Announcements & News

August 2006

MUFSC launches the Technical Assistance to State and Local Crime Laboratories

At the National Institute of Justice’s DNA Grantees meeting in Washington DC , June 2006 members of the forensic science community indicated that advanced forensic science students knowledgeable about the forensic applications of DNA testing and trained in the use of analytical instrumentation and software programs could provide a needed service to forensic DNA laboratories throughout the country. The Forensic Science (FS) Program, the educational arm of the Marshall University Forensic Science Center (MUFSC), is accredited through FEPAC and offers a two year Master’s degree in forensic science. The FS Program and the FS Center are initiating a program entitled, “Technical Assistance to State and Local Crime Laboratories”, which is intended to provide technical support for internal validation and implementation of analytical instrumentation and procedures for participating laboratories.

Students selected to participate in the technical assistance program will receive intense classroom and laboratory training in addition to classes required to fulfill requirements of the academic curriculum Crime laboratories that wish to participate in the program need to communicate their needs to MUFSC during the month of September. The training received by the MUFSC technical assistants will target the needs of the participating crime laboratories. It is essential that the instrumentation and software present in the participating crime laboratory are available for training at MUFSC. Currently, training at MUFSC focuses on AB 3100 and 3130 Genetic Analyzers, AB 7000 and 7500 Quantitative PCR and the BioMek 2000 and 3000 liquid handlers. In addition, training modules in expert systems are also part of our agenda.

Connecting participating laboratories with a MUFSC technical assistant early will help define details of the project and will facilitate the completion of background checks prior to a May start date.

Laboratories interested in technical assistance can contact Dr. Pam Staton at staton1@marshall.edu to receive additional information or to indicate your interest in participating in the technical assistance program.

Funding to support the Technical Assistance Program is provided through Cooperative Agreements 2001-RC-CX-K002 and 2005-MU-BX-K020 with the National Institute of Justice.