TU to receive $141,000 in federal funding for Forensic Chemistry Institute
Unique institute will train scientists in bomb analysis
TOWSON, Md. (Feb. 1, 2008)—U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (D-3), today announced that Towson University will receive $141,000 in federal funding to help establish the Forensic Chemistry Institute.
Towson University will partner with local, state, federal and private crime labs to create the Forensic Chemistry Institute, which will specialize in education, interdisciplinary research, training, testing and consulting in forensic science. The new institute will focus on training scientists in bomb analysis. Currently, there are only 100 bomb analysts in the nation.
Last year, Congress passed the America Competes Act to help fund or improve professional science master's (PSM) programs nationwide. Currently, Towson University is only one of four schools in the nation to offer a two-year professional science master's degree in forensic science. Towson also offers the only baccalaureate forensic chemistry degree in Maryland, focusing on DNA technology and analysis.
There is currently a serious lack of qualified forensic scientists in the nation, affecting law enforcement and homeland security. It is estimated that our nation needs 10,000 new forensic scientists to meet its homeland security and law enforcement needs over the next decade. The National Institute of Justice has estimated that 90% of DNA samples are awaiting lab analysis due to lack of trained personnel.
“We are fortunate in Maryland that Towson University is at the forefront of training forensic scientists who will be able to meet our nation’s homeland security and law enforcement needs,” said Senator Cardin. “I strongly support programs such as the Forensic Chemistry Institute because it is critical that we educate and train more scientists who will help keep our nation safe.”
“Towson University is one of our state's premier institutions of higher education,” said Rep. Sarbanes. “This federal funding will help Towson to stay on the cutting edge as advances are made in forensic science.”
“As Maryland’s growth campus, producing Maryland’s workforce, Towson University is educating the forensic scientists needed to meet the demands of law enforcement and homeland security,” stated President Caret. “These funds are an integral piece in creating the Forensic Chemistry Institute which will grow our program and training initiatives and further expand our relationships with federal, state, local and private partners.”