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Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice (2015)

Chapter: Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
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Appendix D


Biographical Sketches of Committee Members

Alan I. Leshner (NAM) (Chair) is the chief executive officer (emeritus) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and former executive publisher of the journal Science. Previously, he was director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, served as deputy director and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and held several positions at the National Science Foundation. Before joining the government, he was a professor of psychology at Bucknell University. He has held visiting appointments at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Leshner is an elected fellow of AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, and other professional societies; he has received seven honorary D.Sc. degrees. He is a member and served on the Governing Council of the National Academy of Medicine. He was appointed by President Bush to the National Science Board in 2004 and then reappointed by President Obama in 2011. He received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University and an A.B. in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College.

Jane E. Buikstra (NAS) is the founding director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University and Regents’ professor of bioarchaeology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. A member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1987, Dr. Buikstra is credited with forming the discipline of bioarchaeology, which applies biological anthropological methods to archaeology. Her international re-

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×

search, which spans the Americas and the Mediterranean, encompasses bioarchaeology, paleopathology, forensic anthropology, and paleodemography. Current research includes the evolutionary history of ancient tuberculosis in the Americas based on archaeologically recovered pathogen DNA. She received the T. Dale Stewart Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, an honorary D.Sc. degree from Durham University (UK), and the Eve Cockburn Award for Service from the Paleopathology Association. She is president of the Center for American Archeology; past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the American Anthropological Association, and the Paleopathology Association; and inaugural editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Paleopathology. She has published more than 20 books and 150 articles and has mentored more than 50 doctoral students. She holds a B.A. from DePauw University in anthropology and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Todd R. Clear is provost of Rutgers University-Newark and formerly dean of the School of Criminal Justice. He was a professor at Ball State University, professor and associate dean of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, and distinguished professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has authored 13 books and over 100 articles and book chapters on subjects including community justice, correctional classification, prediction methods in correctional programming, community-based correctional methods, intermediate sanctions, and sentencing policy. He is currently studying the criminological implications of “place” and the economics of justice reinvestment. He was president of the American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice. He has received awards from the American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Rockefeller School of Public Policy, American Probation and Parole Association, American Correctional Association, and International Community Corrections Association. He was founding editor of Criminology & Public Policy, published by the American Society of Criminology. He received his Ph.D. in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany.

J. Jerome Holton is chief engineer with the Tauri Group, where he supports clients in the private sector, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Defense (DOD). He provides analysis, advice, and counsel to senior government decision makers on policy, technology, and operations issues related to weapons of mass destruction and their effects on civilian infrastructure, first responders, military forces, and tactical op-

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×

erations. Previously he held leadership positions in private sector companies ranging from a scientific research start-up to a large management consulting firm. Past clients include chemical and biological defense entities within DOD, DHS, and the Department of Energy. His work encompasses the field of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and conventional explosives detection and countermeasures, with a focus on counterproliferation of, counterterrorism/domestic preparedness issues for, and the detection, identification, and decontamination of chemical and biological weapons. Recent accomplishments include fielding information operations tools and enhancing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities to detect and defeat improvised explosive devices, as well as the development of applique armor solutions to counter explosively formed penetrators. He earned his B.S. in physics from Mississippi State University and holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in experimental physics from Duke University.

Daniel S. Isenschmid is a forensic toxicologist at NMS Labs, with more than 20 years of experience in forensic toxicology. Previously, he was chief toxicologist at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office in Detroit. He has received the Irving Sunshine Award and Alexander O. Gettler Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) for his research on cocaine. He is a fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, Secretary of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, member and past president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) and a fellow and former member of the Board of Directors of AAFS. He has published and presented on topics related to postmortem forensic drug testing, medical examiner case reports, the interpretation of postmortem cocaine concentrations, the stability and analysis of cocaine and its metabolites, and the effects of cocaine on human performance. His lectures on the forensic toxicology of cocaine include the Borkenstein course on the Effects of Drugs on Human Performance and Behavior at Indiana University in Bloomington. He has received several Educational Research Awards from SOFT. He holds an M.S. in pathology and Ph.D. in forensic toxicology from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, School of Medicine.

Joseph F. Petrosino is associate professor of molecular virology and microbiology and founding director of the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine. He holds joint appointments in the Human Genome Sequencing Center and the Department of Ophthalmology and participates in graduate student training in integrative molecular and biomedical sciences and in translational biology and molecular medicine. He has more than 15 years of experience in microbial genomics and metagenomics and was a principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project, where he

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×

helped lead consortium efforts for standardized clinical sample preparation, sequencing, and analysis. He recently founded Diversigen, a start-up providing microbiome wet bench, bioinformatics, and biobanking services. He has coauthored more than 80 papers and has spoken at numerous institutions and meetings internationally. He was a 2013 honoree of Houston Men of Distinction for his research on type 1 diabetes and an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer for 2012-2014. He received a career development award from the Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease. He holds an undergraduate degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Baylor College of Medicine.

