Publication 101


November 2nd

8:30 - 12:00

Instructor: Patricia Ann Mabrouk

Attendees will need to have a laptop/tablet.

In this workshop targeting new and future authors, we will discuss what it takes to move your research from the laboratory to the printed pages of a peer-reviewed journal.  We will look at the process involved in bringing a study to publication, how to identify credible journals, what authorship means and why authorship is so important.  Since peer-review is used by reputable publications to evaluate manuscript submissions, we will discuss the journal publication process, the format of a full paper, and typical evaluation criteria as these relate to your work in crafting an archival work worthy of publication in a high-quality peer-reviewed journal.  Important questions every author should know the answers to include:  what are my responsibilities to my co-authors, the journal, and the public?  What are the reviewers’ and the journal’s responsibilities to you as an author, to the publisher, the discipline, and the public? 

Patricia Ann Mabrouk (Pam) is Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Northeastern University.  She earned her A.B. in chemistry and mathematics at Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Her current research interests include the nature of engineering, pedagogy of undergraduate research, mentor training, and the ethical and responsible conduct of research. Pam is a member of the ACS, Sigma Xi, CUR, NEACT, and NSTA.  Her honors include receipt of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, CASE Massachusetts Professor of the Year, a Northeastern University Excellence in Teaching Award, and she is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Pam has published over fifty peer-reviewed studies in high quality peer-reviewed journals.  She served as Associate Editor for the Analytical Sciences Digital Library, was an Editorial Board member for the IATS journal Excellence in College Teaching and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Council on Undergraduate Research’s flagship journal Scholarship & Practice of Undergraduate Research.


Forensic Chemistry & Toxicology Fundamentals of using MassHunter Unknowns Analysis


November 2nd

1:00 - 5:00

Instructors: Kirk Lokits and Rachael Ciotti, Agilent Technologies GCMS Applications Scientists


The MassHunter Unknowns Analysis ½ day workshop is designed to introduce the student to the workflows involved when using Unknowns Analysis. The workshop begins with a 10-minute explanation of the deconvolution process, differences between deconvolution and peak integration, and some of the variables involved when using this powerful data analysis tool. Working through hands-on exercises, utilizing forensic data, the workshop is designed to help translate established workflows within ChemStation Data Analysis to MassHunter Unknowns Analysis. The workshop will include how to generate an in-house library in Unknowns Analysis, how to link retention time and or retention indices to each library entry and apply these entries to increase your Library Match Score (LMS) confidence level. Examples of various Unknowns Analysis reporting templates will be demonstrated using the forensic data files from the workshop exercises. The course will be spent in Unknowns Analysis and focused on single quad data. It’s not required but preferred for the student to have access to MassHunter on an existing or soon to be acquired GCMS system in their laboratory. Course is limited to 16 attendees due to the number of computers available for each attendee.  If demand exceeds the 16-student limit, an additional ½ day workshop can be added.

Kirk received his B.S. in Forensic Science and Chemistry from Eastern Kentucky University, under Dr. Robert Fraas and began working as a Forensic Drug Chemist in the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. He then moved to Orlando, Florida where he worked as a Forensic Toxicologist for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the Orlando Regional Crime Laboratory and later as Crime Analyst Supervisor in the Pensacola Regional Crime Laboratory. Kirk left the forensic realm and began his tenure with Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies, working as a Customer Service Engineer (CE) supporting the LC, GC, LCMS, GCMS, and ICPMS products. While working for HP Kirk earned his M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University, under Dr. Gale Clark and in 2005 Kirk left Agilent Technologies to attend the University of Cincinnati and earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry under Dr. Joseph A. Caruso.  After receiving his PhD., Kirk worked for the Midwest Research Institute (MRIGlobal) in Kansas City, MO where he worked as a Principal Chemist and Sr. Program Manager on Department of Defense projects, staffing, designing, and building remote laboratories for placement throughout the world. In 2014, Kirk re-joined Agilent Technologies as a GCMS Applications Scientist focusing on forensic applications within the GCMS product line.

