Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

NIJ R&D Success Stories

DNA strands in green

Success Story: Advancing Mixture Interpretation Analysis with NOCIt

National Institute of Justice and Rutgers University Report Date September 2020 Impact “One could argue that a better approach than opting for the minimum number of contributors to a mixture might be to determine the number of contributors best supported…
tire treads and shoe print

Success Story: Advancing 3D Imaging for Footwear and Tire Impressions

NIJ and Purdue University Report Date May 2020 Impact “Purdue’s 3D scanner promises to be a game changer as it allows the fast collection of the 3D detail of impressions with minimal training.” – James Wolfe, Alaska State Crime Laboratory, retired…
Data points

Success Story: Revolutionizing Laboratory Efficiency Assessments Through Project FORESIGHT

NIJ and West Virginia University Report Date March 2020 Impact “Iron sharpens iron. Project FORESIGHT is built on collaboration among peers, and enhanced with academic and economic support-it provides actionable and realistic data to assess how well a lab is…

Success Story: Enabling Forensic Field Testing with Paper Microfluidic Devices

NIJ and Florida International University Report Date April 2019 Impact “I’m impressed with the potential for replacement wet color tests. The multiplexing capabilities have potential to address the challenges field forensics investigators encounter with non-pure, intermixed drugs as well as…

Success Story: Improving DNA Mixture Interpretation with the Help of Machine Learning

NIJ and Syracuse University Report Date March 2019 Impact “This is something that every DNA crime lab worldwide should investigate. We now have a tool that with the press of one button does the entire suite of services and provides…

Success Story: Advancing 3D Virtual Microscopy for Firearm Forensics

National Institute of Justice and Cadre Forensics Report Date March 2019 Impact “High-resolution 3D surface topographies coupled with advanced software analysis are providing firearm examiners unprecedented new tools for microsurface examination.” Click here to read the full report Resources Cadre’s…

Success Story: Uncovering Key Details of Skeletal Remains through 3D-ID Software

NIJ and North Carolina State University Report Date January 2019 Impact “3D-ID has been an invaluable tool for us. Many of our unknown persons come from populations south of the Border. We use this program for every case with great…

Success Story: Establishing a “Microbial Clock” to Improve Time of Death Prediction

NIJ and Multi-Institute Academic Team Report Date April 2018 Impact “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…

Success Story: Maximizing the Use of Mitochondrial DNA in Identifying Remains and Aiding Missing Persons Casework

NIJ and the American Registry of Pathology Report Date April 2018 Impact “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…

Success Story: NIST’s Dogs and Sensor Subcommittee Builds on Achievements by SWGDOG

NIJ and Florida International University Report Date April 2018 Impact “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…
wood burning

Success Story: Advancing the Forensic Analysis of Ignitable Liquid Fuel Fires

NIJ and JENSEN HUGHES Report Date February 2018 Impact “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…
DNA strand

Success Story: Forensic Epigenetics – Markers for the Identification of Body Fluids

NIJ and Florida International University Report Date February 2018 Impact “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…
vehicles driving in tunnel

Success Story: Improving the Reliability of Forensic Data from Vehicle Data Records

NIJ and Synercon Technologies Report Date December 2017 Impact “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…
burned house and sofa on fire

Success Story: Identifying Ignitable Liquids in Fire Debris and Providing Error Rates for Purposes of Testifying

NIJ and University of Central Florida Report Date November 2016 Impact “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…
skeletons

Success Story: Creating an International Databank of Skeletal Biomarkers for Human Identification

NIJ and University of South Florida Report Date September 2016 Impact “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…
mitochondria and DNA strands

Success Story: Customizing NextGENe Software for Forensic Applications

NIJ and CHORI – Collaboration with SoftGenetics® and California Department of Justice Report Date April 2016 Impact “Mitochondrial analysis holds significant potential for the forensic community and represents a great market opportunity for SoftGenetics®. As part of Dr. Calloway’s NIJ…
DNA strand gloved hand with tube

Success Story: Addressing a Key Challenge for PCR-Based Forensic Tests

NIJ and DNA Polymerase Technologies Report Date April 2016 Impact “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,…
ammunition and smoking gun

Success Story: Demonstrating Objectivity in Ballistic Identification

NIJ and Intelligent Automation, Inc. Report Date April 2015 Impact “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…
sam quinones headshot

Success Story: Understanding the Ecology of Human Decomposition Methods for Estimating Postmortem Interval

NIJ and the National Museum of Health and Medicine Report Date April 2015 Impact “In life and death the body is its own ecosystem.” – Franklin Damann, PhD National Museum of Health and Medicine Click here to read the full…
DNA strand in magnifying glass and handcuffed hands

Success Story: Bringing Short Tandem Repeat DNA Identification to Law Enforcement

NIJ, UC Berkeley, and IntegenX Report Date April 2015 Impact “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…