Pathology & Medicolegal Death Investigation

All of our webinars, reports, podcast episodes, and other educational resources are available to the public at no cost.

Funding for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.

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Graphic Description – Medicolegal Death Investigation Frequently Used Data Elements for Toxicology and Seized Drugs

Date February 2024 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Graphic Description – Frequently Used Data Elements Collection Systems and Primary Documentation

Date April 2024 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Graphic Description – Medicolegal Death Investigation Case Specific Frequently Used Data Elements and Chart

Date April 2024 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Forensic Use of GPR and LiDAR Technology for Clandestine Grave Detection

This webinar originally occurred on April 18, 2024 Duration: 1 hour Overview George Mason University (GMU) has conducted a technology evaluation of LiDAR deployed on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) for crime scene processing, specifically in…

Navigating Medical Examiner and Coroner Office Accreditation Challenges: A Practical Guide

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, set out to re-examine common obstacles and barriers that impede…

White Paper – Forensic Community Drug Database Conceptualization

Date February 2024 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Mass Fatality and Disaster Response Preparedness Across Medical Examiner and Coroner Offices in the United States

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, February 2024 Authors Micaela A. Ascolese | RTI International Kelly A. Keyes | RTI International Jeri D. Ropero-Miller | RTI International Sean E. Wire | RTI International Hope M. Smiley-McDonald | RTI International Introduction With…

General Provider Resources: Medical Records for Medicolegal Death Investigations Toolkit

Overview In September 2020, The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) – in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – convened…

Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Virtual Library 2024

← Back to the HHRRC Special Initiative The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC), an organization within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the Forensic Sciences Foundation (FSF) supported by the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Forensic…

2024 NIJ Forensic Science R&D Symposium

Overview The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) assisted the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in hosting the annual NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at the 76th Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) conference in Denver, Colorado. This…

White Paper – Information Sharing Between Medicolegal Death Investigators and Toxicology Testing Services

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

White Paper – Electronic Death Registry in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

What FSSP Leaders Should Know about Artificial Intelligence and its Application to Forensic Science In-Brief

Date December 2023 Overview Artificial intelligence (AI), which leverages computers to perform tasks that enhance decision-making, problem-solving capabilities, and technology-driven innovativeness,” is a rapidly growing area of interest for both industry and the federal research and development (R&D) community.1 For forensic science service…

What Medical Examiner’s and Coroner’s Offices Should Know about Molecular Autopsy

Date December 2023 Overview A molecular autopsy consists of “postmortem genetic testing of decedents who died naturally, suddenly, and unexpectedly at young ages.” Molecular autopsies can enable a more accurate determination of cause of death in cases where the scene…

Interactive Map: Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Flow

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Exchange…

White Paper – Information Sharing Between Medicolegal Death Investigation Offices and Organ and Tissue Recovery Organizations

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

White Paper – Electronic Medical Records in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Improving Methods Using Machine Learning and Databases in Forensic Anthropology

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on December 5, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview Part I: GeoFOR presented by Katherine Weisensee, Ph.D.Estimating the time since death, or the postmortem interval (PMI), poses a significant challenge to forensic…

A Landscape Study of Computed Tomography Scanners for Postmortem Applications

Date December 2023 Overview Advanced imaging technologies help medicolegal death investigation (MDI) personnel assess cause of death (COD) and manner of death (MOD). The Medical Examiner and Coroner (MEC) community utilize postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) to obtain imaging data to…

Transient Workforce in Forensic Pathology: Challenges, Rewards, and Best Practices

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on November 16, 2023 Duration: 1 hour Overview A roadmap to successfully utilizing contract forensic pathologists, also known as locum tenens, will be presented by a Chief Medical Examiner and…

Modern Death Investigation: Hub and Spoke Models for Adequate Workforce

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on November 7, 2023 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar describes the history, structure, and operations of the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The system includes four regional…

Implementation Workshop: TOF/QTOF Mass Spectrometry for Identification, Screening, and Confirmation in Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry

