Research

Since 2009, faculty within the Department of Forensic Science have collaborated with non-academic partners on more than thirty projects and research initiatives at the state, local and federal level. Academic-industrial partnerships are critical, not only to future success and independence of the science itself, but also to the delicate balance of resources within publicly-funded forensic laboratories.

To discuss a research opportunities for laboratories or corporate partners, please contact us by email or by phone.

Faculty and Student Publications

2017

Jessica Winborn and Sarah Kerrigan. Desomorphine Screening Using Commercial Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays. Journal of Analytical Toxicology 41(5), 455-460 (Jun 2017).

Amy Sorensen, Rachel Houston, Kyleen Elwick, Carrie Mayes, Kayla Ehring, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Alternate Methods for Collection, Preservation and Processing of DNA Samples from Decomposing Human Cadavers: A DVI Strategy. Proceedings of the Qiagen Investigator Forum (Apr 2017), Prague, Czech Republic.

Esirioghene Tasker, Bobby LaRue, Charity Beherec, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Analysis of DNA from Post-blast Pipe Bomb Fragments for Identification and Determination of Ancestry. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 28, 195-202 (Apr 2017).

Lauren Perry and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Total Vaporization of Derivatization Reagent for In Situ Headspace Derivatization Solid Phase Microextraction. Proceedings of the American Chemical Society (Apr 2017).

Sydney Sullinger, Kelsie Bryand and Sarah Kerrigan. Identification of Suvorexant in Urine Using Liquid Chromatography-Quadrupole/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (LC-Q/TOF-MS). Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 41(3), 224-229. (Apr 2017).

Alejandra Figueroa, David Gangitano, Jaime Solano and Leonardo Anabalon. Botanical DNA Evidence in a Case of Illegal Drug Trafficking: The Use of High-Resolution Melting with the Internal Transcribed Spacer Approach in the Identification of Psychedelic Fungus (Psilocybe sp.). Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Andrew Greenwood and Dayong Lee. Characteristics of Drug Use among Drivers in the City of Houston. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Austin McDaniel, James Sweet and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Comparison of Headspace Cannabinoid Profiles Detected from Different Structures of Dried Cannabis Inflorescences. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Carrie Mayes, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Development and Initial Evaluation of miRNA System for Forensically Relevant Fluids Using Capillary Electrophoresis. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Carrie Polston, Williams Mazzella, Martin Furbach and Patrick Buzzini. Evaluation of Instrument Sensitivity and Stability for Magnetic Flux Measurement Relative to Toner Area as a Screening Tool for Casework Application. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Elizabeth Chesna, Charity Beherec, Gabriella Cansino-Jones, Peyton Gandy, Jessica Wells, Danielle Boisvert, Todd Armstrong, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Relationship of Oxytocin and the Serotonin Transporter (5-HTT) Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Antisocial Behavior. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Joan Bytheway, Nichole Miller, Dawnie Steadman, Kelly Sauerwein, Daniel Wescott, Chaunesey Clemmon, Devora Gleiber, Chloe McDaneld and Lauren Meckel. Validation of the Total Body Score/Accumulated Degree Days Equation at 100, 300, 500, and 1,000 ADD on 30 Human Subjects with a Known Postmortem Interval from Three Human Decomposition Facilities. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Kimberly Setien, Kyle Vircks and Warren Samms. Investigating the Utility of Automated Flash Chromatography in Forensic Drug Analysis. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Kyleen Elwick, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Comparative Tolerance of Short Tandem Repeat and Massively Parallel Sequencing Chemistries to Inhibited Samples. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Lindsay Glicksberg, Kelsie Bryand and Sarah Kerrigan. Stability of Synthetic Cathinones in Biological Evidence. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, NIJ Research & Development Symposium (Feb 2017).

Lindsay Glicksberg and Sarah Kerrigan. Synthetic Cathinone Stability in Blood Using LC/Q-TOF-MS. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Lauren Perry and Patrick Buzzini. The Discrimination of Less Frequently Encountered Colored Pen Inks Based on their Optical Properties. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Michelle Harrel and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. The Effect of Using an Extra PCR Cycle with GlobalFiler when Amplifying Skeletal Samples. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Rachel Houston, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Development and Validation of a New 13-loci STR Multiplex System for Cannabis sativa Genetic Identification. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Sarah Long, Lynne Bell and Joan Bytheway. Postmortem Interval Estimation Using the Blackened Osteocyte Method. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Sierra Smith, Kevin Derr and Joan Bytheway. Differentiating Between Sharp Force Trauma Defects and Insect Invasion of the Skin of Human Cadavers Throughout the Decomposition Process in a Terrestrial and Fluvial Environment. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2017).

