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Case Of The Dream Job

 

 
It’s a dream job for Jason Kolowski ’98 but a criminal’s worst nightmare.As a criminalist in the forensic biology lab at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, Kolowski examines evidence collected in violent crimes, looking for stains that could be body fluids. He extracts the DNA from the stain. After the DNA is tested, the findings can assist in prosecuting suspects.

“We see very interesting items cycle through the lab every day as evidence, from entire drywall segments from apartments, to a single cotton swab taken from a dried drop of blood,” he says. “We also examine our fair share of bloody weapons, shoes, table legs, sheets, towels, and clothing.”

The lab is part of a nationwide DNA database detailing criminals and coordinated by the FBI. Databases of New York City criminals have also been in use at the lab, linking criminals to multiple crime scenes and solving open cases.

Kolowski is pursuing a master’s degree in forensic science/criminalistics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of the City University of New York. He plans to seek a PhD in human genetics/molecular biology or attend medical school — or both. “My long-term plans include either applying my forensic DNA background in the lab with future research to advance the forensic community, or work as a medical examiner performing autopsies,” he says.

He is engaged to Stacy Markus ’98, a student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.
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