Rachael Ciotti is currently a GCMS Applications Scientist at Agilent Technologies focusing primarily on environmental applications and has a Bachler of Arts degree in Mathematics from Rutgers University.   She joined Agilent in 2014 as a field service engineer installing, maintaining, and repairing Agilent GC and GC/MS systems, followed by a short tenure as a product manager for GC Supplies before getting back to her roots in the lab. Prior to joining Agilent, Rachael worked at DuPont as an applications chemist responsible for GC, GC/MS and LC/MS/MS method development and transfer to manufacturing labs for fluorochemicals and environmental pollutants.  Previously, she was a project manager for a metals lab at EMSL Analytical, a contract environmental lab in New Jersey. 


ABC Examination Preparation Course


November 2nd

8:30 - 4:30

Instructor: Tiffany Roy


Attendees will need to have a laptop/tablet.

This workshop involves lectures and discussion in preparation for the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) certification examinations.  The workshop is directed at forensic practitioners to assist them in focusing their study for certification examinations.


The workshop will focus on ABC exam preparation strategies including timeline, study guides, resources, and discussion of the general exam categories across all specialties (legal, quality, common KSA's).  The workshop will consist of ABC specific exam preparation using the ABC study guides. The course will include a “mock examination” for the participants to test their current knowledge and identify weak areas for further study. The workshop can also be tailored to include breakout material/lectures for specific examinations depending on enrollment.


Tiffany Roy MSFS, JD is a Forensic DNA expert with over fifteen years of forensic biology experience in both public and private laboratories in the United States. She has processed thousands of DNA samples and thousands of cases over the course of her career. She has provided expert witness testimony in more than one hundred cases in state, federal and international courts. She instructs undergraduates at University of Maryland Global Campus and Southern New Hampshire University. She currently acts as a consultant for attorneys and the media in the area of forensic biology through her firm, ForensicAid, LLC.


Roy holds degrees from Syracuse University, Massachusetts School of Law and University of Florida in the areas of Biology, Law and Forensic Science. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists and the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. She is certified in the area of Molecular Biology by the American Board of Criminalistics. 


Constructing a Face: Forensic Facial Approximation Workshop


November 2nd

8:30 - 4:30

Instructor: Jenny Kenyon

Join Forensic Artist Jenny Kenyon for a day-long workshop in Forensic Facial Approximation.  Using a 3D print of a skull, workshop participants will perform an anthropological assessment of gender, age, ancestry, and build.  Using scientific soft tissue datasets and the Manchester/British Method of facial reconstruction, participants will work with pegs and clay to create muscles, skin and soft tissue to reconstruct/approximate the face of the individual over the course of the day. 


The Manchester/British method was developed by Richard Neave in 1977 and is the most accepted method for facial reconstruction/approximation today.  This method has been used in many famous reconstructions including Phillip II of Macedon, Johann Sebastian Bach, Saint Nicholas, Robert the Bruce, and King Richard III. 


Supplies and tools will be provided, and no prior facial reconstruction experience is needed.

Jenny Kenyon is both a Forensic Artist and  Costume & Scenic Designer for Theatre.  She received her BFA in Studio Art from SAIC, an MFA in Theatre Design from Brandeis University, and a MSc in Forensic Art from University of Dundee, Scotland.  Her specialties include virtual and clay 3D Facial Reconstructions from skeletal remains and CAD based 3D reconstructions of Heritage and burial sites.  Her other skills include Age Progression & Regression, Witness Interviewing Techniques, Composite Sketching, Forensic Photography, and Cranio-Facial Superimposition.  Her archaeological facial reconstructions have been featured in exhibits in Europe, the UK and the US.  She also works creating illustrations for scientific research, with police departments providing faces for unidentified human remains, and teaching forensic art & photography at Penn State University. 


