Expert Available to Talk About DNA Forensics, Cases Making Headlines


Newswise — An internationally recognized expert and consultant in DNA forensics, Dr. Greg Hampikian played a crucial, high-profile role in the exoneration last October of Amanda Knox, the American student tried and convicted of killing her roommate in 2007 while living and studying in Perugia, Italy.

He is involved in two additional murder cases that are making headlines this week. His testing of DNA evidence more than 30 years old has raised doubts about convicted murderer Carlton Gary’s guilt in Georgia, where attorneys are asking for a new trial. His work also has contributed to the expected release this week of Michael Hash, who has served 12 years for capital murder in Virginia.

Hampikian’s ability to clearly explain the basics of DNA forensics, as well as his contribution to Knox’s case, made him a sought-after guest on national news shows and outlets, including CNN, Good Morning America and Nightline. He is available to discuss the different types of DNA, how they are used in criminal investigations, and why DNA is such a powerful “truth-teller” in diverse applications from determining genetic heritage to freeing those wrongly accused of murder.

Dr. Hampikian is a professor with joint appointments in the departments of Biological Sciences and Criminal Justice at Boise State University, where his lab works on cases from Pocatello, Idaho, to Perugia, Italy and is developing new technology to improve forensic DNA. His specialty in cold case DNA has helped free 10 prisoners, and led to new arrests of true perpetrators decades after the crime. Hampikian is the author of “Exit to Freedom” with Calvin Johnson Jr., which tells the story of Johnson’s exoneration after 17 years in prison. He also serves as the director of the Idaho Innocence Project.

To learn more about his work, visit http://www.boisestate.edu/research/

Learn more about Hampikian’s work at http://beyondtheblue.boisestate.edu/home/page/3/, where he discusses his DNA research. Boise State’s award-winning website of podcast presentations on a wide range of relevant topics features a number of Boise State University faculty experts. Visit http://beyondtheblue.boisestate.edu/.

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