Jan Halámek

Forensics analysis expert identifies key characteristics of culprits by fingerprints and blood residue left at a crime scene

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Jan Halámek

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Chemistry

Expertise:
Analytical biochemistry; bioelectronics; enzymology; instrumental analysis; analytical chemistry; forensic analysis; bioelectrochemistry; biomolecular logic systems

Campus phone: (518) 442-4447
Campus email: jhalamek@albany.edu

Biography:

Professor of Chemistry Jan Halámek’s research involves the bioanalytical evaluation of enzymatic systems for forensics and biosensing applications.

Growing up in the Czech Republic, Halámek joined the University's Department of Chemistry in Fall of 2013. He has successfully published 12 scientific papers; three recent of which are in the area of forensic investigation.

Halámek first received widespread media attention for his research which identifies culprits as male or female from content in fingerprints. It was featured in the New York Times, as well as the front cover of the Albany Times Union, and in more than a dozen international publications. Less than one year later, he discovered how to tell a person's age range based on blood residue left behind at a crime scene. The finding was featured in National Geographic and Scientific American.

In addition to lab research, Halámek’s team also collaborates with local Averill Park high school students. The students work on basic experiments such as extracting DNA from strawberries, basic acid/base reactions and simple chromatography. These experiments are intended to get younger students interested in the world of forensic science.

Halámek received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, and completed postdoctoral studies at Potsdam University in Germany, as well as at Twente University in The Netherlands. Following his postdoctoral studies, Halámek worked as a research associate at Clarkson University. In 2011, he became a research assistant professor at Clarkson University.