Photo of David Foran

David Foran, PhD


1988 PhD, University of Michigan
1981 BA, Kalamazoo College


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David Foran is the coordinator of the Forensic Biology concentration, housed within the School of Criminal Justice, and with ties to departments throughout the University.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, is on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Forensic Sciences, and is court qualified as an expert on both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA profiling. He obtained his PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Michigan, and was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University in Montreal. He became a research associate at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and then an assistant professor in the Forensic Science Department at the George Washington University in Washington DC, where he developed the forensic biology laboratory. He came to Michigan State in 2002, founding the Forensic Biology Laboratory and graduate track, and was Program Director from 2004-2018. The Forensic Science Program at MSU is the nation's oldest and is widely regarded as one of the finest. Its graduates go on to work in private, regional, state and federal crime laboratories, including the FBI, ATF, and numerous other agencies. Dr. Foran’s area of expertise is forensic biology, with an accent on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis of both humans and domestic and wildlife species. He and his graduate students aid a variety of local, state, and federal agencies with specialized casework, are advisors to the Michigan Innocence Project, and conduct research on historical cases of broad interest.


Next-Generation Sequencing of the Bacterial 16S rRNA Gene for Forensic Soil Comparison: A Feasibility Study

Year: In press Authors: EM Jesmok, JM Hopkins, and DR Foran Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences

Osteological and Molecular Identification of Brucellosis in Ancient Butrint, Albania

Year: 2012 Authors: MJ Mutolo, LL Jenny, AR Buszek, TW Fenton and DR Foran Journal: American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Investigative Studies into the Recovery of DNA from Improvised Explosive Device Containers

Year: 2012 Authors: SG Hoffman, SE Stallworth and DR Foran Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences

The Conviction of Dr. Crippen: New Forensic Findings in a Century Old Murder

Year: 2010 Authors: DR Foran, BE Wills, BM Kiley, CB Jackson and JH Trestrail Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences