NFSTC@FIU welcomes former Department of Justice forensic director

NFSTC@FIU is pleased to announce Gerald LaPorte as the new Director of Research Innovation for the Global Forensic and Justice Center.    


LaPorte, former Chief Forensic Research Chemist for the U.S. Secret Service, most recently served as Director in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. He brings decades of experience and knowledge in forensic science. LaPorte served on the National Commission on Forensic Science, a body of esteemed scientists, law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges, with the underlying objective to improve the quality and practice of forensic science. 

During his tenure at NIJ, he oversaw national efforts such as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, and grant programs for state and local forensic laboratories to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services. Under LaPorte’s leadership, research and development at NIJ has become the most prominent and highly funded program in the world focused on advancing the forensic sciences.

LaPorte’s initial efforts will include identifying and leveraging FIU’s status as a top tier research institution to expand efforts at the Center. He will be based in Denver, CO.

Online DNA Training modules now available

two analyst trainees use a blue alternate light source in a biological screening exercise
NFSTC@FIU’s online DNA analysis course is now available in smaller blocks, allowing you or your team to enroll in just the right content when you need it, saving money and time. Use them as a refresher or to bring new technical staff up to speed quickly.

Each module is available for only $450. Select from:
Biological Screening: Covering Evidence & DNA, Forensic Biology, and Communicating Results
DNA Analysis: Covering DNA Extraction & Quantitation, DNA Amplification, Capillary Electrophoresis, Amplified DNA Separation, and Communicating Results
Data Interpretation & Statistics: Covering STR Data Analysis & Interpretation, Population Genetics & Statistics, and Communicating Results

Of course, the full DNA Analyst course is still available and includes additional modules not listed above.

This high‐quality training houses the theoretical knowledge base for forensic biological screening and DNA analyst training. Content includes a pre-course assessment, new technologies, module quizzes and a final exam, and assessment reports are available for Technical Leaders.

Click the links above to learn more about any of these courses, or download our DNA analysis product page for more information, or contact us at sales-nfstc@fiu.edu.

A decade of excellence

Next month, Cadets will make their way to the NFSTC@FIU training facility, like they have for the past 10 summers. A decade of training up to 12 Cadets for two weeks on the latest in forensic science. That adds up to thousands of hours of curriculum development and hands-on instruction time in DNA to digital evidence

The program has been sought after not only because of the emerging importance of these skills in the military, but because it’s only ever been offered once a year.

“We’ve always provided the Biometrics and Forensic internship to the Cadets and their Command at no cost,” explains Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC@FIU executive director. “We’ve always pledged to keep it that way, and this year we are doubling our commitment and hosting two classes. We’re very excited about it.

Both classes will cover the same material – a CSI for the battlefield approach to forensic science. The Cadets will also have the opportunity to tour the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office laboratory and utilize their gun range.

“Their time here is lot of learning-by-doing,” says Lothridge. “We want every Cadet to leave after the two weeks with not just an understanding, but the ability to carry out some the work done in the field.”

The first class of Cadets arrive July 1, and the second beginning July 29. 

Have you been through our Biometics and Forensic internship? We want to hear from you! Send us your experience, advice, and/or stories for us to share on social media.

8th Annual Forensic Science Symposium is here!

The International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI), part of FIU’s newest preeminent Global Forensic and Justice Center is hosting the 8th annual Forensic Science Symposium on May 1-2, 2019 at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

This event brings together more than 200 law enforcement, industry and academia forensic science professionals to share knowledge, research and techniques. They symposium features biology, chemistry and management tracks as wells workshops, a poster session and CEU opportunities.

Registration is now closed, tickets will be available at the door while supplies last. If you have questions, please contact Forensics@fiu.edu.

Follow along on Twitter @nfstc and #forensicscience to share your symposium experience!

Thank you to our generous event sponsors who make this symposium possible:

Register now for the 8th Annual Forensic Science Symposium

Join forensic science colleagues from Florida and beyond at the 8th Annual Forensic Science Symposium at the beautiful Florida International University campus in Miami on May 1-2.

This year’s event open and closes with panel discussions on two of the most impactful topics for today’s laboratories:

  • Opioids: With the nation facing more than 130 deaths from opioids every day, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the impact is enormous. A panel of experts will discuss the effects of this crisis.
  • Genealogy: Once reserved for history buffs, genealogy is being used to solve cold cases, like the infamous Golden State Killer, across the country. This panel will discuss the balance solving crime and user privacy.

Breakout sessions will dive into new forensic technologies, techniques and complexities. For the first time ever, digital investigations will be addressed in the sessions. Be sure to check out the workshop opportunities, too.

Registration is $30 and free for current FIU students. Group registration for agencies is also available. Visit the event page and register today.

Questions? Email forensics@fiu.edu