Overview This event originally occurred on October 18, 2023 Duration 5.5 hours This virtual workshop aims to provide guidance to forensic science service providers (FSSPs) involved in the planning, purchase, use, or quality assurance surrounding TOF/QTOF-MS instrumentation. The speakers for…

FLN-TWG: A Roadmap to Improve Research and Technology Transition in Forensic Science

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…

National Center on Forensics Community-Focused Webinar Series

Overview In this webinar series, the National Center on Forensics (NCF) and FTCOE collaborate to deliver educational sessions based on specific needs identified by NCF research with community members. The NCF, funded by the National Institute of Justice, works specifically…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Puzzle Fingerprint Examination Wordsearch

← Back to Main Page ← Back to All Puzzles Page Puzzle Instruction To view and complete the puzzle in a separate window, click the expanding arrows in the tool bar above the puzzle title. To input your answers click…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Fingerprint Game & Activity

← Back to Main Page Fingerprint Memory & Association Activities Challenge your short-term memory and attention to detail with variations of this fingerprint game. View the prints on the webpage or download the printable PDF versions with varying levels of…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Puzzle Crime Scene Examination Wordsearch

← Back to Main Page ← Back to All Puzzles Page Puzzle Instruction To view and complete the puzzle in a separate window, click the expanding arrows in the tool bar above the puzzle title. To input your answers click…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Interview Montage

← Back to Main Page Overview In the past, the FTCOE has released written interviews with forensic practitioners in various stages of their career and working in various forensic disciplines. This year, we created a video comprised of multiple interviews with forensic practitioners from seasoned subject matter experts to young professionals early…

2023 National Forensic Science Week

Overview National Forensic Science Week (September 18-22, 2023) recognizes the contribution that forensic science makes to the criminal justice system. It is an opportunity to celebrate academic programs, forensic professionals, and scientific research in the various forensic disciplines.   Throughout the…

Criminal Justice and Public Health Response for Emerging Drug Threats

Overview In a joint effort with the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP), FTCOE develops capabilities that meet the needs of forensic science organizations to improve collaborations across the criminal justice and public…

Touch DNA Evidence Collection in Sexual Assault Cases: Knowledge to Inform Practice

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on April 18, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview Touch DNA was a revolutionary concept when introduced in 1997. The application of touch DNA in sexual assault cases was tested in 2011…

Landscape Study of Next Generation Sequencing Technologies for Forensic Applications

Date April 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), led by RTI International, provides valuable resources that promote the use of novel and innovative technologies in the forensic community. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)…
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Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Virtual Library 2023

← Back to the HHRRC Special Initiative The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC), an organization within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) supported by the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), hosted…

Investigation & Certification of Drug Toxicity Death Training

Overview Continuing Education Credits Available 3.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ 0.4 IACET Continuing Education Units 3.75 ABMDI Continuing Education Credits The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) engaged the CDC’s federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) –…

Data Exchange Practices of Medicolegal Death Investigation

Date December 2022 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Transition Analysis 3 Age-at-Death Estimation: Past, Present, and Future

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on December 7, 2022Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Whether the goal is to estimate the age of a single individual or those in a larger skeletal assemblage, accurate and precise estimates…

Forensic Fractography of Bone: A New Model for Skeletal Trauma Analysis

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on November 2, 2022 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Fractography is a tool for studying material failure. Analysis of cracks and fractures can reveal information about how, why, and where a…
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Just Using Forensic Art and Anthropology for Identification

Original Release Date: September 30, 2022 In episode four of our Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification season, Just Science sat down with Katharine Pope, a Research Public Health Analyst at RTI International, Dr. Bruce Anderson, a Forensic Anthropologist…

Society of Forensic Anthropologists Webinar Series

Overview The Society of Forensic Anthropologists (SOFA) is a non-profit organization comprised of active American Academy of Forensic Science members who are forensic anthropology practitioners. SOFA promotes communication and cooperation among forensic anthropologists and is committed to professional growth and…
microphone and headphones

Just Identifying Individuals with Forensic Genetic Genealogy

Original Release Date: September 9, 2022 In episode one of our Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Heather McKiernan, a Research Forensic Scientist at RTI International, and Ashley Rodriguez, a Research Public…

