Eight nationally-recognized scientists met in Houston today to begin advising the board of the Houston Forensic Science Local Government Corporation, Inc. (HFSLGC) on best practices in forensic science and laboratory operations.
The scientists have agreed to donate their time and expertise as members of the HFSLGC’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG includes experts in DNA analysis, drug chemistry, toxicology, document analysis, management of forensic and scientific laboratories, and other areas. The HFSLGC board selected these scientists based on accomplishments in their respective fields, recommendations of peers, and publications in peer-reviewed journals related to their experience in research, methodology, statistics and/or quality assurance.
The HFSLGC was established by Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston City Council as an independent city-chartered organization to assume the operations of the current Houston Police Department Forensic Division. The Technical Advisory Group will help the HFSLGC board establish, meet and maintain high standards of technical performance and accreditation, and will advise the board of new developments in rapidly changing fields in forensic science.
Mayor Parker called the establishment of the TAG “an important milestone in the process of forming an independent forensic science center of the highest quality”.
The TAG members are:
Dr. Bruce Budowle; Director of the University of North Texas Institute of Investigative Genetics and vice chair of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics with expertise in DNA analysis, Dr. Budowle is a former Senior Scientist for the FBI.
Darrell Davis, retired director DEA, South Central Laboratory, expert in forensic lab management and drug chemistry.
Mr. David Epstein, CEO of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, he is an expert in forensic chemistry and quality assurance.
Dr. Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University and member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Clifford Spiegelman, Distinguished Professor, Texas A & M University, Professor of Statistics and Toxicology. Dr. Spiegelman is an expert in statistical forensics.
Dr. Surgur Srihari, Distinguished Professor, the State University of New York. He is an expert in data handling and document analysis.
Dr. Elizabeth Todd, Chief, Dallas County Institute of Forensic Sciences and Professor, Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Todd is an expert in toxicology regarding regulated substances.
Dr. Bobby Wilson, L. Lloyd Woods Professor of Chemistry and the Shell Oil Professor at Texas Southern University. He is a former Provost of TSU.
HFSLGC board member Dr. Enrique Barrera serves as the board’s liaison to the TAG. Dr. Barrera, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University, brings a wealth of scientific background to the board. He has published more than 100 papers, proceedings, books and chapters and has seven patents submitted in his research. His many honors include the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, awarded to Dr. Barrera in 2002.