Department of Chemistry

Determining Biological Sex from LAtent Fingerprints

Jan Halámek’s lab has developed both a bioaffinity-based assay and a chemical assay for the determination of biological sex from latent fingerprints. The first bioaffinity-based assay research project showcased a novel method of analysis while the chemical assay research presented a new way for using ninhydrin. The Halámek group has also developed a bioanalytical method for the simultaneous estimation of the time since deposition and age of the originator from blood samples. The articles featuring all three of these research projects were published in ACS Analytical Chemistry. The bioaffinity-based assay project was accepted as an ASAP (As Soon as Publishable) article and garnered much attention from both the scientific community and the general public. This research was also covered in the New York Times, Chemical & Engineering News, and several local news stations as well as many online media outlets. The blood sample studies were featured in National Geographic as well as Chemical & Engineering News. Additionally, he has co-edited the book, Forensic Science: A Multidisciplinary Approach published by Wiley-VCH. Dr. Halámek has also participated in a collaboration with Averill Park High School for the purpose of exposing high school students to real world lab work. This collaboration was featured on Channel 13 News and Averill Park School District News. He was also invited to give talks at two conferences highlighting his work. The Halámek lab has presented multiple talks and poster presentations in both local and national meetings including, but not limited to the 252nd Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, 41st ACS Northeast Regional Meeting, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists 2016 Annual Meeting, and the University at Albany, SUNY’s 8th Annual Life Sciences Research Symposium.

Jan Halámek is a co-PI on a 3-year $235,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice for “Research and development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes.” He is also a co-PI on a one-year $10,000 grant funded by the Faculty Research Award Program. Crystal Huynh from the Halámek lab has also been awarded a Graduate Fellowship from NIJ. These grants will support the group in furthering their research in the novel analyses of various biological samples for use in the forensic field.

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