Medicolegal Death Investigation Partnerships on Overdose Fatality Reviews

Date July 2022 Overview The main purpose of Overdose Fatality Reviews (OFRs) is to review overdose fatalities and find gaps in services to help save lives. They rely on a multi-agency approach to information sharing to accomplish this goal. Upon…

Project ECHO: Applications for the Medicolegal Death Investigation Community and Other Forensic Disciplines

Date October 2022 Overview Similar to the foundational ECHO model designed for primary care providers, ECHO: Overdose Fatality Investigation Techniques (OD-FIT) is designed to promote the rapid dissemination of medicolegal death investigation-specific knowledge for immediate application to overdose casework.1 The ECHO…

Developing a Postmortem CT Service: Practical Considerations for Death Investigation Agencies

Date May 2022 Overview This guide will help medicolegal death investigation agencies that are considering adopting postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) make informed decisions. First, the basic questions are outlined that must be considered before approaching architects or gathering information about…

Currently Applied Naming Conventions for Various Subclassifications of Novel Psychoactive Substances

Date May 2022 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, convened a virtual Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Exchange Working…
drugs and border patrol

Narcotic Concealment Methods in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Emergence of Counterfeit Tablets Containing Fentanyl in the United States

← Back to Unseen Threats Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on May 26, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview With nearly 6,000 miles of border to patrol and screening passengers and cargo at over 130 airports, seaports, and land border crossings,…
vaping and smoke

Electronic Cigarettes: A Tangle of Regulation, Public Health, and Public Safety Issues

← Back to Unseen Threats Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on May 24, 2022 Duration: 1 hour Overview While modern electronic cigarettes (ECIG) were invented as an effective alternate method for nicotine delivery, the unregulated cannabis industry and recreational…
test tubes and scientists

Things Are Not What They Seem: A Collection of Interesting Case Studies from the Medical Examiner Scene Queens

← Back to Unseen Threats Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on May 19, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview With the rise of illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, synthetic cathinones, xylazine, and other substances adulterating many traditional street drugs, users often have…
drugs & woman

Reports of Adverse Events Associated with Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, 2017–2020: A Review

Publication Journal of Analytical Toxicology, April 2022 Authors Amanda L A Mohr | Center for Forensic Science Research and Education Barry K Logan | Center for Forensic Science Research and Education Melissa F Fogarty | Center for Forensic Science Research…
pills and IV

Unseen Threats: A Webinar Series from the AAFS Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee

Overview This webinar series is based on the one-day workshop (“Unseen Threats”) that was sponsored by the Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee at the 2022 American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Annual Meeting. To follow up on this workshop,…
holding hands

2021 IACME Annual Symposium – Education Modules

Overview The National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence has partnered with the International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners (IACME) to bring the community free, continuing education modules recorded at the 2021 IACME annual symposium held in-person…
hands holding earth

2022 Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Virtual Library

← Back to the HHRRC Special Initiative The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC), an organization within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) supported by the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), hosted…
computer

A Landscape Study of Electronic Case Management Systems for Medical Examiners and Coroners

Date February 2022 Overview Medical examiner and coroner (ME/C) offices sit at the nexus of forensic sciences and public health. These offices play a key role in the investigation of suspicious, unexplained, or unexpected deaths, dissemination of important data to…

Medical Examiner and Coroner Outsourcing Study – A Qualitative Study and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Date January 2022 Overview Medical examiners and coroners (MECs) are often at the center of highly stressful and emotional situations as a part of their daily job duties. Those events are compounded by continued and escalating high caseloads and inadequate…
test tube & molecules

Use of Rapid Toxicology Screening Tools in Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices

Date November 2021 Overview All medical examiner/coroner (ME/C) offices must make difficult decisions when allocating resources for timely, complete medicolegal death investigations. In some cases, toxicological analysis of a decedent’s biological specimens (e.g., blood, urine, tissue) can help determine cause…
bug & DNA

