Dyson’s forensic science team has their eye on the future and is making strides with cutting-edge lab equipment, including a DNA sequencing lab, virtual crime scene reconstruction software, and forensic microscopes. This year’s incoming master’s candidates will also be facing brand new challenges, as the new curriculum for the program was recently approved by New York State.
Demos Athanasopoulos, PhD, director of the program, notes that it is vital for students to be aware of the newest developments in the lab seeing as how the program prepares students for immediate careers in forensic science. Graduates often go on to work with the New York City Medical Examiner’s office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York Police Department.
“We have very powerful and valuable microscopes and lab equipment at Pace, and while other research schools may have the same equipment, their students are never allowed to touch them,” says Zhaohua Dai, PhD, associate professor of forensic science. “Here, the students use this fantastic equipment; they get the hands-on experience they need.”
In the crime lab, students work to analyze controlled substances. This focus on drug chemistry can help law enforcement professionals find the leads they need to solve cases. Drug detection specialists also work to improve the way people live by analyzing chemical content and reactions related to issues like pollution and our environment. Pace faculty have received grants to provide insight into high mercury levels found in the environment—crucial to environmentalists, commercial fishermen, and the government—and have published numerous papers with Pace’s graduate and undergraduate students, none of which would have been possible without the technology and experience the newly updated labs offer.