Advanced Topics in DNA Analysis


November 2nd

8:30 - 4:00

Proposed schedule 



Opening remarks



Robin Cotton, Director, Biomedical Forensic Sciences, Boston University School of Medicine

DNA extraction recovery from vaginal swabs


The results of DNA testing on forensic samples are affected by optimization of each step in the testing process.  The initial choice of cell lysis and DNA extraction procedures impact all downstream processes.  There are many available chemistries to choose from.  Differences include time, cost and difficulty.  Some of these chemistries are compatible with robotic platforms.  DNA extraction chemistries vary in the extent of DNA purification and the extent of inhibitor removal.  Additionally, some processes work well on specific type of evidence or substrates but not on others. Therefore, most laboratories employ more than one DNA extraction process. This talk will discuss considerations in planning validation procedures and approaches for measuring DNA recovery from new and existing DNA extraction methods.

Dr. Cotton’s experience in the forensic application of DNA analysis began at Cellmark Diagnostics in Germantown, MD in 1988.  She subsequently served as Laboratory Director and Technical leader of the Cellmark Laboratory from 1994 to 2005.  As Director and Technical Leader, Dr. Cotton was responsible for overseeing development and implementation of new technology as well participating in technical review of forensic casework results and providing testimony in admissibility hearings and trials. In the past 20 years she has testified as an expert in DNA analysis in over 250 criminal cases in 35 states.


Dr. Cotton has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California at Irvine in 1980.  Prior to joining Cellmark in 1988, she did post-doctoral research at the University of Iowa and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  


In October of 2006, Dr. Cotton joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the M.S. Program in Biomedical Forensic Sciences, a FEPAC accredited program.  She teaches courses in Forensic DNA Analysis and Advanced DNA Analysis and conducts research in methods for improving or developing new DNA extraction methods and other procedures for use with low template DNA samples.  Dr. Cotton currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and the Forensic Oversight Board for the State of Massachusetts.


Laura Ascroft, Field Application Scientist

Jaime Brachold. Sr. Forensic Science Applications Group (FSAG) Manager

Megan Meyer, Senior HID account manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Quantification Hacks: Tips to Maximize your Quantifiler Trio Data Analysis


How well do you understand your Quantifiiler Trio results? Join our forensic experts as they guide you through the tips and tricks they use when evaluating quantification data. We will provide a behind the scenes look at the technical support process and how we at Thermo Fisher utilize a broad team of technical experts to help solve your inquiries. This presentation will walk through the troubleshooting of challenging quantification results and provide tools for identifying a resolution. 



Morning Break


10:30am -11:00am 

Thermo Fisher Scientific - Continued


11:00am – 12:00pm  

Pamela Marshall, Director and Associate Teaching Professor, Forensic Science and Law Program, Director Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University

Advancing DNA Research 

This presentation will focus on two novel research approaches to advance DNA forensics with regards to sexual assault examinations and missing persons casework. Extraction reagents have been optimized for maximal DNA yield, but the cotton swab used in SAKs has not advanced. Despite research suggesting the cotton swab’s absorbent nature and its inclination to retain cellular material, another swab type has not been implemented. A novel forensic technique to improve the outcome of missing person cases associated with bodies of water will also be discussed. 

Dr. Pamela Marshall has been involved in the field of forensic analysis since 2002. Upon the completion of her MS in Forensic Genetics in 2002, she worked as a Forensic Scientist III at the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. While in Maryland, she was the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Coordinator for the state, helped to promote 120-hour SAFE collection legislation, and assisted in the training of over 200 SAFE nurses. Pam has also travelled abroad to Luanda, Angola, Africa in order to train analysts in forensic DNA analysis. She has been qualified as an expert witness in the fields of serology and DNA in Maryland, West Virginia and Texas.

Her dissertation was titled “Improved Tools for the Robust Analysis of Low Copy Number and Challenged DNA Samples”, leading to her graduation with her doctorate in 2014 under the guidance of Drs. Bruce Budowle, Art Eisenberg, Ranajit Chakraborty, and Angela van Daal. She also holds an additional Master of Science degree in Biomedical Science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

From 2014-2018, Pam served as the Director of the Forensic Science Program at the Southern University at New Orleans, a public, historically black college and university (HBCU). While at SUNO, she created a state of the art forensic laboratory for hands-on research and experimentation. She has received numerous grants as well as partnered on research projects with other faculty and students. Pam is an advocate for increasing the number of African American and underrepresented minority professionals in the field of forensic science.

