Texas Tech University

Institute for Forensic Science

Mission Statement

The Institute for Forensic Science at Texas Tech University is committed to the production and dissemination of interdisciplinary forensic science research through a unique multidisciplinary program that provides outstanding education, research, and professional training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at TTU, and local and regional law enforcement. The Institute is a comprehensive teaching, training, and research organization in all aspects of forensic science. The Institute is committed to providing outstanding service to the university, profession, and community. We are committed to supporting local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies through the sharing of ideas, problem-solving, and empiricism promoting prosocial values and contributing to safer communities.


The Institute for Forensic Science is located at 4434 South Loop 289 in Lubbock.  We are on the South side of Lubbock on the access road between Quaker and Slide. To get directions from your location, click here.


  • January 19th, 2016: Sending a warm welcome to our new graduate students Thy Nguyen, Madeline Scotch, and Jessica Prundenti-Montalvo!
  • December 2016: Dr. Megan A. Thoen was awarded a grant through the Texas Tech University 2017 Catalyst Scholarship Program to assist with her work entitled "Assisting Their Own: Assessing Suicide Prevention & Wellness Programs Utilized By Law Enforcement Agencies." 
  • December 2016: Congratulations to our recent graduatesBrittany Koon and Michael Radford! 
  • November 21, 2016: Dr. Megan A. Thoen's poster submission entitled, "Impact of Changing Shift Schedules on Officer Wellness and Job Satisfaction", with co-author Andy Young, Ed.D of Lubbock Christian University was accepted for inclusion in the 2017 American Psychology-Law Society Annual conference which will be held in Seattle, Washington, on March 16-18. 
  • November 8, 2016: Dr. Prada's graduate student Silas Kemboi had his abstract accepted for the AAFS 69th Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in New Orleans, LA this upcoming February 13-18, 2017. The title of the work is "Hand Odor Volatiles and Drug Abuse: A Pilot Study Using a Chemical-Dependent Target Group (Poster presentation), Silas Kemboi, BS; Megan A. Thoen, PhD. & Paola A. Prada, PhD".
  • November 4, 2016: Dr. Paine's graduate student Courtney Brown received news that her abstract was accepted for the 69th Annual American Academy for Forensic Sciences conference to be held in New Orleans, LA this February 13-18, 2017. The title of the work is "Arsenic-Fed Piglets: Assessing Heavy Metal Levels in Decomposing Pig Tissues and Soil Samples (poster presentation), Courtney Brown, BS; Robert R. Paine, PhD. & David Klein, PhD".   
  • November 2, 2016: Michael Radford, senior master's student in Dr. Paola Prada's research laboratory gave a poster presentation entitled "Visualization of latent fingerprints on used condoms: Powdering method perspectives, Michael Radford, BS; Kathy Sperry, PhD. & Paola A. Prada, PhD" at the 5th International Conference on Forensic Research & Technology in San Francisco, California.

This is a picture of Michael Radford presenting his poster presentation at the International Conference on Forensic Research & Technology in San Francisco, California.

  • October 6, 2016: Congratulations to Courtney Brown (graduate student, forensic sciences) on being inducted into the Texas Tech Chapter of the Golden Key  International Honour Society this past weekend. 

This is a picture of the Golden Key International Honour Society Emblem.

  • September 27, 2016: Courtney Brown (graduate student, forensic sciences) presented a podium presentation entitled "Arsenic fed piglets: Assessing arsenic levels in decomposing pig muscle and soil samples" at the 2016 Annual Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists conference in Galveston, TX.

This is a picture of Courtney Brown presenting her research at the Annual South West Association for Forensic Scientists meeting.

  • September 15, 2016: Interested in skeletal biology? There is an upcoming course in Crete for Summer I 2017, ANTH 4643/5315 Field Research in Skeletal Biology. For more information, contact Dr. Paine or review the flier. These classes are merely provided as a convenience or informational resource. They do not imply nor represent an endorsement by Texas Tech University or its affiliates.
  • August 4, 2016: Dr. Thoen and several members from her lab presented a poster entitled "Impact of Cultural, Criminogenic, and Psycholegal Characteristics on Indigent Defense" at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association under Division 41 (American Psychology-Law Society) in Denver, CO. Pictured from left to right are Braden Anderson (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Bailea Coffel (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Chaise Edwards (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Dr. Thoen, and Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez (graduate student, Forensic Science). Other poster authors not pictured: Kevan Galyean (staff, Institute for Forensic Science), Stephanie Van Horn (graduate student, Psychological Sciences), Breanna Turner (graduate student, Forensic Science), and Crystal Blair (graduate student, Interdisciplinary Studies).This is a picture of Dr. Megan A. Thoen and her team presenting their research poster at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, entitled "Impact of Cultural, Criminogenic, and Psycholegal Characteristics on Indigent Defense."
  • July 2016: Dr. Paola Prada was elected member of the Dogs and Sensors subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) housed in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). OSAC coordinates the development of standards and guidelines for the forensic science community to enhance quality and consistency across the forensic science field.
  • Older news can be found in our News Archive


Institute for Forensic Science