Alex R. Piquero is the Ashbel Smith professor of criminology and associate dean of graduate programs in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas and adjunct professor with the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice, and Governance at Griffith University. Previously, he was coeditor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of criminal careers, criminological theory, and quantitative research methods and has collaborated on several books. He is on the editorial boards of a number of journals in criminology and sociology and has served as executive counselor with the American Society of Criminology. He is a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network at Ohio State University, member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, fellow of both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the recipient in 2014 of the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. He received his Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Cassia Spohn is foundation professor and director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University (ASU). Previously, she was a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, serving as director of graduate studies there for 12 years and as department chair for 1 year. She is author or coauthor of six books and has published more than 100 articles on the effects of race/ethnicity and sex on state and federal sentencing decisions, sentencing of drug offenders, case processing decisions in sexual assault cases, and the deterrent effect of imprisonment. Her research interests include prosecutorial and judicial decision making, the intersections of race, ethnicity, crime and justice, and sexual assault case processing decisions. In 2013, she received ASU’s Award for Leading Edge Research in the Social

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×

Sciences and was elected a fellow of the American Society of Criminology. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 1987, her research was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in McCleskey v. Kemp. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Dawnie Wolfe Steadman has been the director of the Forensic Anthropology Center (FAC) and professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee since 2011. She oversees the Body Donation Program and FAC resources including the Anthropology Research Facility, Bass Donated Skeletal Collection, McCormick Pathology Collection, and the forensic collections. She also supervises the research, training, and outreach programs and forensic casework. Her research and publications focus on forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and forensic human rights. Previously she was a professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, SUNY, and at Iowa State University. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and serves on its Board of Directors. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Her international work includes human rights investigations in Argentina, Cyprus, Spain, and Uganda. Dr. Steadman received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Hal Stern is professor of statistics and dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He was founding chair of the Department of Statistics in 2002 and was named dean of the Bren School in 2010. Previously, he was professor of statistics and Laurence H. Baker chair in biological statistics at the Department of Statistics of Iowa State University and before that was on the Harvard University faculty. His statistics research focuses on developing Bayesian statistical methodology and model assessment techniques. He has authored more than 100 publications, including more than 80 in refereed journals, and is a coauthor of the graduate-level statistics text Bayesian Data Analysis. His work includes interdisciplinary research collaboration wherein modern statistical methodology is developed to address needs of ongoing scientific research; current areas of interest include forensic statistics and biological/health sciences. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He served recently as editor of ASA’s flagship journal and previously as editor of ASA’s Chance. He received his B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×

Jarrad Wagner is an associate professor of forensic sciences at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences, where he specializes in research and instruction in forensic toxicology and chemistry. He also supervises research in trace evidence and chemical residue analysis, particularly in clandestine laboratory and post-blast scenarios. He recently founded the OSU Forensic Toxicology and Trace Laboratory, where his principal focus is working with triple quadrupole LC/MS/MS instruments. He supports forensic and clinical laboratories in method development and validation while also providing training in these areas. Previously, he was a chemist in the Hazardous Materials Response Unit of the FBI Laboratory, where he specialized in crime scene investigations involving hazardous materials throughout the world. His law enforcement experience also includes time as a forensic scientist in the toxicology section of the Orange County (CA) Sheriff-Coroner’s Office and service as a reserve police officer in the City of Irvine, CA. He has a Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from the University of California, Irvine, and undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry.

Kelly A. Walsh is a senior research associate in the Justice Policy Center and the Policy Advisory Group at the Urban Institute. Previously, she was an instructor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and was employed by the Center for Modern Forensic Practice. Her work focuses on social science in forensic science and innovative financing models such as social impact bonds. She served as a principal investigator for several research projects, including the Motor Vehicle DNA Field Experiment, a randomized controlled trial on the cost-effectiveness of using DNA to aid theft investigations, and the 2014 Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories. She has presented her work to the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, the American Society of Criminology, the National Institute of Justice, and the White House Subcommittee on Forensic Science. She is a member of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists and certified in general criminalistics by the American Board of Criminalistics. She holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Scranton and a Ph.D. in criminal justice, with a specialization in forensic science, from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×
Page 95
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×
Page 96
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×
Page 97
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×
Page 98
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×
Page 99
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21772.
×
Page 100
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Reliable and valid forensic science analytic techniques are critical to a credible, fair, and evidence-based criminal justice system. There is widespread agreement that the scientific foundation of some currently available forensic science methods needs strengthening and that additional, more efficient techniques are urgently needed. These needs can only be met through sustained research programs explicitly designed to ensure and improve the reliability and validity of current methods and to foster the development and use of new and better techniques. This task is challenging due to the broad nature of the field.

Concerns have been raised repeatedly about the ability of the criminal justice system to collect and analyze evidence efficiently and to be fair in its verdicts. Although significant progress has been made in some forensic science disciplines, the forensic science community still faces many challenges. Federal leadership, particularly in regard to research and the scientific validation of forensic science methods, is needed to help meet the pressing issues facing state and local jurisdictions.

This report reviews the progress made by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to advance forensic science research since the 2009 report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward and the 2010 report, Strengthening the National Institute of Justice. Support for Forensic Science Research examines the ways in which NIJ develops its forensic science research priorities and communicates those priorities as well as its findings to the scientific and forensic practitioner communities in order to determine the impact of NIJ forensic science research programs and how that impact can be enhanced.

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