Molecular Identification of Insects Relevant to Medicolegal Casework

This webinar originally occurred on December 2, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Accurate insect identification is critical to their use in estimation of time of colonization (TOC) and post-mortem interval (PMI) during medicolegal death investigations. Insect specimens are currently identified…
US and forensic science disciplines

2021 Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders Public Meeting

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), held a Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders meeting on November 8, 2021 from 9:00AM…
landscape

Harnessing Data to Implement Real-Time Data-Driven Overdose Response Strategies

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on December 7, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview In response to the lack of real-time reporting of both non-fatal and fatal overdoses across the United States, the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity…
certificate of death and drugs

Death Certification by the Medical Examiner/Coroner in Drug-Related Deaths

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on November 30, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Considering the steadily rising number of overdose deaths in recent years, public health systems rely on the vital role of medicolegal death…
tiles and data

Data Systems Imperative in 21st Century Forensic Services

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on November 16, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Forensic science and service providers are, almost universally, experiencing a two-fold challenge to achieve effective results: diminishing resources and increasing demands for…

The Importance of Data to the MDI Community and Stakeholders

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on November 2, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Many stakeholders rely on medicolegal death investigation (MDI) data to support efforts that help save lives and promote justice. These stakeholders include…
feet, person touching tablet, human diagram

Medicolegal Death Investigation (MDI) Webinar Series

Overview The medicolegal death investigation (MDI) system, which includes Medical Examiner and Coroner offices, serves a fundamental role for supporting public safety by conducting death scene investigations, performing forensic autopsies, providing cause and manner of death determinations, and completing death…
question marks and silhouettes

2021 National Forensic Science Week Practitioner Interviews

← Back to Main Page Overview The FTCOE has conducted a variety of written interviews with forensic professionals in various stages of their careers. From recent graduates to retired professionals, the FTCOE showcases real-world perspectives on the current state of…

2021 National Forensic Science Week FTCOE Student Research Poster Session

← Back to Main Page Overview  As fall semesters are getting back into session and in honor of the upcoming National Forensic Science Week (September 19-25, 2021), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) would like to highlight student research…

Overdose Fatality Investigation Techniques: Lessons Learned from Project ECHO

This webinar originally occurred on October 7, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview State and territorial public health agencies rely on timely and accurate overdose mortality data to drive effective prevention initiatives. As the number of overdose deaths in the United…
FADAMA logo with skull

Introduction to the Forensic Anthropology Database for Assessing Methods Accuracy

This webinar originally occurred on August 31, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Data availability is the cornerstone of progression of any scientific inquiry. For forensic anthropologists, the data sources are limited, as they must be contextually appropriate (temporal, geographical, etc.)…
type writer with stack of papers

Multiple Perspectives on Overdose Fatality Reviews

This webinar originally occurred on July 27, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar provided an overview of overdose fatality reviews (OFRs) with a specific focus on engaging partnerships with coroners, medical examiners, and medicolegal death investigators.  The presenters highlighted…
hand touching hexagons

Working Group on Data Exchange in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Working Group on Data Exchange in Medicolegal Death Investigation The National Institute of Justice and its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence convene the Working Group on Data Exchange in Medicolegal Death Investigation in collaboration with and supported by the Centers…
microphone and headphones

Just Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Pathology Portfolio

Original Release Date: June 18, 2021 In episode three of our 2021 NIJ R&D and Beyond mini season, Just Science sat down with Danielle McLeod-Henning, a physical scientist and program manager in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at NIJ, to discuss Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Pathology.   Danielle McLeod-Henning has been the physical…
three xray scans

Post-Mortem Computed Tomography Webinar Series

Overview Post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) is a valuable tool for medicolegal death investigation.  PMCT examination may be used to supplement traditional autopsy or anthropological examinations. Further, PMCT combined with external examination may be used as an alternative to full autopsy…
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Just the DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System

Original Release Date: March 12, 2021 In episode eight of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science interviews DeMia Pressley from the DEA’s Diversion Control Division to discuss the importance of information sharing across law enforcement and public health agencies through…
microphone and headphones

