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.

Location

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.

News

  • September 19, 2017: Dr. Prada and three members from her research group successfully presented research posters summarizing current thesis projects at the 6th International Conference on Forensic Research and Technology in Houston, Texas. Dr. Prada was also the plenary guest speaker giving a presentation entitled: "Forensic Odorology: A silent and forgotten trace evidence source in criminal investigations". Student poster presentations included:
    •  "Evaluation of K9 narcotic training aid age: an insight into the "instrumental sniff" of common drugs" by Lauren Alejandro
    • "Forensic Advantages of Safe Sex: Odor Profiling Condom Brands using HS-SPME-GC/MS" by Amanda Patrick
    • "Hand Odor Volatiles and Drug Abuse: A Pilot Study using a Chemical Dependent Target Group" by Silas Kemboi

 This is a picture of Dr. Prada and three students from her lab presenting their research posters at the 6th International Conference on Forensic Research and Technology in Houston, Texas.

  • August 12, 2017: Stemming from her Master's thesis, program alumna Sarah Shutic and members of her thesis committee recently published "Forensic identification of pharmaceuticals via portable x-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy" in Forensic Science International. The article is available online: 

    Shutic, S., S. Chakraborty, B. Li, D.C. Weindorf, K. Sperry, and D. Casadonte. 2017. Forensic identification of pharmaceuticals via portable X-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Forensic Science International 279:22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.08.008
  • August 12, 2017: Congratulations to our latest graduate-- Nicholas Knowlton. We wish you the best of luck!
  • June 27, 2017:  Dr. Robert Morgan, IFS director, was just announced as this year's Leadership in Education Award recipient from the American Psychological Association's Div. 18 (Psychologists in Public Service). This annual award "recognizes an educator with an outstanding record of teaching or training at any level of education — from high school to postgraduate continuing education. This person promotes learning and, in so doing, enhances the field of public service psychology." Congrats, Dr. Morgan!
  • May 19, 2017: Congratulations to our latest graduates-- Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez, Courtney Brown, Rebecca Camacho, John-William Knight, Cheyenne Robinson, Sarah Shutic, and Breanna Turner. We wish you all the best of luck!
  • May 4, 2017: During the week of April 17-21st, 2017, Dr. Paola Prada was the plenary guest speaker at the 2nd International Forensic Odorology Seminar hosted in Villa Regina, Argentina. Dr. Prada had the opportunity to train law enforcement personnel in canine detection disciplines such as narcotics and human odor.

    This is a picture of Dr. Paola A. Prada and law enforcement personnell at the International Forensic Odorology Seminar
  • May 3, 2017: Congratulations to Amanda Patrick and Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo, the 2017 Hillcrest Foundation Forensic Science Scholarship recipients!
  • April 10, 2017: PAPER DEFENSE. John-William Knight will be defending his paper entitled "Suicide Differences in Gender" on April 13th, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 122 at 10:00 AM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Col. David Lewis, M.A., and Paola A. Prada, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
  • April 10, 2017: PAPER DEFENSE. Breanna Turner will be defending her paper entitled "Through the Eyes of CSIs: Fingerprints and Bias-Ability" on April 13th, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 122 at 3:00 PM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Martina Klein, Ph.D., and Paola A. Prada, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
  • April 6, 2017: Dr. Prada's team proposal, "A multidimensional approach to assess olfaction in dogs with application to explosives detection," has been selected as one of the seven projects to be funded in Round 2 of the Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Research at Texas Tech.
  • April 4, 2017: PAPER DEFENSE. Cheyenne Robinson will be defending her paper entitled "The Impact of Police Officer Training Techniques on Officers' Perceptions and Responses to Situations in the Field" on April 7th, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 122 at 2:00 PM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Paola A. Prada, Ph.D., and Ralph Ferguson, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
  • March 30, 2017: Student Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez presented a poster of her thesis data at the 16th Annual TTU Graduate School Poster Competition on March 24. She was awarded first place in her category for her poster. Congratulations, Tatiana!

    This is a picture of Tatiana M. Blanco-Alvarez presenting at the 16th Annual TTU Graduate School Poster Competition.
  • March 18, 2017: Dr. Thoen presented a poster entitled "Impact of Changing Shift Schedules on Officer Wellness and Job Satisfaction" at the 2017 Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law Association in Seattle, WA. Co-authors on the poster included Andy Young, Ed.D. (Lubbock Christian University, Department of Behavioral Sciences), Ethan Dodson (graduate student, Forensic Sciences), Chaise Edwards (lab alumni), Bailea Coffel (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Braden Anderson (lab alumni), Breanna Turner (graduate student, Forensic Sciences), Preston McCullough (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), and Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez (graduate student, Forensic Sciences).

    This is a picture of Dr. Megan A. Thoen presenting at the Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law Association in Seattle, WA.
  • March 3, 2017: Dr. Paola Prada has been designated as a full member to the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE). COFSE's goal is to help develop and achieve the highest academic standards and to develop excellence among students seeking a career in the forensic science discipline.
  • March 2, 2017: Student Amanda Patrick was the winner of the IFS Spring 2017 Research Award for her proposed project "Condom odor profiling with HS-SPME and Temperature Effect on Condom Fingerprint Development". The Institute for Forensic Science offers research funding to two students annually to promote our mission of quality and ethical research methodology within the forensic discipline. Congratulations, Amanda!

Institute for Forensic Science