Introduction to Research - Dr. Roy
Dr. Reena Roy received her doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska in 1981 and, after completing two years of post-doctoral research, she joined the Nebraska State Patrol Criminalistics Laboratory where she worked for fifteen years as the supervisor of the forensic biology section. Since 1983, she has worked on numerous forensic cases containing biological evidence and has testified more than one hundred times in courts in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. Her analysis and testimony was crucial in many high profile cases including the triple homicide that was made into a movie called "Boys Don't Cry". The ease with which she explains difficult science to the jury was documented in a book called All She Wanted. She has been featured in Unsolved Mystery and other television programs. For her role in solving violent crimes, Dr. Roy has received numerous awards.
The analysis of nuclear DNA from challenged, degraded, compromised, and environmentally insulted samples has been the main focus of Dr. Roy’s research at The Pennsylvania State University. This has involved working with low template DNA from various simulated casework type samples. Graduate and undergraduate students in Dr. Roy’s research group pursue various independent projects mainly in forensic DNA analysis. In the past five years she has mentored six graduate students in their research projects. Prospective students interested in joining Dr. Roy’s research group are encouraged to contact her for further information.
In 1999, she was hired by the St. Louis County Police to start a DNA program in their crime laboratory. As the DNA Technical Leader in St. Louis, Dr. Roy established the DNA section and was instrumental in getting the St. Louis County Police Crime Laboratory accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). When Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska offered her the opportunity to teach in their graduate program in forensic science she traveled to Lincoln on weekends to meet with her students and taught forensic biology and forensic DNA analysis methods. She was invited to participate in several workshops for teachers provided by the St. Louis University and remains active in the Forensic Science Educators Conference.
Dr. Roy is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is a past member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, and the Association of Forensic DNA Analysts and Administrators. She is a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), and is a past member of the Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers. She actively participated in DNA Forensic Technical Working Group, an organization sponsored by the National Institute of Justice.
During her tenure as a forensic scientist Dr. Roy pursued research in the area of protein polymorphism and DNA analysis as they applied to forensic biology evidence. She has authored and coauthored numerous papers in the area of RNA, protein polymorphism, forensic DNA analysis and presented seminars in Finland, Australia, France, Spain, and Norway as well in many forensic science conferences in the United States.
Dr. Roy's passion lies in literature, music, traveling, and plants. She has published several short stories and someday hopes to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro one more time.