Charlotte Word


Charlotte Word is currently a consultant in Human DNA Identification testing.  She joined Cellmark Diagnostics in Germantown, MD (later called Orchid Cellmark) in 1990 and over the 15 years she worked there had several titles, including Deputy Director and Senior Manager, Forensics and Laboratory Director.  She has performed technical reviews on many 1000’s of cases from several public and private DNA testing laboratories and has participated in the validation of various DNA test systems.  Charlotte has testified as an expert witness in over 300 trials and admissibility hearings around the country since 1990.  She has published and given many presentations at meetings and workshops in the areas of DNA identification testing.  In 1998-1999 she was a member of the Post-Conviction Issues Working Group of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. From 2014-2017 she was a member of the Reporting and Testimony Subcommittee of the National Commission on Forensic Science.  She is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Forensic Sciences and has been a guest reviewer for Forensic Science International: Genetics. Dr. Word’s main focus throughout her career has been on mixture interpretation and neutral expert witness testimony. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the DNA Analysis 2 (Biological Data Reporting and Interpretation) Subcommittee of the Biology/DNA Scientific Area Committee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) and on the AAFS Standards Board DNA Consensus Body.

Dr. Word received her B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her Ph.D. in Microbiology, with specialties in Molecular Biology and Immunology from the University of Virginia.  She did postdoctoral research as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX and was a faculty member at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine prior to joining Cellmark Diagnostics.