Governor Abbott Appoints Four To Texas Forensic Science Commission

April 4, 2019 | Austin, Texas | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Patrick Buzzini, Ph.D. and reappointed Bruce Budowle, Ph.D., Nancy Downing, Ph.D., and Jasmine Drake, Ph.D. to the Texas Forensic Science Commission for terms set to expire on September 1, 2020. The commission provides oversight over Texas crime laboratories and other entities conducting forensic analyses for use in criminal proceedings and provides an accreditation mandate responsible for establishing procedures, policies, and practices to improve the quality of forensic analyses conducted in Texas.

Patrick Buzzini, Ph.D. of Spring is an associate professor in forensic science at Sam Houston State University. He is chair of the criminalistics section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a member of the National Organization of Scientific Areas Committees for Standards Development in Forensic Science and the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners Education Committee. Buzzini received a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in forensic science from the Forensic Science Institute from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Bruce Budowle, Ph.D. of North Richland Hills is director of the Center for Human Identification and professor in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Genetics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Previously, he served as a senior scientist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Quantico, VA and is a member of the International Society of Forensic Genetics. Budowle received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from King College and a Doctor of Philosophy in genetics from Virginia Tech.

Nancy Downing, Ph.D. of Bryan is an associate professor at Texas A&M University College of Nursing and a forensic nurse at Baylor, Scott & White Hospital in College Station and in Temple. She is on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Forensic Nurses and member of the campus sexual assault and research committees. Additionally, she is a member of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honors Society, Brazos County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Brazos Valley Trafficking and Exploitation Awareness Network, and Brazos County Sexual Assault Response Team. Downing received a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in nursing from the University of Iowa.

Jasmine Drake, Ph.D. of Houston is an assistant professor and graduate program director at Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs in the Department of Administration of Justice. Previously, she served as an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice in the Department of Forensic Science. Additionally, she served as a forensic chemist at the Drug Enforcement Administration South Central Laboratory in Dallas, and is a criminalistics section member for the American Academy of Forensic Science. Drake received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Southern University and a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from Louisiana State University.

These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.