Robin Cotton, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Anatomy & Neurobiology

PhD, University of California, Irvine
MS, Southern Methodist University



Dr. Cotton is the Director of the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Program and teaches courses in Forensic DNA Analysis. She is an expert in the fields of DNA identification and analysis of biological evidence, whereby she has testified in over 200 cases – including numerous high profile cases – around the country. In October of 2006 Dr. Cotton joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine to be the Director of the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Program. Dr. Cotton comes to the University from the Orchid Cellmark Laboratories in Germantown, Maryland where she was the Laboratory Director. She received her Ph.D in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California at Irvine and then she completed post-doctoral research with Dr. Roger Chalkley at the University of Iowa.

Her Expertise include: Forensic DNA testing of evidence in criminal cases; DNA extraction methods and DNA separation via capillary electrophoresis; Interpretation of forensic DNA data when only small amounts are available.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Cotton RW, Fisher MB. Review: Properties of sperm and seminal fluid, informed by research on reproduction and contraception. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2015 Sep; 18:66-77. PMID: 25817211; DOI: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2015.03.009;.
  2. Hennekens CM, Cooper ES, Cotton RW, Grgicak CM. The effects of differential extraction conditions on the premature lysis of spermatozoa. J Forensic Sci. 2013 May; 58(3):744-52.View Related Profiles. PMID: 23550664; DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.12098;.
  3. Bregu J, Conklin D, Coronado E, Terrill M, Cotton RW, Grgicak CM. Analytical thresholds and sensitivity: establishing RFU thresholds for forensic DNA analysis. J Forensic Sci. 2013 Jan; 58(1):120-9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 23130820; DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.12008;.
  4. Grgicak CM, Urban ZM, Cotton RW. Investigation of reproducibility and error associated with qPCR methods using Quantifiler® Duo DNA quantification kit. J Forensic Sci. 2010 Sep; 55(5):1331-9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 20629910; DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01460.x;.
  5. Horsman KM, Hickey JA, Cotton RW, Landers JP, Maddox LO. Development of a human-specific real-time PCR assay for the simultaneous quantitation of total genomic and male DNA. J Forensic Sci. 2006 Jul; 51(4):758-65. PMID: 16882216.
  6. Cotton RW, Word CJ. Commentary on: Thompson WC, Taroni F, Aitken CGG. How the probability of a false positive affects the value of DNA evidence. J Forensic Sci 2003;48(1):47-54. J Forensic Sci. 2003 Sep; 48(5):1200; author reply 1202. PMID: 14535702.
  7. Walsh DJ, Corey AC, Cotton RW, Forman L, Herrin GL, Word CJ, Garner DD. Isolation of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from saliva and forensic science samples containing saliva. J Forensic Sci. 1992 Mar; 37(2):387-95. PMID: 1500889.
  8. Cotton RW, Forman L, Word CJ. Research on DNA typing validated in the literature. Am J Hum Genet. 1991 Oct; 49(4):898-903. PMID: 1897533; PMCID: PMC1683188.
  9. Tonelli LA, Markowicz KR, Anderson MB, Green DJ, Herrin GL, Cotton RW, Dykes DD, Garner DD. Use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fingerprints for identity determination: comparison with traditional paternity testing methods--Part I. J Forensic Sci. 1990 Nov; 35(6):1265-9. PMID: 2262765.
  10. Markowicz KR, Tonelli LA, Anderson MB, Green DJ, Herrin GL, Cotton RW, Gottschall JL, Garner DD. Use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fingerprints for identity determination: comparison with traditional paternity testing methods--Part II. J Forensic Sci. 1990 Nov; 35(6):1270-6. PMID: 2124609.
Showing 10 of 13 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 13 publications over 12 distinct years, with a maximum of 2 publications in 1990

YearPublications
19801
19811
19881
19902
19911
19921
20031
20061
20101
20121
20131
20151
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Forensic DNA Analysis
Molecular Biology

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Advisor
  • Career Mentor
  • Project Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:


72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)
Boston MA 02118
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