Just Alternative Crisis Response: One Community’s Experience

Original Release Date: February 26, 2021 In episode six of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science interviews Tim Black of the White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon about the CAHOOTS program, a community-based public safety model that provides…
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Just Partnerships To Enhance Overdose Fatality Review

Original Release Date: February 19, 2021 In episode five of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science interviews Dr. Mallory O’Brien, Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to discuss how partnerships can enhance Overdose Fatality Reviews.  The National Violent Death…
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Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Original Release Date: February 5, 2021 In episode three of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science sat down with Amanda Mohr and Dr. Alex Krotulski from the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education to discuss the analytical and interpretative challenges associated with emerging…
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Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants Part 2

Original Release Date: January 29, 2021 This week, in episode two of our 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season Just Science continues the conversation with Dr. Jon Zibbell as he discusses the American history of drug epidemics, what we can learn from past stimulant crises, and the…

2020 Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Virtual Library

← Back to the HHRRC Special Initiative The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center, an organization within the American Academy of Forensic Science supported by NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, hosted this Poster Session as an open meeting where…
Person holding vile

The National Institute of Justice and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence’s National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum

Date July 2020 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence hosted the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum on July 18-19, 2019, in Washington, DC. The forum explored ways…
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Just Blowflies and Extreme Temperatures

Original Release Date: April 17, 2020 In episode five of the 2020 R&D Season, Just Science interviews Dr. Travis Rusch, a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M University, about fluctuating temperatures in forensically important blowflies. Forensic entomologists use predictable developmental rates of certain necrophagus insects to estimate time of…
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Just Skeletal Remains Identification

Original Release Date: March 27, 2020 In episode two of the 2020 R&D Season, Just Science interviews Dr. Heather Garvin-Elling, Associate Professor of Anatomy at Des Moines University, about her work with OSTEOID, an online resource for species identification of skeletal remains. Approximately 30-40% of cases involving…

2019 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

Date February 2019 Overview The 2019 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Forensic Science R&D Program funds both basic or…
a field of red flowers

Forensic Epidemiology: Monitoring Fatal Drug Overdose Trends

← Back to Series  This webinar originally occurred on February 11, 2020 Duration: 1 hour Overview Given the vital role of medical examiners and coroners (ME/C) in recognizing emerging trends in drug overdose deaths, partnering epidemiologists with ME/C offices can…
scientist measuring bruises under blue and green lights

Detection and Visibility of Bruises Using Alternate Light: From Science to Practice

This webinar originally occurred on October 30, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview Bruising is one of the most common types of soft tissue injury noted on victims of violence, including those suffering intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and…
five scientists having a discussion behind glass

Handling Difficult and Disturbing Forensic Cases for Coroners and Medical Examiners

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on October 17, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview There are over 2000 medical examiner and coroner offices throughout the United States. All are involved in determining the cause and manner of death…
chemical compounds

Opioids & Emerging Drug Threats – Integrating Public Safety and Health Data for a Forensic Response Webinar Series

Overview Building on the momentum of the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum held earlier this year in Washington, D.C., the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) will assist the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in…
Decorative banner mimicking the appearance of concrete with Forensic Technology Center of Excellence fingerprint logo

The Opioid Epidemic: An Update from the Coroner/ME Perspective

This webinar originally occurred on July 24, 2019Duration: 50 minutes Overview Between 2016 and 2017, overdose deaths increased from 63,632 to 70,237. Of these, 47,600 overdose deaths involved opioids. In 2017, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and the District of…
Decorative banner mimicking the appearance of concrete with Forensic Technology Center of Excellence fingerprint logo

Medicolegal Death Investigation: Locating and Notifying Next of Kin & Donation 101

This webinar originally occurred on July 23, 2019 Duration: 1.75 hours Overview Locating and notifying the next of kin is an important part of medicolegal death investigation. This presentation provided examples of resources at the scene and online to assist…
old hand holding young hand

Cradle to Cane: Investigation of Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims

This webinar originally occurred on March 21-23, 2017 Duration: 14 hours Overview: In 2017, the National Institute of Justice, Charleston Southern University, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, and the Shaken Baby Alliance worked together to create and host “From Cradle to Cane: Investigation of Crimes…

