School of Biomedical Sciences

Joseph Warren’s Laboratory

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Joseph Warren, Assistant Professor

Dr. Warren has been a faculty member at the University of North Texas Health Science Center since January of 2002. His responsibilities include reviewing paternity laboratory reports and teaching coursework in the Forensic Genetic Graduate Program. His research interests include DNA damage and repair and its application to forensic analysis, PCR Inhibition, DNA analysis of skeletal remains, mitochondrial DNA mutation and variation,  Y-STR analysis, forensic DNA validation and bloodstain pattern analysis and interpretation. Dr. Warrens teaching duties includes the following courses Biological Evidence Examination,  Overview of Forensic Science, Expert Witness Testimony in Forensic Science and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.

Dr. Warren received his BS and MS degrees in Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA and his PhD. in Molecular Biology from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He started his career as the Senior Forensic Biologist for the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office in Metairie, LA. in 1984. In 1988 he left there to work as Chief Forensic Molecular Biologist for AUG, Inc. a private DNA testing laboratory located in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Warren accepted a position as Senior Forensic Biologist for the Tarrant County Medical Examiners Office in Fort Worth, TX. from 1990 to 1999. Dr. Warren’s main duties were the design and maintenance of the DNA laboratory. In 1998-1999 Dr. Warren assisted the Tarrant County Medical Examiners Office in being the first forensic laboratory in Tarrant County to obtain ASCLD accreditation. From 1999 to 2001 Dr. Warren was the Director of the Forensic Laboratory at ReliaGene Technologies, Inc. in New Orleans, LA. His job description at ReliaGene included being Technical Leader of the Forensic DNA Laboratory, organizing the validation studies on the Y PLEX 6 kit (the first commercial kit devoted to the Y chromosome analysis) and spearheading the ASCLD accreditation process. In May, 2000 ReliaGene Technologies Inc. was awarded ASCLD accreditation, one of the few laboratories in the country performing both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA testing to receive that honor.  Dr. Warren was a case consultant in the mitochondrial DNA testing section for Genescreen, Inc. (now known as Orchid Cellmark Dallas) in Dallas, TX. from 2001-2002. While at Orchid Cellmark Dallas, Dr. Warren ran the mitochondrial DNA test section of their forensic laboratory, initiated research and development in Y chromosome STR analysis, and assisted the Director of Operations and the Technical Leader in receiving ASCLD accreditation in 2001.

Dr. Warren has served as the Technical Leader for both the Nebraska State Police Forensic Laboratories in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Tulsa Police Department Forensic Laboratories in Tulsa, OK. and ReliaGene Technologies, Inc. Forensic Laboratory. Dr. Warren has been recognized as an expert in Forensic Biology, Forensic DNA Analysis, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Microscopic Hair and Fiber Analysis in courts in six states; Louisiana, Texas ,  Oklahoma, Mississippi, Delaware and Wisconsin. Those testimonies include admissibility hearings for STR DNA analysis in Delaware and Louisiana and mitochondrial DNA analysis in Mississippi, as well as, testifying in DNA policy in front of the Louisiana State Legislature in1989.

Dr. Warren has taught many workshops for scientific, law enforcement, and the legal communities including workshops in forensic serology, RFLP and PCR DNA testing, biostatistics and population genetics.

Amelia N. Dowhower, MS Student

Brief background: I received my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology from Iowa State University in May 2004.  I began the Forensic Genetics Masters Program in May 2010. Project/Research: My thesis research project is on Large Volume Extraction from Touch DNA. The project will take place under the supervision of Dr. Rick Staub and the Research and Development Team at Orchid CellMark in Farmers Branch, Texas. Time-line of Completion of training: The thesis research project should be completed by May 2012. Advisory/Supervising Committee: Dr. Joseph Warren is my major professor.  Dr. Phillip Williamson and Dr. Lisa Hodge are committee members.


Laura Gaydosh, M.A.; Ph.D. Student

Brief background: Ms. Gaydosh obtained a B.A. in Anthropology from Adelphi University and an M.A. in Physical Anthropology-Human Skeletal Biology Track from New York University. She completed a Fellowship in Forensic Biology with the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine and worked as a Forensic Scientist-Biology for the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, prior to enrolling at the UNT-Health Science Center at Fort Worth in May of 2008.

Project/Research: The objectives of her dissertation research are to: 1) elucidate the inhibitory effect of environmentally-introduced metals, present in human skeletal remains, on PCR-based DNA testing; and, 2)  develop a method to measure the efficiency of methods used to extract DNA from human skeletal remains using a novel, synthetic bone construct and non-PCR-based assays.

Time-line of Completion of training:  May 2013

Advisory/Supervising Committee:
Joseph E. Warren, Ph.D. (Major Professor)
Arthur J. Eisenberg, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Teresa D. Golden, Ph.D. (Committee Member, UNT-Dept of Chemistry)
Rhonda K. Roby, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
John Schetz, Ph.D. (University Member, UNTHSC-Dept of Pharmacology and Neuroscience)