Expert Details

Expert in Forensic DNA Analyst

Expert ID: 735992 Virginia, USA

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Expert founded his company in 1993, a forensic scientist who specializes in the analysis of DNA and the use of insects in legal investigations. Expert has evaluated and provided expert guidance for more than four hundred criminal and paternity cases, both in the public and private sector, where DNA analysis was performed for individual identification and/or parentage verification.

Expert has taught numerous training seminars that focus on the principles and methodologies used in forensic DNA typing as well as Workshops designed to train prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, investigators, and law enforcement officials in:
1) crime scene preservation
2) evidence collection
3) chain of custody issues
4) DNA evidence handling and analysis
5) specialized trial tactics
6) effective presentation of DNA evidence to judges and juries.

Expert is a Professor and the Director of Forensic Science in the Department of Biology and Chemistry ata prestigious university where he teaches undergraduate classes in microbiology and forensic science and graduate classes in microbial pathogenesis. He previously held a faculty position in the Department of Molecular and Microbiology at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, VA where he taught graduate courses in forensic DNA analysis, forensic entomology, and in forensic sciences. The course in forensic DNA analysis focuses on current laboratory methods and applications in forensic DNA profiling and effective presentation of DNA evidence at trial. His previously published laboratory manual, entitled “Forensic DNA Analysis: A Laboratory Manual”, presents an overview of the current techniques and methods commonly used in forensic DNA typing, as well as, the interpretation of DNA evidence which is crucial for today’s criminalist.

Expert's updated laboratory manual entitled "Forensic Analysis of Biological Evidence: A Laboratory Guide for Serological and DNA Typing" focuses on the current serological and DNA tests used in forensic laboratories throughout the world. Expert's latest laboratory manual entitled "Forensic Analysis of Trace Evidence" introduces the science of trace evidence analysis by focusing on basic techniques used in crime scene investigations and in forensic science laboratories. This resource manual is designed to provide the reader with a fundamental understanding of trace evidence as well as a thorough background of the specialized techniques used to identify and compare specific types of trace evidence. In 2008, Expert was invited to appear on the Nancy Grace Show to provide his insights on the use of DNA testing in the investigation of the missing 3-year old Florida girl.

Recently, Expert was featured as one of the "Top 15 DNA Analysis Professors" in a forensics blog. The list is comprised of outstanding Professors and authoritative experts in the field of DNA analysis.The criteria used in compiling the list of the Top 15 DNA Analysts included research interests and contributions to the field of forensic DNA, earned a doctoral degree and gained experience during professional employment, practical experience in the academic community, and have published in the field of DNA analysis.

In 2017, Expert’s expertise was requested to work on murder case that occurred over thirty years ago. The defendant, was accused and convicted of the murders of two people in Boonesboro, VA in 1985. Recent evidence, found at the scene, was analyzed by the VA Department of Virginia Sciences and reviewed by the Expert and one other doctor. Both forensic DNA experts came to the conclusion that the DNA was not present at the crime scene. Expert, who was working closely with the investigators and attorney, appeared on ABC’s “20/20” in the hopes that the documentary of mounting evidence will support the petition now in the hands of Governor.

Expert received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Biology at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, a Masters of Science degree from the Department of Entomology, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. After completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Agriculture Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, MD, Expert became Group Leader/Senior Staff Scientist at Digene Diagnostics, Inc. where he directed the research on the development and use of DNA probes for the detection and diagnosis of human pathogens.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Any State in the United Sstates

