Dr. Michael Coble, Executive Director of the UNTHSC Center for Human Identification (CHI), was honored recently by the American Academy for Forensic Sciences (AAFS) with their Mary E. Cowan Outstanding Service Award. Selected by AAFS’s Criminalistics Section, the award is bestowed to a person who has accomplished a special service or history of service to forensic science.
Dr. Coble’s research focuses on issues associated with DNA mixture interpretation and haploid marker systems (Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA testing). Named Executive Director of CHI in February 2022, Dr. Coble is also implementing expanded capabilities at CHI, including potentially the first Forensic Genetic Genealogy Unit in the nation at an accredited public lab, and a mobile Rapid DNA Response Team, created to be deployed to the scene of Texas mass disasters, critical incidents, and along the border.
This annual award was named in celebration of Mary Cowan, the first female member of AAFS, who collected and analyzed evidence in the infamous Dr. Sam Shepard case in the 1950s.