Dr. Donelson has education, training, and experience concerning the use and effects of drugs, including prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications, and other licit and illicit substances. In areas of pharmacology and toxicology, he has examined relationships between the presence, concentration, and actions of drugs, taken alone or in combination, including beverage alcohol. Dr. Donelson applies findings of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic research to questions about the likelihood and severity of adverse drug effects, including those arising from interactions of two or more drugs. He has addressed issues related to the nature and degree of drug effects on the human body and on human behavior, including the role of alcohol and other drugs as causal factors in motor vehicle collisions as well as in other kinds of accidents and incidents.
Dr. Donelson has also engaged the statistical study of motor vehicle crashes, their causes and consequences. He specializes in solving complex problems involving multiple variables, for example, to estimate the relative importance of risk factors. In the area of motor vehicle risk analysis, Dr. Donelson’s investigations have focused on vehicle rollover, post-collision fire, occupant injury, and vehicle crashworthiness. He has also researched the dual role of alcohol as a crash-risk factor as well as an injury-aggravating factor, especially spinal cord injury.
Dr. Donelson currently works as an independent consultant. Until April 2005, Dr. Donelson served as a Principal Scientist with the engineering and scientific consulting firm Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Inc. (Exponent). Before joining Exponent in 1989, he had years of research experience with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada (1981–1989), the Highway Safety Research Institute (now, the Transportation Research Institute) at the University of Michigan (1976–1981), and the University of Michigan School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology (1975–1976).