In July 2018, Pam became the Director of the Forensic Science and Law Program at Duquesne University, the nation’s only FEPAC accredited entry level Master’s degree program in forensic science. She also serves as an Associate Professor and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences. In 2019, Pam also became the Director of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law. 

Pam has extensive graduate and undergraduate teaching experience in the forensic disciplines of serology, DNA, and microscopy. Her research interests include low copy number DNA, human and wildlife DNA identification challenges, nanoparticle technology, pressure cycling technology, and PCR enhancement. She has numerous publications and frequently presents at meetings, conferences and trainings.


Lunch break



Claire Glynn, Associate Professor and Research Coordinator, Forensic Science Department, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven

Fundamentals of Forensic Genetic Geneology (FGG)


Forensic Genetic Genealogy (FGG) has emerged as a novel investigative tool and has rapidly gained much attention in recent years. FGG has been successfully used by law enforcement agencies across the United States to identify suspects in several hundred cold case investigations and also to resolve Unidentified Human Remains (UHR) cases. FGG broadens the field of forensic DNA analysis and combines genetic methods with traditional genealogical methods for building family trees using documentary evidence. This presentation will introduce the process of employing FGG in a case investigation, which will include the types of DNA analysis available, the databases employed, the third-party tools for data analysis available, genealogical research and analysis using documentary evidence, the building of complex family trees, and best practices. Common misconceptions about this investigatory tool and also legal, ethical, and privacy issues will also be discussed.

Claire Glynn, PhD., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forensic Science, in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, at the University of New Haven, Connecticut. Claire previously was employed as a Forensic Biologist within the homicide and sexual assaults team at LGC Forensics (now Eurofins) in the United Kingdom. After obtaining a PhD in Molecular Medicine, Claire joined the faculty at the University of New Haven in 2014, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and conducts extensive research focused on forensic biology, forensic DNA analysis, and forensic genetic genealogy. Claire is the founding Director of the online Graduate Certificate in Forensic Genetic Genealogy at the University of New Haven, which is the first program of its kind, and she actively consults and provides subject matter expertise on the topic.

2:00pm -2:15pm

Pamela Marshall

The Ethics of FGG

This presentation will also cover the various ethical and privacy issues associated with the use of genetic genealogy for forensic casework, specifically informed consent, data security and data privacy. 

2:15-3:15 pm 

Catherine Grgicak, Henry Rutgers Chair and Associate Professor Chair, Department of Chemistry, Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Rutgers University

Solving the DNA mixture conundrum through single-cell analysis: High fidelity single-copy signal and the continuous interpretation thereof


Current forensic analysis relies on the probabilistic interpretation of electropherograms expressing signal from an unknown number of potentially partial genotypes. Single-cell methods offer a solution to the forensic DNA mixture problem by applying a step that separates cells before extraction. To fully realize the potential of single-cell methods, a full pipeline incorporating efficient direct-to-PCR extractions and fully continuous interpretation schemes based on sound biological, physicochemical and probabilistic principles are a necessity. In this portion of the workshop, we will demonstrate: 1. the potential of single-cell analysis to solve the DNA mixture conundrum; 2. share laboratory protocols rendering high-fidelity single-cell signal; and 3. expound on state-of-the art interpretation strategies that render full weights-of-evidence for this type of pipeline. 

Catherine Grgicak (Gerg-i-chuck) is an Associate Professor, Henry Rutgers Chair and Department Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Rutgers University in Camden NJ. She received her B.S. in Physical Science and B.Ed. from the University of Windsor, her M.S.F.S. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Ottawa. Her Laboratory for Forensic Technology and Integration is focused on developing systems and procedures that improve forensically relevant bio-analytical processes. She is a member of the Journal of Forensic Science’s editorial board, editorial board of Electrophoresis, Forensic Laboratory Needs Technical Working Group, Expert Working Group on Human Factors in DNA Interpretation, American Society of Forensic Sciences, the International Society of Forensic Genetics and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Rutgers University.  



Afternoon break 



Q and A