NIJ Success Stories
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“This research clearly demonstrated that there is potential to develop microbiome tools for estimating time of death. Developing connections with the right interdisciplinary collaborators was instrumental to the success of this project.” -Jessica Metcalf, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University
“The complete mtGenome reference data developed in this project serve as important milestones for the understanding of coding region heteroplasmy and the acceptance of full mtGenome sequencing in worldwide forensic genetics.” -Dr. Walther Parson, Co-PI and Associate Professor, Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University
“SWGDOG set the stage and provided a strong foundation of canine detector best practices that the OSAC Dogs and Sensor Subcommittee is currently developing into scientifically robust standards. The Subcommittee continues to uphold SWGDOG’s mission of defining credibility and enabling improved reliability and performance of detector dogs.” -Dr. Cynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD, BS Director, Penn Vet Working Dog Center, School of Veterinary Medicine; NIST OSAC Dogs and Sensor Subcommittee Member
“Dr. Gottuk’s work has reduced the number of inaccurate arson determinations based on low burns and holes in the floor. It has even played a role in reversing some wrongful convictions based on the misconception that ignitable liquids burn holes in floors.” ‒John Lentini, CFI, D-ABC Scientific Fire Analysis, LLC
“Our laboratory is excited about DNA epigenetic markers as they offer the possibility of an objective confirmation of what cell type the DNA profile is originating from. If proven, the methodology could replace traditional serological approaches to body fluid confirmation.” -Mark Powell M.Sc., F-ABC Crime Lab Manager, San Francisco Police Dept.
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“The Synercon Smart Sensor Simulators are not only a forensically sound way to download digital evidence from electronic control modules, they are also a time-saving and safer way to collect this data from a wrecked heavy vehicle that has been involved in a crash.” — Scott E. Skinner, Sergeant (Retired), Oregon State Police
“Mitochondrial analysis holds significant potential for the forensic community and represents a great market opportunity for SoftGenetics®. As part of Dr. Calloway’s NIJ funding, we were able to initiate a collaboration to customize the NextGENe® software for forensic use.” — John Fosnacht, Co-Founder/VP Sales & Marketing SoftGenetics®vv
“DNA Polymerase Technologies has done impressive work engineering Taq mutants and in determining the proper combination of PCR enhancer cocktails to assess STR profiles in challenging samples.” — Robert Bever, Ph.D., Laboratory Director Mitotyping Technologies, A Division of American International Biotechnology
“This technology provides the ability to detect blood in all sorts of circumstances, even in some cases where traditional techniques can’t.” ─ Stephen L. Morgan, University of South Carolina
“Forensic anthropology today is largely about applying methods and theory from studies in human variation to aid in the identification of human remains. The key is to find an approach which takes into account biological, cultural, and legal diversity so that families of the missing and the broader community find resolution and peace.” — Erin Kimmerle, Ph.D., Director, Florida Institute of Forensic Anthropology and Applied Sciences, University of South Florida
“This technique provides an alternative objective method for classifying ignitable liquid residues, which is one of the only viable options for helping to progress fire debris analysis beyond a subjective comparison technique.” — Glen P. Jackson, Ph.D., Forensic and Investigative Science & C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry, West Virginia University (WVU).
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“The problem firearms examiners have had when testifying in court is that their conclusions are guided by experience and are difficult to quantify. With this and related studies, there is now a body of science that can help firearms examiners convince a jury of the accuracy of firearms identification for certain firearms barrels.” – Benjamin Bachrach, PhD Intelligent Automation, Inc.
“The importance of this work is in the ideas it brought forward. It opened up new ways for the forensics community to think about how to do rapid genotyping.” – Micah Halpern, PhD Principal Investigator Formerly, Midwest Research Institute
NIJ and NetBio—Advancing Rapid DNA Analysis, April 2015
“The NIJ was the first group to really give us a chance, to believe that there was something to our vision, and the NIJ grants that we were awarded were major building blocks in our development.” – Richard Selden CEO NetBio
“In life and death the body is its own ecosystem.” – Franklin Damann, PhD National Museum of Health and Medicine
“Without the NIJ funding, none of this would have happened. We wouldn’t be getting proper sex estimates for people who are considered Hispanic, or properly be able to identify their geographic origin with confidence. The funding was absolutely crucial.” – Kate Spradley, PhD Biological Anthropologist Texas State University–San Marcos
“Ultimately, I think the most powerful application of this technology is going to be performing immediate analysis on DNA samples that are taken when people are arrested for felonies, because it will help keep serial criminals off the streets.” – Richard Mathies, PhD Chemist and Professor UC Berkeley