Center for Human Identification Oral History Project

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The Center for Human identification provides training and investigative support to resolve missing person and unidentified decedent cases across the United States. The University of North Texas Health Science Center is the home of the Laboratory for Molecular Identification and the Forensic Genetics graduate program. UNTHSC is privileged to have some of the most prestigious Forensic Geneticists as faculty members on campus. In 2011, the library decided to begin efforts to document the program with an oral history project. We identified individuals who had played a prominent role in the field of human identification or who could offer insight about the field and current research areas in forensic genetics on campus and interviewed them about the field, their current research and some of their experiences as professionals both at UNTHSC and in previous positions.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Crime Scene Investigation: TV versus Reality
    (2013-08-01) ; Warren, Joseph; Budowle, Bruce; Eisenberg, Arthur J.; Pullin, Mike; Milligan, Jessie
    Joseph Warren, Bruce Budowle and Arthur J. Eisenberg speak about crime scene investigation and forensic science as portrayed in popular television. They discuss how the shows distort and overstate the ways in which forensic scientists help solve crimes and identify victims, and they describe potential impacts on jurors' expectations. They also appreciate how these shows drive curiosity and bring better grant funding and more students to forensic science.
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    DNA-Prokids: Forensic Genetics and Human Trafficking
    (2013-08-01) Eisenberg, Arthur J.
    DNA - ProKids is a program jointly run by the Universidad de Granada (UGR) and the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). The Goal of DNA - Prokids is to return trafficked individuals, specifically young people and children to their families in their home countries. The FBI estimates that there are more than 100,000 children and teens in the United States that are being trafficked in the sex trade. Since Texas is a portal into the U.S. for Central and South America, the state government has been proactive in trying to address the problem. Part of the solution is the partnership between UNTHSC and UGR to work on DNA-Prokids. DNA-Prokids is an international humanitarian effort to help identify missing children and if possible to reunite abducted and homeless children with their parents, and to provide law enforcement agencies a scientific methodology to help deter the human trafficking of children. The organization also works with law enforcement to ensure that the children are returned to their families or placed in safe environments. Since this video, 697 parent-child associations have been made, with the vast majority of those children being returned to their families. Out of those 697, approximately 12 children have not been able to return home due to crime, violence, and drugs in their biological families. DNA-Prokids has also detected and avoided 221 illegal adoptions, where the woman presenting the baby to be adopted was not the child's biological mother. The success of the program deters human trafficking and can prevent child abuse and slave labor by increasing coordination between efforts like DNA-Prokids and authorities.
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    Dr. Arthur Eisenberg
    (2013-08-01) Eisenberg, Arthur J.; Milligan, Jessie
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    Dr. John Planz
    John V. Planz holds a B.S degree in Biology and Zoology (double major) from the State University of New York (Oswego, NY), a M.S. degree in behavioral ecology from Shippensburg University (Shippensburg, PA) and a Ph.D. in molecular evolutionary genetics and population genetics from the University of North Texas (Denton, TX). Dr. Planz studied as a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Section of Mammals (Pittsburgh, PA) in mammalian phylogenetic systematics. Dr. Planz entered the forensics field in 1993 at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, TX. He later served as the Director of Identity Testing at GeneScreen, Inc. in Dallas, TX and Biosynthesis, Inc. in Lewisville TX adding mitochondrial DNA typing and SNP development to the testing performed by those laboratories. Dr. Planz joined the faculty of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth in January 2000 were he serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics and is the Associate Director of the UNT Center for Human Identification.