Forensic Molecular Biology instructor
Department of Forensic Science
Sarah Seashols received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the College of William & Mary. She graduated from VCU in 2003 with a Master’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice, specializing in Forensic Science, and in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from VCU.
Seashols is an instructor in Forensic Science at VCU, teaching several of the forensic biology track upper-level courses. She started her career in forensic molecular biology when she was appointed to a forensic biology fellowship with the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine in 2002. Upon the successful completion of the fellowship, she worked as a forensic scientist for the Virginia Department of Forensic Science until 2007. As an examiner in Forensic Biology, Seashols performed serological and STR DNA analyses on hundreds of cases.
Prior to her specialization in Forensic Biology, Seashols started her research career as an undergraduate Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant recipient at William & Mary, performing molecular biology research in endocrinology. Upon graduation from William & Mary, she performed molecular biology and biochemistry research in lipid homeostasis in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology on the MCV campus of VCU.
Seashols' research interests include body fluid identification using both standard and novel molecular methods, including Raman Spectroscopy, microRNA and mRNA analysis, as well as optimization of DNA extraction and quantitation methods.
Seashols has presented original research at conferences and in poster sessions, and has taught forensic biology related introduction and refresher courses for law enforcement personnel. She has testified as an expert witness in forensic biology in several circuit courts in the state of Virginia. She has publications in molecular biology and biochemistry, has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists since 2004, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.