Criminalist Dr. Henry C. Lee to discuss Forensic Science Advances at WPI

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

February 15, 2002, Worcester, MA - Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will host a colloquium titled, "New Advances in Forensic Science, Utilization of Physical Evidence in Solving Crime," on Wednesday, February 20 at 4 p.m. in Olin Hall, room 107. Featured speaker and forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee will discuss recent technological advances that rely on science to solve crimes. He will also highlight his research, which covers more than 25 years and 1,000 cases, including the high-profile trials of William Kennedy Smith and O.J. Simpson.

Dr. Lee has provided expert testimony and worked on numerous major case investigations, including the Value Jet accident, Jon-Benet Ramsey homicide, the fire at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, and the suicide of White House aide Vincent Foster. Dr. Lee helped develop research methods to extract and analyze DNA from human bones. The technique has been used to identify bodies of U.S. soldiers recovered in Vietnam.

Some of his other milestones include helping identify the remains of war victims recovered from a Bosnian mass grave, locating and identifying one-thousandth of a human body in Connecticut's Woodchipper murder case, and serving as a forensic expert for 30 countries. He even has a laboratory in his home basement.

Originally from Taiwan, where he received a degree in Police Science from the elite Taiwan Central Police College, Dr. Lee was one of the country's youngest police captains. He obtained a BS in Forensic Science from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an MS in Science and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University. In 1978 Dr. Lee assumed the Program Chairmanship of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, Connecticut and established it as one of the world's most premier training programs in forensic science. Dr. Lee held the position of Director and Chief Criminalist of the Connecticut State Police Crime Laboratory for nearly 20 years. Since 2000 he has served as Commissioner of the Connecticut State Police in the Department of Public Safety and is presently Chief Emeritus of the Department's Division of Scientific Services.

About WPI

Founded in 1865, WPI was a pioneer in technological higher education. Early on, it developed an influential curriculum that balanced theory and practice. Since 1970, that philosophy has been embodied in an innovative outcomes-oriented undergraduate program. With a network of project centers that spans the globe, WPI is also the leader in globalizing technological education. WPI awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, most of WPI's academic departments offer master's and doctoral programs and support leading edge research in a broad range of areas. WPI's approach to education has prepared generations of problem solvers whose new ideas and inventions have literally changed the world. They include Robert Goddard '08, father of modern rocketry, Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety systems; Richard T. Whitcomb, formulator the Area Rule and developer the supercritical wing, and Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump, and the stair-climbing wheelchair.