Profiling Marijuana Evidence

Researchers at SHSU are collaborating with the US Customs and Border Protection to investigate how Massive Parallel Sequencing (MPS) technology can be used on marijuana seized by the federal agency.

Shedding Light on Biological Samples

Researchers at SHSU use an alternate light source (ALS) to visualize and isolate biological evidence from clothing.

Detecting Drugs for Federal Agencies

In partnership with the US Customs and Border Protection's Houston Laboratory, automated HS-SPME-GC/MS (headspace-solid phase microextration-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) is being investigated for enhanced chemical profiling of marijuana evidence.

Preserving DNA in Mass Disasters

As part of a research study funded in part by the National Institute of Justice, researchers at SHSU use automated robotics to investigate room temperature DNA preservation techniques that can be used to identify victims more rapidly following mass disasters.

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Investigating Bath Salts

As part of an NIJ-funded project, researchers at SHSU are investigating the stability of the synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") in biological samples.

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Sarah Kerrigan, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Forensic
Research, Training, and Innovation

Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Institute for Forensic Research, Training, and Innovation at Sam Houston State University. Our principal goal is to promote interdisciplinary forensic research and encourage academic-industrial partnerships that serve the needs of the forensic community and its stakeholders.

In a report to Congress in 2009, the National Academy of Sciences made sweeping recommendations that were designed to enhance and strengthen the landscape and practice of forensic science in the United States. In accordance with those recommendations, institutes of higher education are expected to play an important role in research, training, and education. As a leader in forensic science education at the graduate-level within one of the oldest and most well-respected Criminal Justice Colleges in the US, Sam Houston State University is well positioned to meet these needs.

Through collaborative, interdisciplinary, and industrially relevant research and training, we hope to broaden scientific awareness and serve as a vehicle for technology transfer and innovation in a way that advances forensic science and the administration of justice locally, nationally, and globally.


The mission of the Institute for Forensic Research, Training, and Innovation is to advance the practice of forensic science through strategic academic-industrial partnerships, industrially relevant research, and to deliver highly specialized training to the forensic practitioners and stakeholders.