50 Heroes: Dr. Arthur Eisenberg
A pioneer in bringing DNA typing into both paternity testing and the field of forensic genetics, Dr. Eisenberg helped establish the UNT Center for Human Identification as well as The University of North Texas Health Science Center’s graduate program for forensic genetics.
Under his leadership, the Center for Human Identification became one of the nation’s top DNA laboratories. The lab has helped thousands of law enforcement agencies across the United States on tens of thousands of cases involving missing people or unidentified human remains.
To colleagues, he was known as a brilliant scientist and a compassionate man.
“It wasn’t the science that drove Art. It was the knowledge that he was making a difference by working with victims and their families, with helping law enforcement agencies solve cases, and exonerating the innocent,” said Dr. Bruce Budowle, Director of the Center for Human identification.
During his career, Dr. Eisenberg worked on cases that involved mass graves, infamous serial killers, natural disasters and terrorist acts. He helped a large-scale effort to identify victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the 1973 Pinochet military coup in Chile and previously unidentified children found buried at a now-shuttered reform school for boys in Florida.
Dr. Eisenberg held many national leadership roles on DNA advisory boards and task forces. He was the 2011 recipient of the Paul L. Kirk Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Dr. Eisenberg died in 2018 at the age of 62. But his legacy continues through a generation of forensic analysts he trained and mentored who have gone on to solve cases and make DNA associations for state and federal law enforcement agencies across the United States.
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Join us throughout 2020 as we celebrate the people, events and innovations that made UNTHSC all it is today — and look ahead to the next 50 years.
For the 50th anniversary, team members nominated people whose contributions make them HSC Heroes. Each week, a new Hero will be revealed.
View the list of all our Hero profiles published so far this year. There is a new one each week.