Online Workshop Series: Probabilistic Genotyping Of Evidentiary DNA Typing Results

Overview The Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory has partnered with the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence to create a series of online workshops aimed at increasing knowledge, understanding, and the reliable application of probabilistic genotyping to…

HHRRC – Building Forensic Capacity Post-Conflict: Lessons from Uganda

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on March 28, 2019 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview This presentation introduces research conducted in Uganda at the nexus of forensic science and transitional justice, highlighting a large-scale forensic investigation and human identification…

HHRRC – Stable Isotope Analysis in a Humanitarian Context

← Back to Series The webinar originally occurred on March 12, 2019 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview This webinar will introduce stable isotope analysis and its validity as analytical tool in establishing the geographic origin and life history of unidentified individuals…

HHRRC – Isotopes Aiding Identification of Undocumented Border Crosser Human Remains

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on February 6, 2019 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview This webinar highlights the theory and methods of isotopic analysis to explain how it can be used to assist in the identification of human…

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

National Institute of Justice and North Carolina State University Date January 2019 Overview When forensic anthropologists investigate unidentified remains, they look for important clues that can help identify the subject. For example, the size and shape of the skull can…
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Just Planning For The Aftermath Of A Mass Shooting

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: October 22, 2018 In episode four of our 2018 Medicolegal Death Investigation Special Release Season, Just Science interviews John Fudenberg, the Coroner for Clark County, where he discusses the tragic events of the 2017 concert…

Variability in Blow-Fly Development – Research and Implications for PMI Practice

This webinar originally occurred on November 7, 2018 Duration: 2 hours Overview Dr. Leon Higley’s work to characterize blow-fly species indicates that there is variation within a single population–the bell curve is wide. Dr. Higley will share his research and…

Advancing Research Initiatives and Combatting the Human Trafficking Epidemic

This webinar originally occurred on November 1, 2018 Duration: 1 hour Overview Trafficking in persons is a multi-faceted global epidemic which has seen a significant increase in public awareness. However, there is a substantial need to expand capacities and technologies…

Estimating Blow Fly Age and Reducing Error in Postmortem Interval Cases

This webinar originally occurred on October 24, 2018 Duration: 2 hours Overview Insect evidence can provide valuable information during death investigations. Forensic entomologists estimate the ages of the immature insects like blow flies, which can provide useful information regarding timelines…

Strengthening the Medical Examiner–Coroner System Through NIJ-funded Programs: 2018 Medicolegal Death Investigation Stakeholders’ Meeting

Date September 2018 Overview On February 5-6, 2018, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), convened a diverse group of stakeholders from across the United States to gather…

Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Webinar Series

Overview The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) with support from the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence provides needed resources and support to apply modern forensic science…

Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series

Overview Professionals throughout the criminal justice system are exposed to the aftermath of violent crime and its victims. These individuals may include forensic nurses, crime scene investigators, forensic practitioners, medicolegal death investigators, and other professionals in related fields. Research has…

3D-ID-Geometric Morphometric Classification of Crania for Forensic Scientists Software Best Practices

This webinar originally occurred on August 16, 2018 Duration: 1 hour Overview Attendees will be introduced to the new features of the new software release, how to maximize results, and how to best interpret results for forensic casework application. The…

Three Part Online Workshop Series: Best Practices Guidance for Advancing Research Initiatives and Combatting the Synthetic Drug Epidemic

Overview The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) is a world-leading center in novel drug identification and interpretation. The CFSRE is working in association with NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), led by RTI International, to deliver…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Research and Development Symposium

Date April 2018 Overview The 2018 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Forensic Science R&D Program funds both basic or…

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

National Institute of Justice and Multi-Institute Academic Team Date April 2018 Overview The postmortem interval (PMI) is the time that has elapsed since a person’s death. Determining the PMI at a crime scene may help to recreate the victim’s timeline…

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

National Institute of Justice and the American Registry of Pathology Date April 2018 Overview Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) serves as an important tool in situations where traditional nuclear DNA analysis is unlikely to yield probative information. mtDNA sequencing has traditionally focused…