Amanda Wheeler, Natalia Czado, David Gangitano, Meredith Turnbough and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Comparison of DNA Yield and STR Success Rate from Different Tissues in Embalmed Bodies. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 131(1), 61-66 (Jan 2017).

Gretchen Dabbs, Joan Bytheway and Melissa Connor. Comparing the Scoring of Human Decomposition from Digital Images to Scoring Using On-site Observations. Journal of Forensic Science, DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029 (Jan 2017).

Mariah Carson and Sarah Kerrigan. Quantification of Suvorexant in Urine Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography B, 1040, 289-294 (Jan 2017).

2016

Amy Sorensen, Elizabeth Rahman, Cassandra Canela, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Preservation and Rapid Purification of DNA from Decomposing Human Tissue Samples. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 25, 182-190 (Nov 2016).

Lindsay Glicksberg, Kelsie Bryand and Sarah Kerrigan. Identification and Quantification of Synthetic Cathinones in Blood and Urine using Liquid Chromatography-Quadrupole/Time of Flight (LC-Q/TOF) Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography B, 1035, 91-103 (Nov 2016).

Lindsay Glicksberg and Sarah Kerrigan. Synthetic Cathinone Stability in Urine Using LC/Q-TOF-MS. Proceedings of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (Oct 2016).

Amy Sorensen, Kyleen Elwick, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Comparative Evaluation of Three Commercial Quantitative PCR Kits with Extremely Inhibited and Degraded Samples. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Sept 2016).

Carrie Mayes and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Development and Initial Evaluation of a miRNA System for Forensically Relevant Body Fluids using Capillary Electrophoresis. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Sept 2016).

Elizabeth Chesna, Charity Beherec, Gabriella Cansino, Jessica Wells, Danielle Boisvert, Todd Armstrong, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Application of Massive Parallel Sequencing in Forensic Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Using Custom Panels Including Markers Linked to Human Behavioral Traits. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Sept 2016).

Esirioghene Tasker, Charity Beherec, Bobby LaRue, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Analysis of DNA from Post-blast Fragments for Identification and Determination of Ancestry. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Sept 2016).

Kyleen Elwick, Charity Beherec, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Comparative Tolerance of Short Tandem Repeat and Massively Parallel Sequencing Chemistries to Inhibited Samples. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Sept 2016).

Rachel Houston, Matthew Birck, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Developmental Validation of a Novel 13-loci STR Multiplex Method for Cannabis sativa DNA Profiling. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Sept 2016).

Amanda Wheeler, Natalia Czado, David Gangitano, Meredith Turnbough and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Comparison of DNA Yield and STR Success Rate from Different Tissues in Embalmed Bodies. International Journal of Legal Medicine, DOI: 10.1007/s00414-016-1405-5 (Jun 2016).

Carrie Mayes and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Development and Initial Evaluation of a miRNA System for Forensically Relevant Body Fluids Using Capillary Electrophoresis. Proceedings of the Gordon Research Conference; Forensic Analysis of Human DNA (Jun 2016).

Esirioghene Tasker, Bobby LaRue, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Analysis of DNA from Post-blast Fragments for Identification and Determination of Ancestry. Proceedings of the Gordon Research Conference; Forensic Analysis of Human DNA (Jun 2016).

Anastasia Brown and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Sample Collection of Fire Debris from Burned Cadavers for Ignitable Liquid Analysis. Proceedings of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (May 2016).

Esirioghene Tasker, Charity Beherec, Rachel Houston and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Bodies, Bones and Bombs; Human Identification. Human Identification Solutions (HIDS) Conference. Barcelona, Spain (May 2016).

Rachel Houston, Matthew Birck, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Evaluation of a 13-loci STR Multiplex System for Cannabis sativa Genetic Identification. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 130(3), 635-647 (May 2016).

Amy Sorensen, Clare Berry, David Bruce, Michelle Gahan, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and Dennis McNevin. Direct-to-PCR Tissue Preservation for DNA Profiling. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 130(3), 607-13 (May 2016).

Anastasia Brown, James Sweet and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Heated Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction of Marijuana for Chemical Testing. Proceedings of the American Chemical Society (Mar 2016).

Gretchen Dabbs, Melissa Connor and Joan Bytheway. Interobserver Reliability of the Total Body Score System for Quantifying Human Decomposition. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 61(2), 445-451 (Mar 2016).

