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Scientists From DFS, OCME Earn National Appointments

Monday, November 17, 2014

Contact: Keith St. Clair (EOM) (202) 727-0161

The scientists at the District’s Consolidated Forensic Laboratory do cutting-edge work every day. But six people with ties to that state-of-the-art facility have been asked to literally help shape the future of forensic science in the United States.

Two employees of the Department of Forensic Sciences, three of that agency’s Science Advisory Board members, and a forensic anthropologist at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner all have been appointed to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Organization for Scientific Area Committees.

“Creating this organization has been a true collaboration with the forensic science community to build the foundations for improving the practice of forensic science,” said Willie May, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology.

Twenty-three subcommittees were established by OSAC, which is providing a framework for long-term coordination across forensic science disciplines. Among the experts named to those subcommittees:

  • Vincent Desiderio, Supervisor of DFS’s Materials Analysis Unit, will chair the Subcommittee on Fire Debris and Explosives. Its members will focus on standards and guidelines related to examination and testing of items and debris collected from a fire or bombing scene, and testing of materials to determine whether an accelerant or explosive substance was present.
  • Kim Clements, Shift Supervisor for DFS’s Crime Scene Sciences, is a member of the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis subcommittee. Bloodstains at a crime scene can yield valuable information for reconstruction of the incident.
  • Science Advisory Board members Dr. Michael Coble, Dr. Charlotte Word and Dr. Sandy Zabell all are on the Subcommittee on DNA Analysis 2, which will focus on standards and guidelines related to forensic DNA laboratory interpretation.
  • Dr. Jennifer Love, Forensic Anthropologist at OCME, is on the Subcommittee on Anthropology, which will focus on the application of anthropological methods and theory–especially where relating to the recovery and analysis of human remains–to resolve legal matters.

"I am so very proud of our staff who will represent DFS, the District, and our profession in this landmark endeavor,” said Dr. Max Houck, Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences. “Their contributions will strengthen our services and improve the forensic enterprise."

Said the District’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Roger Mitchell: “OCME is very proud of Dr. Jennifer Love and her participation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology–Organizations for Scientific Area Committees. She will represent our agency and the District of Columbia well in this role.”

Members of the subcommittees will serve two-to-four-year terms.

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