Speaker

Robin Cotton

Associate Professor and Director of the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Program, Boston University

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Speaker

Robin Cotton

Associate Professor and Director of the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Program, Boston University

Dr. Cotton’s experience in the forensic application of DNA analysis began at Cellmark Diagnostics in Germantown, MD in 1988.  She subsequently served as Laboratory Director and Technical leader of the Cellmark Laboratory from 1994 to 2005.  Cellmark was one of the first DNA testing laboratories in the US.  As Director and Technical Leader, Dr. Cotton was responsible for overseeing development and implementation of new technology as well participating in technical review of forensic casework results and providing testimony in admissibility hearings and trials. Under her direction, Cellmark was the first private DNA testing laboratory in the United States to apply for and receive accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/ Laboratory Accreditation Board.

Dr. Cotton has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California at Irvine in 1980.  Prior to joining Cellmark in 1988, she did post-doctoral research at the University of Iowa and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

In the past 20 years she has testified as an expert in DNA analysis in over 250 criminal cases (admissibility hearing and trials) in 35 states.  Dr. Cotton serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and served two terms as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.

In October of 2006, Dr. Cotton joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the M.S. Program in Biomedical Forensic Sciences which is a FEPAC accredited program.  Her research focuses on methods for improving or developing new DNA extraction methods for low template and sexual assault samples.  Dr. Cotton is a member of the NIST Scientific Advisory Committee on Biology and DNA (NIST Bio-DNA OSAC).