (SNT SKR2000) for Use in Canine Training”, $466,650.84, 5/30/12-11/30/14.
4. Colgate-Palmolive, “Determining the Human Scent Profile from Axillary and Hand Odor from Different Target Populations”, $199,996.53, 04/10/12 – 04/09/15.
5. Canine Assistance, “Identification of Epileptic Seizure Specific Chemical Biomarkers”, $100,002.52, 01/2013-01/2014.
6. Colgate-Palmolive, “Determining the Human Scent Profile from Axillary and Hand Odor from Different Target Populations”, $222,000, 04/10/12 – 04/09/15.
7. APLU, “University Transformation through Teaching (UT3) Phase II” $640,000, 10/16/2015 – 6/30/2020
8. NSF, “Advance Institutional Transformation at Florida International University” $3,202,167, 09/15/2016 – 08/31/2021
9. Office of Naval Research, “Exploring the Effects of the Generalization-Discrimination Balance and Odor Availability in Odor Detection Canines” $210,419.26, 09/01/2016 – 12/31/2018
10. NSF, Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers, Center for Advanced Research in Forensic Science, “Continued Advanced Human Scent Identification: A cross-disciplinary study using SPME-GC/MS VOC analyses and Next Generation DNA sequencing techniques for increasing the probative value of human scent evidences” $24,960, 10/29/2019 – 12/20/2022