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1985 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Microbiology Institution: University of Maryland College Park, MD
Year: 1980 Degree: M.S. Subject: Entomology with a minor in Biochemistry Institution: University of Maryland College Park, MD
Year: 1976 Degree: B.S. Subject: Biology with a minor in Chemistry Institution: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1993 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Forensic DNA Analyst Department: Responsibilities: Review serological and DNA test results from private, state, or federal forensic science laboratories. Work with attorneys. Prepare summary reports of findings. Describe findings to attorneys and prepare strategies for trial.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
• North American Forensic Entomology Association
• American College of Forensic Examiners
• International Association for Identification
• Virginia Academy of Sciences
• National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Licenses / Certifications
For specific details of prior work experience and for a listing of casework go to
Medical / Professional
Research Experience
1. Principal Investigator - Evidentiary samples that are subjected to DNA analysis are often consistent with mixtures (i.e., more than one contributor), may contain low levels of DNA, and are often degraded. One research aspect is to focus on increasing the levels of sensitivity and specificity of DNA analyses from mixed and/or degraded samples, as well as samples containing minute quantities or trace DNA that have been transferred. In addition, DNA testing of evidentiary samples derived from “Innocent Projects” will provide relief to those wrongly incarcerated while testing samples of historical significance, using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis and mitochondrial DNA sequencing, could provide important information about our past. Another research focus is the use of forensically-important insects and microbial succession to enhance the ability to determine post mortem intervals (PMI) during decomposition in Southwestern Virginia.
2. Group Leader/Senior Staff Scientist - Research involved the development and application of nonradioactive DNA probes for the detection and diagnosis of viral pathogens in clinical samples by in situ hybridization. Managerial responsibilities included administrative leadership, technical supervision, planning, developing, prepared and managed budget, administrating research activities, interfacing with all levels of management, and establishing research collaborations. Radiation Safety Officer, Biohazard Safety Officer, Principal Investigator/Project Manager for NIAID-supported SBIR grant, Principal Investigator/Project Director for NEI-supported SBIR grant. Digene Diagnostics, Inc., Silver Spring, MD.
3. Postdoctoral Fellow - Research involved the investigation of molecular events occurring during baculovirus replication in permissive, semi-permissive, and non-permissive cell lines. Additional projects included research on transcriptional and translational control mechanisms using baculovirus-infected cells as a model system, gene isolation and characterization, cloning, DNA restriction endonuclease mapping using various DNA/DNA hybridization techniques, sequencing, and investigating DNA-protein interactions. Insect Biocontrol Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD.
4. Research Assistant - Conducted research on the structure and function of the Epstein-Barr virus genome. Using recombinant DNA technology a genomic library was constructed and used to establish a detailed restriction map for a region encoding the transformation function. Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
5. Graduate Research Assistant - Conducted research on the selection of a virulent strain of a baculovirus (an invertebrate virus) using chemical mutagenesis and serial passage in insect larval hosts. Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Regulatory Science Experience
1. Division Director - Provided day-to-day supervision and direction for the implementation and evaluation of all major science and science policy issues relating to hazard assessment and biotechnology. Served as the principal point of contact and coordination point for interactions within EPA and with other Federal Agencies on biotechnology, and scientific and technical issues. Also responsible for the management, coordination and oversight of planning, implementing and evaluating science and science policy issues and activities relating to biotechnology. Hazard Assessment Coordination and Policy Division, Office of Science Coordination and Policy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
2. Associate Division Director (Acting) - Provided administrative and program expertise to the Director for all Division activities involving assessing the health and environmental hazards and risks of new and existing chemicals and microorganisms (naturally-occurring and genetically engineered) and preparing integrated hazard and risk assessment documents as needed to support the full range of Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics’ (OPPT) regulatory and non-regulatory programs. Involved in managing various aspects of U.S. participation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Screening Information Data Sets program in High Production Volume chemicals; reviewing and evaluating health and environment effects test data submitted under specific authorities administered by OPPT and provided expert scientific support to Agency audits of testing programs producing such data. Responsible for developing and updating health and environmental hazards and risks of chemicals and microorganisms and ensuring that procedures and criteria employed by OPPT are consistent with Agency guidelines and the current scientific state-of-the-art. Provided administrative and procedural expertise for developing Division strategies, defining major program objectives, estimating required resource levels, reviewing and evaluating ongoing program activities and assessing work products. Also involved the Office of Research and Development in defining and reviewing Agency research related to characterizing the health and environmental effects of chemicals and biotechnology-derived products. Risk Assessment Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
3. Branch Chief - Provided supervision, leadership, and administrative direction to staff. Defined major program objectives, estimated required resource levels, reviewed and evaluated ongoing program activities and assessed outputs produced. Provided support for developing and recommending program objectives and operations. Provided supervision to staff specialists to develop policies and objectives, allocating and managing resources, develop budget strategies and justifications, develop staffing patterns, and resolve operational problems. Also represented the Branch, Division or Office at various task force panel and committee meetings, involving development of management products, outreach, marketing and training activities. Exercised supervisory personnel management responsibilities over Branch members. Risk Assessment Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
4. Team Leader/Microbiologist - Involved in providing strategies and establishing guidelines for assessing the risks associated with the introduction of transgenic plants, biochemical pesticides, or products derived through biotechnology, into the environment. Also involved in the toxicological (both mammalian and ecological) evaluation of data pertaining to microbial and biochemical pest control agents, and in the evaluation of the molecular construction of genetically engineered microbial and transgenic plant pesticides for regulatory compliance under FIFRA/FFDCA/FQPA. Also involved in issues pertaining to international and domestic regulation of agricultural products derived using biotechnology. Additional tasks included the development of data requirements for transgenic plant testing, regulatory reform for biochemical pesticides, strategies for development of guidelines/policy issues related to products developed through biotechnology, and harmonization of regulatory requirements under the Canadian-United States Trade Agreement, NAFTA, and OECD. Health Effects Division and Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
Publications and Patents Summary
Invited/Professional Presentations: 33
Specialized Training and Workshops: 20
Relevant Publications: 43
Grants, Honors and Awards: 14

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Criminal/Paternity Court Cases: 56 cases just since 2016. Cases go all the way back to 1993.

**Extensive list available upon request. Cases range from 1993 through 2018.
Other Relevant Experience
Additional Scientific Activities
1. Conference Organizing Committee for the 2nd International Conference on Nucleic Acids, Molecular Biology and Biologics. 2017. Nucleic Acids 2017. Philadelphia, PA.
2. Member of Editorial Board-Journal of Forensic Genetics and Medicine, Allied Academies, October, 2016 – August, 2017.
3. Reviewer for National Science Foundation for Research Initiative Competitive Grants. 2013 and 2014. National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
4. Member of Editorial Advisory Board-International Journal of Entomological Research, eSci Journals Publishing. May, 2013 - Present.
5. Consultant and Expert Witness - Review and data analysis of DNA tests results (e.g., RFLP analysis, PCR-based amplification and typing assays [e.g., HLA DQA1/ PM, STRs, D1S80, and gender (amelogenin) identification] and DNA hybridization techniques (court qualified); and entomological interpretations of forensic samples (court qualified) collected at crime scenes. Provide prosecutors, defense attorneys, as well as law enforcement officials with a basic understanding of the science of DNA and a thorough background of the molecular techniques used in DNA analyses, courtroom strategies, and effective presentation of DNA evidence at trial. February, 1992 - Present.
6. Scientific Program Committee and Conference Organizing Committee for the Annual Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2004 and 2003. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD.
7. Reviewer for the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program. 2000. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
8. Panelist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program. 2008, 2002, 2000, 1996, and 1995. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Washington, DC.
9. Reviewer for refereed scientific journals such as Virus Research, Canadian Journal of Microbiology, and Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Fields of Expertise

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