DiZinno & Falsetti receive funding for national center to increase numbers of medical examiners & coroners

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Joseph DiZinno, Associate Professor, Forensic Science Program, and Anthony Falsetti, Associate Professor, Forensic Science Program, received $2,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice for a project aimed at:

  • Providing medico-legal learning opportunities for medical students to train as deputy medical examiners/coroners in underserved rural areas;
  • Providing forensic science and legal training to district attorneys, judges, and law enforcement;
  • Developing opportunities, as appropriate, among the designated partners to benefit current and future practitioners in the field.

Mason, in partnership with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and Law and the Montana Forensic Science Division and the Team’s affiliates, the University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Law (UW), will first conduct a needs assessment of medical examiners/coroners, prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement, including those in rural areas, to identify gaps in forensic science and legal training. Next, the Team will use this data to work closely with its team members and affiliates to develop trainings for medical students and doctors and legal training to district attorneys, judges, and law enforcement in order to develop opportunities, as appropriate, among the designated partners to benefit current and future medical examiners, coroners, prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement personnel.

“George Mason University is honored to partner with the National Institute of Justice and our partners and affiliates to serve as a national resource to raise awareness about and address the shortage of Medical Examiners and Coroners particularly in rural areas. By increasing the number of forensic pathologists and by training the Medical Examiner, Coroner, and Legal communities, the National Center on Forensics will directly impact the criminal justice system’s ability to determine if crimes have been committed and ensure that the guilty are held accountable and the innocent are not unfairly charged or convicted,” DiZinno said.

Funding for this project began in January 2021 and will end in late December 2023.

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About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at http://www.gmu.edu.

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