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UTEP lab science program pushes forensic study

UTEP students are pushing the boundaries of forensic science at the university’s Clinical Laboratory Science program.

Led by Doctor Lorraine Torres, students hone their skills using sophisticated molecular diagnostic techniques and analyzing the remains of body fluids, tissues, and other samples to discover the truth about a person’s life or the circumstances surrounding their death.

“They have the skills, they have the internships, they have the knowledge to be able to actually go out and be employed,” said Dr. Torres. “To go out and actually help the community right away.”

The program has grown in popularity as the importance and potential of forensic investigations has become more publicized through tv shows and movies.

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the forensic workforce is growing quickly with a 13% increase needed for trained laboratory technicians.

“We literally staff virtually all of the hospitals in this area with technologists,” said Dr. Jacen Moore. “One of the things that we find is that our students are continually prepared to move up into management and even directorate positions.”

The forensic sciences present benefits in both the medicinal and law enforcement field.

That field is especially important to wrongfully accused men and women like Brandon Moon.

Moon spent 17 years behind bars before a new round of DNA testing proved that he did not commit the 1987 rape for which he was arrested.

Moon had previously been a sophomore at UTEP when he was falsely connected to the sexual assault of a woman as she brought groceries into her home.

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