Robert E. Gaensslen, PhD, Named Gradwohl Laureate by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Thursday, February 16, 2017 General News
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) presented Robert

E. Gaensslen, PhD, with the prestigious Gradwohl Medallion as a Gradwohl Laureate on Feb. 15 during the Academy's 69th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Gaensslen
joins an elite group of only 14 Academy members who have received this honor since its establishment in 1974. The award is given to an AAFS Fellow who has attained distinction for exceptional contributions to the field of forensic science, including outstanding service to the AAFS and outstanding service in a public position.

Recognized as one of the most highly regarded experts in the field of forensic serology, Gaensslen has served AAFS and the forensic community for more than 45 years. He is an expert in biological evidence examination, DNA forensic technology, and forensic laboratory approaches in the criminal justice system. He served as Professor of Forensic Science and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago for 15 years, where he became Professor Emeritus in 2011.

Gaensslen is an accomplished author and researcher who has coauthored seven books; coauthored nine chapters in edited volumes; and published more than 85 articles in refereed scientific literature. He has also organized, coordinated, and participated in dozens of workshops and training courses for forensic science laboratory and law enforcement personnel.

Gaensslen obtained his Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame and his PhD from Cornell University. He was elected into AAFS membership in the Criminalistics Section in 1977; was promoted to member in 1978, and honored as Fellow in 1980. He served as chairman of the AAFS Criminalistics Section and served on the Long-Term Planning Committee from 1992 to 1999. Gaensslen served as Editor of the AAFS Journal of Forensic Sciences from 1992 to 2002 and currently serves as Editor Emeritus. He has additionally served as a commissioner on the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission since 2011.

The Academy also honored Peter R. De Forest, DCrim, as Distinguished Fellow, an honor recognizing Academy members who have given a lifetime of service to the forensic science profession and to the Academy. De Forest, Fellow in the Criminalistics Section, served as Professor of Criminalistics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, where he taught for 38 years. Prior to joining the faculty, he worked in several laboratories, starting with the Ventura County Sheriff's Crime Laboratory in Ventura, California, in 1960.

De Forest earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminalistics and a Doctor of Criminology in Criminalistics from the University of California, Berkeley, under Dr. Paul L. Kirk. In addition to his university teaching and research activities, he also served as a scientific consultant and expert witness for police departments, prosecutors' offices, municipal law departments, public defender agencies, and private attorneys in criminal and civil casework in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. De Forest was elected into membership in the Criminalistics Section in 1970 and was promoted to Fellow in 1974.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multidisciplinary professional organization providing leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. The objectives of the Academy are to promote professionalism, integrity, competency, and education, and to foster research, improve practice, and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences.

Organized in 1948, AAFS serves a distinguished and diverse membership of more than 6,700 forensic science professionals who are the focal point for public information when forensic science issues are addressed in the public domain. AAFS publishes the internationally recognized Journal of Forensic Sciences. For more information, visit


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SOURCE The American Academy of Forensic Sciences


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