Alejandra Figueroa, Jaime Solano, Leonardo Anabalon and David Gangitano. Botanical DNA Evidence in a Case of Robbery and Property Crime: Application of High Resolution Melting Analysis of Triticuma aestivum L. Grains. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Amanda Wheeler, Natalia Czado, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Comparison of DNA Yield & STR Success Rates from Various Tissues in Embalmed Bodies. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Amy Sorensen, Clare Berry, David Bruce, Michelle Gahan, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and Dennis McNevin. Tissue Preservation with Direct-to-PCR for DNA Profiling: An Alternative DVI Approach. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Anastasia Brown, James Sweet and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Quantitation of Major Cannabinoids Found in Seized Marijuana Using Automated Headspace/Solid-Phase Microextraction Coupled with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (HS/SPME-GC/MS). Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Daniela Anane-Bediakoh, Martin Lopez, Holly Whillock, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and Amy Castillo. Can DNA Data Be Used to Establish a Cut-Off Time for Juvenile Sexual Assault Exams? Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Elizabeth Chesna, Gabriella Cansino, Peyton Gandy, Jessica Wells, Danielle Boisvert, Todd Armstrong and David Gangitano. Genetic Study of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Oxytocin Receptor (OXTR). Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Gretchen Dabbs, Joan Bytheway and Melissa Connor. Comparing Decomposition Assessments from Digital Images to In Situ Observations. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Janice Aleman, Jesse Zavala, Kyle Vircks and Warren Samms. Identification of Regioisomers Via Gas Chromatography Coupled with Vapor-Phase Infrared Detection (GC-IRD). Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Jessica Winborn, James Sweet and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Differentiation of Seized Marijuana Samples Using Automated Headspace/ Solid-Phase Microextraction Coupled to Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer/Flame Ionization Detector (HS/SPME-GC/MS/FID) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Joseph Insana and Patrick Buzzini. Do the Bulk Area and the Exterior Surface of Modern Container Glass Exhibit Differences in Refractive Index (RI) Measurements? Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Kyleen Elwick, Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Kimberly Andreaggi and Michelle Peck. Optimization and Validation of the ForensicGEM™ Rapid Extraction Method for High-Throughput Processing of Cotton Buccal Swabs. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Lindsay Glicksberg, Kelsie Bryand and Sarah Kerrigan. Fragmentation Pathways and Structural Characterization of Synthetic Cathinones Using Electrospray Ionization (ESI) and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Matthew Danker, Donovan Haines and Joan Bytheway. Time-Dependent Changes in Human and Chicken Bones in Soil Examined by Infrared (IR), Raman, Inductively Coupled Plasma/Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP/OES), and Organic Elemental Analysis. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Natalia Czado, Bobby LaRue, Jr., Amanda Wheeler, Rachel Houston, Amy Sorensen, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. The Effectiveness of Various Strategies to Improve DNA Analysis of Formaldehyde-Damaged Tissues from Embalmed Cadavers for Human Identification (HID) Purposes. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Rachel Houston, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Evaluation of a 13-Loci Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Multiplex System for Cannabis sativa Genetic Identification. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Sarah Long, Richard Wiggins, Jennifer Akin and Amy Gruszecki. A Mercury “Bullet” at Autopsy. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Stephanie Basiliere, Sarah Kerrigan and Kelsie Bryand. Fragmentation Pathways and Structural Characterization of Mitragynine and Its Metabolite Using Electrospray Ionization (ESI) and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2016).

Sarah Kerrigan, Megan Savage, Cassandra Cavazos and Paige Bella. Thermal Degradation of Synthetic Cathinones: Implications for Forensic Toxicology. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 40(1), 1-11 (Jan/Feb 2016).

Cassandra Schield, Cassandra Campelli, Jennifer Sycalik, Christopher Randle, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Identification and Persistence of Pinus pollen DNA on Cotton Fabrics: A Forensic Application. Science & Justice, 56(1), 29-24 (Jan 2016).

Patrick Buzzini and Edward Suzuki. Forensic Applications of Raman Spectroscopy for the In Situ Analyses of Pigments and Dyes in Ink and Paint Evidence. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy (Year of Light Special Issue), 47(1), 16-27 (Jan 2016).

Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Frauke Warnke and Angela van Daal. An Alternate Method for Extracting DNA from Environmentally Challenged Teeth for Improved DNA Analysis. Legal Medicine, 18, 31–36 (Jan 2016).

2015

Jorn Chi-Chung Yu and Ashraf Mozayani. Medicolegal and Forensic Factors in Cyanide Poisoning. Toxicology of Cyanides and Cyanogens: Experimental, Applied and Clinical Aspects. Ed by Alan H. Hall, Gary E. Isom, and Gary A. Rockwood. Hoboken: Wiley (Nov 2015).

Amy Sorensen, Clare Berry, David Bruce, Michelle Gahan, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and Dennis McNevin. Direct-to-PCR Tissue Preservation for DNA Profiling. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Oct 2015).

