West Virginia State University to Host Renowned Forensic Biologist Dr. Noelle Umback March 5

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Feb. 27, 2019
West Virginia State University to Host Renowned Forensic Biologist Dr. Noelle Umback March 5
Umback worked on DNA identification efforts following the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center
INSTITUTE, W.Va. –West Virginia State University (WVSU) will host a free lecture by Dr. Noelle J. Umback Tuesday, March 5, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Wallace Hall auditorium on the University’s Institute campus. Umback serves as a Criminalist with the New York City Office of Chief Medial Examiner and has worked on the DNA identification team for the World Trade Center project. 

In her lecture, Umback will speak on the use of DNA testing in crime solving.

“In recent years, forensic science has turned to PCR testing of DNA found using traditional body fluid identification and other investigative methods,” she said. “Once DNA profiles are developed, they can be used in several ways with modern databases to attempt to find the source of the DNA—that is, identify the perpetrator of the crime.” 

The ability of DNA to identify persons by linking them to known samples or family members has been used for approximately two decades at New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s Department of Forensic Biology (aka “the DNA Lab”).  These same techniques were used and fine-tuned during the recovery and identification efforts following the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001.

Umback has been with the Forensic Biology Department of the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner for nearly 18 years, starting as a Criminalist II in 2000, and has been a Criminalist IV since 2003. She has worked on thousands of criminal cases for the city including sexual assaults, homicides and burglaries.

Umback’s current assignment is administering the local CODIS database, part of the nationwide system of DNA databanks. She has spoken on forensic DNA-related topics to such varied groups as high school and college students, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Chemical Society, the New York City Police Department and juries citywide. She also served as a Commissioner for FEPAC, the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission, which accredits undergraduate and graduate level forensic science programs.

Umback is a native of South Dakota but has been in New York City since 1997. She has a bachelor’s degree in Professional Chemistry from South Dakota State University, a doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry from Colorado State University and is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics. 

FollowWest Virginia State Universityon Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
Scroll to Top