Forensic Science Learning Lab

Program Overview

Mission
The mission of the Forensic Science Learning Lab (FSLL) is to provide specialized forensic science education and training for any Texas Southern University student interested in pursuing careers in the field of forensic science and to provide training opportunities for current practitioners in the field aspiring to expand and update their knowledge and skills.

Objectives
The goal of the FSLL program is to prepare individuals with a comprehensive understanding of scientific principles, concepts, and philosophies, which will provide the skills necessary to think critically and ethically in applying knowledge to real-world problems and challenging situations of forensic relevance encountered in the field.

  • Prepare students with a unique skill set, which would allow them to serve as forensic science professionals at the local, state, national and international levels.
  • To provide students with an understanding of the standards of professional ethics from legal and personal vantage points as they pertain to careers in forensic science related professions.
  • To prepare students with an understanding of the legal system and process as it relates to forensic science, which will allow them to actively participate in legal proceedings as expert witnesses.

Faculty
The Forensic Science Learning Lab has a distinguished faculty with wide-ranging research interests including drug and alcohol pharmacology, alcohol congener analysis, DNA comparison and analysis, courtroom ethics, digital forensics and firearms analysis and comparison. Faculty research provides students with an opportunity to explore recent developments of forensic significance on these and other contemporary justice issues and challenges both in the classroom and the community.


Careers
The curriculum and associated programs of the FSLL are intended to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge related to pursuing successful careers in any of the disciplines of the forensic sciences, including toxicology, friction ridge analysis, digital media forensics, DNA analysis, and controlled substance analysis. The curriculum also prepares students to pursue careers in forensic science as law enforcement officials, forensic science investigators or forensic laboratory specialists, as well as preparing individuals for continuing education in graduate and law school.


Instrumentation
The Forensic Science Learning Laboratory is a state of the art facility, which hosts a wide array of the cutting edge tools, which are commonly found in contemporary forensic crime laboratories. This unique facility offers hands-on research and training experience in the forensic areas of DNA analysis, controlled substance analysis, crime scene processing, trace evidence analysis, firearm analysis and comparison, and latent print analysis for students and practitioners.

  • Gas Chromatography coupled with Flame Ion Detection (GC-FID)
  • Gas Chromatography (Head-space Analysis)
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography
  • Electron Ionization Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • DNA Analyzers
  • Real Time PCR Thermal Cycler
  • Bioanaylzer
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)
  • Comparison Microscopy
  • General Microscopy
  • Latent Print Superglue Fuming
  • Cross Match Biometric Scanner
  • Anthropology

Forensic Science Faculty Information:

Dr. Ashraf Mozayani
Professor and Executive Director of Forensic Sciences

dr-ashraf-mozayani


Dr. Ashraf Mozayani of Houston is the executive director of forensic sciences and a professor at Texas Southern University. She is also a member of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which is a government appointed position. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse, Council of Forensic Science Educators, and International Association of Forensic Toxicologists. She is a laboratory inspector for the ABFT, an on-site evaluator for the AAFS Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission, a laboratory auditor for the National Forensic Science Technology Center and a national laboratory certification program inspector for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She is also a laboratory assessor and past laboratory accreditation board member for the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, a senior forensic advisor of crime laboratories for the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program and past president of the Southwestern Association of Toxicologists. Dr. Mozayani received a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tehran and a Doctorate of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Toxicology from the University of Alberta.

Dr. Jasmine M. Drake
Assistant Professor
Laboratory Coordinator of the Forensic Science Learning Laboratory

dr-jasmine-m-drake


Dr. Jasmine Drake is an Assistant Professor and laboratory coordinator of the Forensic Science Learning Laboratory at Texas Southern University in Houston, Tx. Dr. Drake received her Bachelors of Science Degree from Southern University and her Doctorate in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. Upon the completion of her graduate studies, Dr. Drake received a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship from the National Research Council (NRC) to work for over 3 years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for neutron research in Gaithersburg, MD, where she investigated the synthesis and characterization of novel intermetallic solid state materials using neutron diffraction and scattering techniques. Dr. Drake also worked as a forensic chemist for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) South Central Laboratory in Dallas, TX, where her primary professional responsibilities included controlled substance identification and qualitative and quantitative analysis of evidence submitted by local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. She also assisted with clandestine laboratory operations, intelligence/ undercover operations involving diversion and trafficking of controlled substances, and testified in court when called upon. In addition to Dr. Drake‘s experience as a forensic chemist, she has also taught Chemistry and Forensic Science at the High School and University levels. Prior to joining TSU, she worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Tx. With over 6 years of experience as a forensic chemist, Dr. Drake’s primary research interests at TSU involve creating and implementing innovative methods for the rapid determination and screening of controlled substances using instrumentation, such as ion mobility spectrometry and GC-MS, to support law enforcement efforts in the field. She is also very passionate about introducing science and in particular, forensic science, to the youth, K-12 educators, and law enforcement officials through the various hands-on forensic science workshops and training opportunities she has organized and conducted.

Training Opportunities:
CSI Training and Educational Conference (CSITEC) – (June 20-24, 2016)

This summer, the Texas Southern University Forensic Science Learning Laboratory will host a C.S.I. Training and Educational Conference (CSITEC) 2016 for K-12 educators and law enforcement practitioners. This year’s training course, which will be conducted through the Forensic Science Learning Laboratory at TSU, has been especially designed to meet the Continuing Educational needs of both, High School science teachers and law enforcement practitioners, in the field of forensic science. Engaging and hands-on training, which can easily be applied to classroom training or even field work, will be administered by experts in the field of forensic science. Participants will also receive materials, such as lesson plans, laboratory training guides, and technical notes and resources, which can be used inside or outside of the classroom. Please see the attached flyer for further information.