The tools of molecular biology have augmented forensic biological analyses and contributed to solving crimes, developing investigative leads, and exonerating the innocent. The methods are exquisitely sensitive and highly resolving. Success stories abound and are reported almost daily in the media. Indeed, forensic DNA typing is the gold standard of the forensic science disciplines. Although the methods and interpretations generally are reliable, there are some limitations that scientists, stakeholders, decision makers, and the public may not appreciate. This presentation will provide insight into the applications extolling their value and discussing the problems that need to be overcome or avoided.
About the speaker: Bruce Budowle, PhD, director of the UNT Health Science Center's Institute of Investigative Genetics and vice chair of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics, has been named a Health Care Hero by Dallas Business Journal. He joined the Health Science Center in 2009, bringing renowned expertise in the areas of counterterrorism, primarily in identification of victims from mass disasters and microbial forensics.
Prior to joining the Health Science Center, Budowle spent 40 years as a senior scientist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, D.C. He was a principal advisor in efforts to identify victims from the World Trade Center attack in 2001 and helped establish a mitochondrial DNA sequencing program to enable high-throughput sequencing of human remains.
Budowle's commitment to helping families resolve missing persons cases led him to Fort Worth after a lifetime in the Virginia/Washington, D.C., area in order to collaborate with Health Science Center researchers and advance the knowledge and use of forensics and DNA to improve health and safety of the world's population. Budowle has also been instrumental in establishing the DNA-ProKids initiative to identify missing children on an international scale.