Announcements & News

January 2003

MUFSC Welcomes New Faculty Member

Pamela Staton, Ph.D. is the newest member of the Forensic Science Faculty. Dr. Staton brings to the Department an expertise in diagnostic microbiology, molecular immunology and microbial genetics. Her current research project is in the area of Bacterial Source Tracking (BST). She has joined the Potomac River Project which is funded by the U.S. and West Virginia Departments of Agriculture. The Potomac River Project seeks to provide a novel molecular approach to tracking fecal contamination of waterways. Surrounding the Potomac River, fecal samples of wildlife, domesticated animals and humans are used to link the bacterial beacon of water contamination, Escherichia coli, back to its human or animal source. In retrospect, studying the source of water contamination can provide us with newly directed approaches to bacterial remediation of our waterways. Further objectives include technology transfer in the development of practical molecular test methods characterized by low-cost, minimal man-hour, speed and reliable E. coli identification in water testing laboratories.

Bioterrorism Focus: Two courses are taught in the Department of Forensic Science with an emphasis on bioterrorism, e.g Crime Scene Investigation & Bioterrorism and Bioterrorism. Research in Dr. Staton's labs also focus on the development of rapid, reliable molecular test methods that target microorganisms that could potentially be used in bioterrorism. Water supply security is a high priority in Homeland Defense against bioterrorism.