Joan Bytheway, Melissa Connor, Gretchen Dabbs, Cheryl Johnston and Michelle Sunkel. The Ethics and Best Practices of Human Decomposition Facilities in the United States. Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal, 6(3-4), 59-68 (October 2015).

Lindsay Glicksberg and Sarah Kerrigan. Simultaneous Identification of Twenty-Two Synthetic Cathinones in Urine using LC/Q-TOF-MS. Proceedings of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (Oct 2015).

Rachel Houston, Matthew Birck, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Evaluation of a 13-loci STR Multiplex for Cannabis sativa Genetic Identification. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Oct 2015).

Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Elizabeth Rahman, David Gangitano and Gabriel Boselli. Evaluation of a One-Step DNA Extraction Method for “touch” Samples. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Identification (Oct 2015).

Sarah Kerrigan and Bruce A. Goldberger. Alternative Body Fluids Analysis in Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2nd Edition. Elsevier and Academic Press, R. Byard. Ed. Academic Press (2015).

Jessica Wells, Todd Armstrong, Brian Boutwell, Danielle Boisvert, Shahida Flores, Mary Symonds and David Gangitano. Molecular Genetic Underpinnings of Self-Control: 5-HTTLPR and Self-Control in a Sample of Inmates. Journal of Criminal Justice, 43(5), 386-396 (Sept-Oct 2015).

Amy Sorensen, Clare Berry, David Bruce, Michelle Gahan, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and Dennis McNevin. Direct-to-PCR Tissue Preservation for DNA Profiling. International Society for Forensic Genetics, Krakow, Poland (Sept 2015).

Rachel Houston, Amy Sorensen, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Using DNA Profiling to Discriminate Marijuana Sources. Proceedings of the Association of Forensic DNA Analysts and Administrators (Aug 2015).

James White, Sheree Hughes-Stamm and David Gangitano. Development and Validation of a Rapid PCR Method for the PowerPlex® 16 HS System for Forensic DNA Identification. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 129(4), 715-723 (Jul 2015).

Michael Alexander, Theresa Hodges, Joan Bytheway and Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson. Application of Soil in Forensic Science: Residual Odor and HRD Dogs. Forensic Science International, 249, 304-313 (Apr 2015).

Amy Sorensen, Elizabeth Rahman, David Gangitano and Sheree Hughes-Stamm. Improved Preservation and Purification Methods for DNA in Decomposing Human Tissue Samples; A DVI Application. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Gabriella Cansino, Peyton Gandy, Jessica Motl, Todd Armstrong, Matt Nobles, Brian Boutwell and David Gangitano. Criminal Behavior and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Genes Related to Dopamine and Serotonin Modulation. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Gretchen Dabbs, Melissa Connor and Joan Bytheway. Interobserver Reliability of the Total Body Score System for Quantifying Human Decomposition. Proceedings from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Jessica Winborn, Margaret Hanson, Luis Figueroa, Ashley Konarik, Dustin James, Kevin Chen, Terra Dassau, James Sweet and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Analysis of Cannabinoids Found in Seized Marijuana Using Automated Headspace Solid-phase Microextraction Coupled with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Lindsay Glicksberg, Rebecca Ponsini, Megan Savage, Cassandra Cavazos and Sarah Kerrigan. Identification of Synthetic Cathinones from Electron Impact Mass Spectra. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Mustapha Zein, Kristina M. McNerney, Jason Schroeder, William Davis and Roger Kahn. Gunshot Residue on Evidence Packaging. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Patrick Buzzini and Alyshia Meyers. Characterization and Discrimination of Inkjet Printer Inks Using Micro-Raman Spectroscopy. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Peter De Forest, Patrick Buzzini, Rebecca Bucht, Carol Hunter and Douglas Lucas. The Making of the Criminalistics Maestro- On the Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities to Work Proficiently on Non-Routine and Complex Cases. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

R. J. McDown, Joshua D. Sablatura, Lei Chen and Jorn Chi-Chung Yu. Fingerprint Replication Utilizing Latent Fingerprints for Conducting Forensic Analysis on Mobile Devices with Biometric Security. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Stephanie Basiliere, Tracy Gastineau and Sarah Kerrigan. A Validated Method for the Determination of Salvinorin A and Salvinorin B in Forensic Toxicology Samples. Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Feb 2015).

Jeffrey Wozniak, Monte Thies, Joan Bytheway and William Lutterschmidt. A Hydrologic Retention System and Water Quality Monitoring Program for a Human Decomposition Research Facility: Concept and Design. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 60(1), 54-60 (Jan 2015).

Sarah Kerrigan. Improved Detection of Synthetic Cathinones in Forensic Toxicology Samples. Technical Report, U.S. Department of Justice, Award Number 2012-R2-CX-K003, 2015.