Murrell Godfrey

Murrell Godfrey, Director of the Forensic Chemistry Program & Associate Professor

Murrell Godfrey, Director of the Forensic Chemistry Program & Associate Professor

Director of the Forensic Chemistry Program & Associate Professor

115 Coulter Hall
662-915-5143  |  mgodfrey@olemiss.edu

EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
B.S., Dillard University (New Orleans), 1994
Ph.D., University of Mississippi, 2003

RESEARCH INTERESTS
Drug Analysis, Mechanism of drug-nucleic acid interactions, nucleic acid chemistry

RESEARCH SUMMARY
Forensics is a rapidly expanding field that offers a variety of professional career options. A Bachelor of Science degree in forensic chemistry affords students the flexibility needed to launch an exciting and secure career in federal, state, or local labs associated with crime labs and medical examiner’s offices. Other job opportunities for forensic chemists lie in industrial and environmental positions or other fields of forensic science, academia, and administration. A professional forensic chemist is someone who runs tests on evidence found at a crime scene, which is essential for solving crimes. This evidence may include cloth fibers, hair, fingernails, paint chips, glass fragments, blood stains, or other bodily fluids. Characterization of evidence requires extensive knowledge in chemistry, biology, and genetics. As the director of forensic chemistry, I oversee the direction of the Forensic Chemistry Program. My administrative duties include revising the program’s curriculum as needed, recruiting and retaining the brightest young minds, developing students’ research skills through the use of high-tech analytical techniques from optical methods (ultra violet/visible, infrared, X-ray) and separation analyses (gas chromatography, HPLC, and thin-layer chromatography), and providing majors with academic and career advising. A master’s degree in forensic chemistry is being planned.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION
2016 Black History Month Diversity Award for Excellence (Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning)
2016 Kenneth S. Field Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Service to the American Academy of Forensic Science Staff
Director of Forensic Chemistry Program (Fall 2015-present)
Forensic Science Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) Commissioner: Selected December 2015 (term: January 2016–January 2021)
South East Chair of NOBCChE (July 2015-present)
American Academy of Forensic Science CSI Camp: Invited host (2015)
American Academy of Forensic Science Forensic Teachers Workshop: Invited host (2015)
FEPAC on-site evaluator: Invited (2015 and 2014)
Vice-President of The Mississippi School for Math and Science Board (2013–present)
Lucky Day Fellow (2012-present)
Distinguished Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (2004)

REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS
Wilstermann, A. M.; Bender, R. P.; Godfrey, M.; Choi, S.; Anklin, C.; Berkowitz, D. B.; Osheroff, N.; Graves, D. E., “Topoisomerase II-drug interaction domains: Identification of substituents on etoposide that interact with the enzyme,” Biochemistry 2007, 46, 8217-8225.

Godfrey M.; Graves. D.E. “Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of a Novel Ethidium-DNA Adduct.” February 2004. (invited 2004 submission to Chemical Research in Toxicology).