Graduate Assistant

Justina NicholsJustina Nichols received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Forensic Biology. She will obtain her Master of Science in Forensic Biology degree from Thomas Jefferson University in the spring of 2022. Her thesis research focuses on testing a device designed to better separate epithelial and sperm cell fractions compared to traditional methods for sexual assault samples. This could lead the improvement of single source profile generation techniques and increased lab efficiency.

Currently, Justina serves as a Research Scientist and Graduate Assistant at the CFSRE. As a Research Scientist, she assists others in the CFSRE by completing laboratory testing and undergoing preliminary analysis of the data. In addition to this, she helps to complete instrument maintenance to prevent downstream issues from occurring. Some of the studies she has worked on at CFSRE involve comparing the amount of DNA able to be collected using various devices and the quality of STR profiles generated from each product. As a Graduate Assistant, she is responsible for assisting with laboratory set up such as putting together mock cases comparable to what Forensic Scientists would see in the field. In addition to this, she acts as a resource to ensure students understand the techniques being introduced to them and are prepared to enter the field of Forensic Biology.