Laboratory Testing for Biomarkers of Alcohol Exposure


Ethanol is one of the most widely used drugs in the world and excessive ethanol use can lead to abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcoholism is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S and the 3rd leading cause of preventable death. Testing for alcohol exposure is important to manage the health of patients with alcohol use disorders, to detect individuals driving under the influence, assess patient adherence in drug and alcohol abstinence programs, evaluate fetal risk for neonatal alcohol exposure during pregnancy, and for prequalification screening for organ transplantation surgery.

Originally published on May 10, 2021

Lecture Presenter

Kamisha L. Johnson-Davis, PhD, DABCC (CC, TC)

Kamisha L. Johnson-Davis, PhD, DABCC (CC, TC)

Associate Professor
University of Utah School of Medicine
Medical Director: Clinical Toxicology
ARUP Laboratories

Dr. Kamisha L. Johnson-Davis is the medical director of clinical toxicology at ARUP Laboratories and the director of the clinical chemistry fellowship program and an associate professor at the University of Utah. Dr. Johnson-Davis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California before receiving her doctorate degree in pharmacology at the University of Utah. She completed a fellowship at the Center for Human Toxicology and a clinical chemistry fellowship at the University of Utah. Dr. Johnson-Davis is certified in clinical chemistry and toxicological chemistry. Her research interests include assay development for drug testing by mass spectrometry and immunoassay, therapeutic drug monitoring for pediatric and adult patients, and drug testing in oral fluid.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the effects of ethanol on the human body
  • Discuss biological markers of alcohol exposure in various specimen matrices
  • Recognize analytical methods used in the clinical laboratory for testing alcohol biomarkers

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories