Erik Frazure – Alumnus Spotlight

Section Chief of the Controlled Substance Analysis, Mississippi Crime Laboratory


Hometown: Kosciusko, MS
BS in Forensic Chemistry (2001)


Why and when did you decide to study forensic chemistry?
Science related subjects were always my favorite classes throughout my academic career.  I made my decision to major in forensic chemistry during my senior year of high school.  I read The Double Helix by James Watson for A.P. Biology which grew my interest in science even more.  The idea of using science such as DNA analysis to help solve crimes made forensic science the ideal major.  I would ultimately focus more toward chemistry instead of biology as I enjoyed it more.  I chose forensic chemistry at Ole Miss as it geared the program more towards the chemistry related forensic fields. 

What were some favorite memories from your time at UM?
Some of my best memories were setting around Coulter Hall getting impromptu talks one the history of the chemistry department from Dr. William Scott and Dr. Charles Hussey. 

Please describe your career path since graduation.
Upon graduating I joined the Mississippi Crime Laboratory in June of 2003.  I was trained in the field of controlled substance analysis in which I have worked as a forensic scientist for 19+ years.

Since 2015, I have served as the Section Chief of the Controlled Substance Analysis.  As well as overseeing the section I analyze items of evidence for the presence of controlled substance for law enforcement agencies around the state.  I also testify to my results in various municipal, state and federal courts.

What is the value of studying forensic chemistry in today’s world?
The forensic chemistry program provides you with foundational knowledge you can carry forth into employment in the field of forensic science.  It qualifies you for fields such as controlled substance, toxicology, trace analysis, latent prints, and firearms.  This gives you many options when looking for employment from the analytical side to the criminalistics side of forensic science.