Texas Tech University

Dr. Paola A. Prada's Research Group

 

 

This is a picture of Dr. Prada and her lab students.

CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS

LAUREN ALEJANDRO

Picture of graduate student Lauren Alejandro

Lauren Alejandro is a current graduate student working on her Master's degree in Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from Texas A & M, Corpus Christi where she majored in Biomedical Sciences and minored in Chemistry. She was involved in two professional internships. One of the internships was with the Corpus Christi Police Department, Crime Scene Unit and the other with Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office to further advance her knowledge within the forensic field. She is the co-author of research presented during the 12th annual PATHWAYS student research symposium in 2015. Her current research includes working with the local police department K-9 unit by utilizing field testing and analytical instrumentation to discover odor concentration levels of canine narcotic training aids at various ages. Lauren is a student member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) and currently serves as vice president for the Forensic Science Society at TTU. Her hobbies include hiking nature trails and traveling.

KATIE BLANAR

This is a picture of student, Katie Blanar.

Katie Blanar is a current graduate student working on her Master's degree in Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi where she majored in Biomedical Sciences and minored in Chemistry and Criminal Justice. She was involved in a professional internship with the Corpus Christi Police Department, Crime Scene Unit to further her knowledge within the field of forensic science. Her current research includes observing whether or not there is a correlation between the odor (volatile organic compounds (VOCs)) given off of maggots collected from a decomposing pig and the different stages of decomposition using SPME-GC/MS. Katie's hobbies include reading and playing with her dog, Tucker.

KIANA HOLBROOK

This is a picture of student, Kiana Holbrook.
Kiana Holbrook is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. She received her Bachelor's of Science from Texas State University, San Marcos, where she majored in Biochemistry and double minored in Forensic Psychology and Anthropology. While attending Texas State University she was a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At Texas State she worked in a research lab under Dr. Wendi David for a year in a half, focusing on G- quadruplet and triplex formation in the telemeric region of various DNAs where the formation was analyzed using SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance). She went on to present her research at the Texas State University WISE conference 2017.She is currently on the scientist track of the program here at Tech. Her current research focuses on blood odor volatiles profiling and presumptive testing relationships using luminol and Bluestar. Kiana is a student member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS). Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, participating in community volunteering events, playing basketball, bowling and playing videogames.

SILAS KEMBOI

Picture of graduate student Silas Kemboi

Silas K Kemboi is a master's program student in forensic science at Texas Tech University (TTU). He earned his first B.S degree in Biochemist from Texas Tech University in 2010 and Clinical Laboratory Science from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in 2012. Silas is currently American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certified. Having worked as a Medical Technologist for the last five years in a hospital setting, his ambition to work in forensic Toxicology became unstoppable. Silas is a student member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS). He Co-authored a published research on "The β Subunit Loop That Couples Catalysis and Rotation in ATP Synthase Has a Critical Length" while he was an undergraduate student at Texas Tech University.  His current research entails "Human Hand Odor and Drug Abuse: A pilot Study using a Chemical Dependent Target Group" from Lubbock County Court Residential Treatment Center (CRTC). Human odor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been studied and identified but no study has ever been studied on how substance abuse affects human odor VOCs production. His research poster was presented at the American Academy of Forensic science (AAFS) in February, 2017. Silas is also student member of (AAFS). Silas's hobbies include farming, running, as well as traveling to various places.

KASHMIERE N. MCGEE

This is a picture of student, Kash McGee.

"My name is Kashmiere N. McGee and I am currently a candidate for a Master's of Science in Forensic Science at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. I hold a Bachelor's of Arts in Anthropology from Texas Tech University. My current thesis project is "Human Skeletal Evidence: Perspectives for Narcotrafficking Group Identifications Through Modus Operandi from the Medico-Legal Department, San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia, Costa Rica". I am a travel enthusiast and from time spent working alongside forensic anthropologist Georgina Pacheco in Costa Rica this project was made possible. With an endemic level of homicide in Costa Rica, it was an imperative project. I hope to shed light on the necessity of forensic anthropology throughout Latin America with this project. Wreck 'Em!"

THY NGUYEN

This is a picture of student, Thy Nguyen.

Thy completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and has done previous research in gold nanoparticles in her undergraduate studies. She is currently doing research on a new method to create better training aids for canine units specializing in explosive detection. She likes to read, draw, and do small arts and crafts projects in her spare time. She also loves solving puzzles and learning the in and outs of magic tricks.

AMANDA PATRICK

Picture of graduate student Amanda Patrick

Amanda Patrick is a forensic science graduate student pursuing the Scientist track at Texas Tech University. She obtained her Bachelor's degree of Science with Honors in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her previous research projects include building mathematical models to predict outcomes of recycling behavior and analyzing transfer student passing rates. Her current projects include odor profiling condom brands using SPME-GC/MS and studying temperature effects on fingerprint development on condom substrates. In her spare time she likes to draw and go to theater and art gallery events.

JENNIFER RAYMER

This is a picture of student, Jennifer Raymer.

Jennifer Raymer is currently a graduate student working on her Master's of Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology at Lamar University in December of 2016. Her current research includes residual decomposition odor analysis. Her hobbies include spending time with her family and dog

CURRENT UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT(S)

SHAWNA GALLEGOS

This is a picture of student, Shawna Gallegos.

Shawna Gallegos is an undergraduate at Texas Tech University working towards a Bachelor's degree in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry. Her primary research lab is at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center under the direction of Dr. Kendra Rumbaugh where she studies poly-microbial interactions in the wound environment. In collaboration with the Prada lab, Shawna is using SPME and GC-MS to identify volatile organic compounds emitted by common pathogens found in the chronic wound environment. Shawna is a current CISER scholar and enjoys reading and volunteering for the South Plains SPCA.

PREVIOUS GRADUATE STUDENTS

COURTNEY BROWN

Arsenic fed piglets: Assessing arsenic levels in decomposing pig tissues and soil samples, M.S. - 2017

MICHAEL RADFORD

Fingerprint Visualization on Condoms, M.S. – 2016

 

 

 

Institute for Forensic Science