Under the Microscope – Tatiana Perez

The ISHI27 agenda is already filling up with some great talks from amazing speakers! While the forensic community is a tight-knit group, we can always get a little closer, right? With that in mind, we asked our speakers some questions to get to know them a little better outside of their work. We’ve been posting their responses in a feature we like to call Under the Microscope.





Today, we’re chatting with Tatiana Perez, who will be presenting Identifying Individuals through Proteomic Analysis during the General Sessions on Thursday, September 29th.

Tatiana Perez is currently a City Research Scientist I at the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She received her Masters of Science in Human Genetics from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and her Bachelors of Science in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven, CT. Tatiana previously conducted research in mechanical stresses involved within the tendon enthesis, and research in the detection of phenylalanine hydroxylase gene (PAH). She enjoys playing tennis and training in aerial silks.


How did you come to work in the field of forensics/DNA?

I always knew I wanted to do something within the medical field and I was also highly interested in criminal justice, and forensic science seemed like the perfect combination of both.


What is your favorite thing about your job? Why?

My favorite thing about my job is the opportunity to work alongside my colleagues. They are always super motivated and inspire me daily.


What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?

The biggest challenge I face is the insecurity of knowing whether my research will work, but it also doubles as the most exciting factor.


What accomplishment are you most proud of relating to forensics/DNA?

I am most proud of being given the opportunity to work on my project (identifying individuals through protein polymorphisms) and it being an innovative method that may someday be held as the norm in forensics.


If you’ve attended ISHI before, what keeps you coming back? If you’ve never attended before, what are you most looking forward to at ISHI27?

I have never attended ISHI before. I am looking forward to listening to all the different presentations and gauging where we, as a field are heading to next.



When you were little, what career did you think you’d have as an adult?

When I was younger, I thought I would have been a pediatrician.


Where do you see the future of forensic science headed?

I see the future of forensic science hopefully heading towards proteomics and mass spectrometry.

What do you hope the audience learns/takes away from your talk?

I hope the audience takes away the excitement and a genuine interest in proteomic analysis and its many benefits it can hold for our field

What person would you say has had the biggest influence in your career?

The person who had the biggest influence in my career would have to be Dr. Charles Vigue, my genetics professor back at the University of New Haven.

If you could time-travel, what year would you go to and why?

I would go back to 1984 to experience Back to the Future in real time.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars.