- Center for Forensic RESearch and COmmercialization (FRESCO) at FIUForensic science practice has benefitted from several important scientific advances (ie. DNA profiling, PCR, high resolution mass spectrometry) and rapid transition from basic research to forensic method development has improved the quality of evidence in many types of forensic investigations, resulting in a safer and more just society. The transfer of technology from the research laboratory to commercial products can be facilitated with close collaborations between the end users (law enforcement and the courts), knowledge and technology developers (research laboratories) and industrial partners willing to commercialize and market tools for routine use. The International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) is recognized as a national leader in forensic science research since it's founding in 1997 with more than 10 active researchers in the forensic sciences in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences and Earth and the Environment. The goals of the new Center for Forensic Research and Commercialization (FRESCO) are to bring together industrial partners, including the end-user community, with academic forensic science researchers with an aim to develop, implement and commercialize new tools that benefit the national forensic science enterprise. The new center will conduct research in several emerging areas within chemical and biological sciences with potential impact on the criminal justice system. A project entitled Rapid, Direct 25 minute PCR Analysis of Forensic Evidence has the potential to speed up DNA profiling thereby providing better information to investigators. Genome wide screening for the expansion of epigenetic markers for age and trace forensic body fluid identification will aim to identify the type of cells that give origin to the DNA sample present at the crime scene. A project entitled Source Attribution Tools; Elemental and Isotopic Analyses Using Laser Sampling Strategies will develop rapid tools for the organic and inorganic characterization of materials and extending the reach of forensic scientists to field analysis with the use of portable instrumentation. The Paper Microfluidic Devices for the Detection of Explosives Residues project develops microfluidic paper based analytical devices (µPADs) for on-site explosives detection utilizing colorimetric reactions immobilized on paper. Database Development for Forensic Evidence Interpretation will increase the number and types of databases for common types of forensic evidence such as ink chemistry. The Canine Cargo Container Screening combines the use of properly trained canines and instrumental methods to offer a rapid screening system. The rapidly changing types of encountered illicit drugs require the need for the Mass Spectroscopic Characterization of Designer Drugs project in collaboration with the forensic laboratory community and other industry partners.This planning grant is jointly supported by NSF and the National Institute of Justice.
- April 15, 2015 - March 31, 2016
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- Almirall, Jose Principal Investigator