Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Bruce Budowle

Beto Chair

Bruce Budowle of the University of North Texas featured in Beto Chair lecture on bioterrorism and microbial forensics.

Mon, Sep 15, 2014
9:30 - 11:00 A.M.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Dr. Bruce Budowle in the lab.
Dr. Bruce Budowle
The College of Criminal Justice will host Dr. Bruce Budowle, Professor and Executive Director of the Institute of Applied Genetics of the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center's Institute of Investigative Genetics and Vice Chair of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics. He will discuss "Bioterrorism and Microbial Forensics."

Before joining the Health Science Center, Budowle spent 26 years, including as a senior scientist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, D.C. He was a principal advisor in efforts to identify victims from the World Trade Center attack in 2001 and helped establish a mitochondrial DNA sequencing program to enable high-throughput sequencing of human remains.

Illustration of DNA matches.
Dr. Budowle is one of the architects of the CODIS DNA database.
Budowle's commitment to helping families resolve missing persons cases led him to UNT to collaborate with Health Science Center researchers and advance the knowledge and use of forensics and DNA to improve the health and safety of the world's population. Budowle also helped establish the DNA-ProKids initiative to identify missing children on an international scale. For his efforts, Dr. Budowle recently was named a Health Care Hero by the Dallas Business Journal.

Over the past decade, Dr. Budowle’s research has focused on counterterrorism, specifically efforts involving microbial forensics and bioterrorism. He was involved directly in the scientific aspects of the anthrax letters investigation and has been one of the architects of the field of microbial forensics. As chair of the Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genetics and Forensics, which was hosted by the FBI, Dr. Budowle was charged with setting up quality assurance guidelines, developing criteria for biologic and user databases, setting criteria for a National Repository, and developing forensic genomic applications. He currently serves on other government working groups related to microbial forensics.

Biohazardous material in laboratory bottles.Dr. Budowle has contributed to the fundamental sciences as they apply to forensics in analytical development, population genetics, statistical interpretation of evidence, and in quality assurance. He was one of the original architects of the CODIS National Database, which maintains DNA profiles from convicted felons as well as evidence from unsolved case and missing person cases.

In addition to authoring or co-authoring books on molecular biology techniques, electrophoresis, protein detection, and microbial forensics, Dr. Budowle has published nearly 540 articles; made more than 650 presentations at national and international meetings; and testified in well over 250 criminal cases in the areas of molecular biology, population genetics, statistics, quality assurance, and forensic biology. He continues to focus on the areas of human forensic identification, microbial forensics, and emerging infectious disease.

Man in biohazard suit holds bag of hazardous material.Some of his technical efforts have included developing analytical assays for typing myriad protein genetic marker systems; designing electro- phoretic instru- mentation; developing molecular biology analytical systems to include RFLP typing of VNTR loci and PCR-based SNP assays, VNTR and STR assays, direct sequencing methods for mitochondrial DNA; and developing new technologies, such as next generation sequencing.

Dr. Budowle has been directly involved in developing quality assurance (QA) standards for the forensic DNA field. Dr. Budowle has been a chair and member of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Methods, Chair of the DNA Commission of the International Society of Forensic Genetics, and a member of the DNA Advisory Board.

Dr. Budowle received a Ph.D. in Genetics in 1979 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From 1979-1982, Dr. Budowle was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Working under a National Cancer Institute fellowship, he carried out research predominately on genetic risk factors for diseases such as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, melanoma, and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Member of The Texas State University System