The NC Statewide Medical Examiner System Laboratory Approach

← Back to Series  Overview This webinar will focus on the North Carolina Medical Examiner System and the toxicology laboratory that serves the system. Included will be information on the changing landscape of death certification and changes to the laboratory…

Opioids and Death Investigation: A “Perfect Storm”

← Back to Series  Overview The scope of the opioid epidemic presents unprecedented challenges to the medical examiner and coroner community. This webinar will explore the intersection of the opioid epidemic with the work of America’s medical examiners and coroners.…

2016 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

Date July 2016 Overview The 2016 NIJ Research and Development Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Research and Development (R&D) Program funds both basic or applied R&D projects that will (1)…

HHRRC – Stable Isotope Forensics & Unknown Persons Investigations

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on May 24, 2017 Duration: 2 hours Overview This webinar discussed applications of stable isotope analysis for predicting region of origin of unidentified border crossers found within the United States. Participants will…

HHRRC – Analysis and Conservation of Human Remains in Cambodia

← Back to Series The webinar originally occurred on May 16th, 2017 Duration: 1 hour Overview This presentation provides an introduction to the work conducted in Cambodia to analyze/preserve human remains from violence committed by the Khmer Rouge. Specifically the…

Advanced Radiologic Imaging in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Overview In conjunction with the University of New Mexico, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) hosted a technology transition workshop focusing on advanced radiologic imaging for medicolegal death investigation on November 11-13, 2016. The workshop was held at the…

2013 R&D: Straight to the Bone: Advances in Forensic Anthropology

Overview This archival portion of the 2013 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: • Improving Sex Estimation from Crania using 3-Dimensional CT Scans – Natalie Shirley • Independent Validation Test of Microscopic Saw Mark Analysis – Jennifer Love • A…

2013 R&D: Postmortem Interval and Molecular Autopsy – Part II [Archival]

Overview This archival portion of the 2013 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: Applications of Curvilinear Development Modeling for the Blow Fly Lucilia Sericota – Leon Higley Investigating Unexplained Deaths through Molecular Autopsies – Yingying Tang A certificate of…

2013 R&D: Postmortem Interval and Molecular Autopsy – Part I [Archival]

Overview This archival portion of the 2013 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: Microbial Community Change Associated with Decomposing Corpses – Rob Knight Using Differential RNA Degradation to Estimate an Extended Postmortem Interval – Joshua Moore A certificate of…

R&D 2014 – Models in Forensic DNA & Pathology Part II

Overview This archival portion of the 2014 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: • New Pediatric Head Injury Assessment Tool for Possible Child Abuse Cases Considering Subject-Specific Child Head Anatomy – Dr. Jingwen Hu • Investigation of the Impact…

R&D 2014 – Models in Forensic DNA & Pathology – Part I

Overview This archival portion of the 2014 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: • Modeling 3D Facial Shape from DNA – Dr. Mark Shriver • Pediatric Fracture Printing: Creating a Science of Statistical Fracture Signature Analysis – Dr. Todd…

2017 NIJ R&D Series Anthropology & Microbial Forensics

Overview The NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium was a free and open meeting where attendees learned about NIJ-funded research across a variety of forensic science areas. Afternoon Session I – Anthropology & Microbial Forensics Speakers & Presentations for…
skeletons

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

National Institute of Justice and University of South Florida Date September 2016 Overview According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Missing Person and Unidentified Person Files, there are approximately 13,500 unidentified individual cases in…
sam quinones headshot

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

National Institute of Justice and the National Museum of Health and Medicine Date April 2015 Overview Data on the microbiome of decomposing and skeletonized remains are providing an avenue for understanding how microbial communities may be used to augment medicolegal…
outline of man with skulls and blue lines

Success Story: Improving Identification of Mexican Hispanic Remains

National Institute of Justice and Texas State University Date April 2015 Overview In the United States, the Mexican Hispanic population ranks second in total size, yet Mexican Hispanic individuals often remain unidentified in forensic anthropological cases. The reason? There has…