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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave ext. 6514
David Wald 609-292-4791

March 12, 2008

Forensic Scientist Appointed to head State Police Crime Lab

Trenton, N.J. – Howard Baum, the deputy director of the forensic biology laboratory in the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, has been appointed director of the New Jersey State Police Forensic Science Laboratory, Attorney General Anne Milgram and State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes announced today.

Baum, who lives in Randolph, is an expert on DNA analysis and a clinical assistant professor of forensics at New York University Medical Center. Baum is due to start at the New Jersey crime lab on Monday, March 17.

Baum, 50, has been responsible for the daily operations of the Department of Forensic Biology in the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office since September 2000, and provided technical leadership for the identification of those killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. He has worked for the medical examiner’s office since April 1990.

Baum was graduated from Cornell University in 1979 with a B.S. in biology and earned a PhD. in biochemistry from Brandeis University in 1986.

He was a research scientist at Lifecodes Corp. in Valhalla, NY, and an adjunct assistant professor in human genetics at New York Medical College in Valhalla.

“Dr. Baum’s extensive experience in law enforcement and his scientific background in forensic analysis makes him well qualified to run the New Jersey State Police DNA lab and help us solve crimes,’’ Attorney General Milgram said.

Colonel Fuentes said, “Dr. Baum brings with him a combination of competence and experience that I’m certain will compliment the professionalism that the Office of Forensic Sciences has established. I’m confident that his leadership will serve to advance their aggressive initiatives.’’

Baum succeeds Dr. Thomas Brettell, who retired in March 2007. Ajit Tungare, the assistant section supervisor, has been in charge of the lab in the interim.

The Office of Forensic Sciences is part of the New Jersey State Police Investigation Branch. The crime laboratories within the Office of Forensic Sciences achieved accreditation from The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors-Lab Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB) in October of 2003. ASCLD-LAB is a professional organization of crime laboratory directors dedicated to forensic science management.

The Office of Forensic Sciences is one of only four laboratories in the country to enter into a cooperative agreement with the FBI to analyze criminal evidence submitted from law enforcement agencies throughout the United States for mitochondrial DNA.

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