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

PhD, University of California, Irvine
MS, Southern Methodist University
BS, 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 Chobanian and Avedisian 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.

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

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

Chemistry to prevent forensic sample contamination
11/01/2022 - 01/31/2024 (Subcontract PI)
Physical Sciences, Inc. Dept of Defense

Establishing Exclusion Criteria and the Significance of Inclusion: Developing Tools for the Interpretation of Complex DNA Mixtures
01/01/2015 - 09/30/2018 (PI)
Department of Justice/NIJ


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

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.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Bemelmans EA, Cotton RW, Brodeur AN. Effects of decomposition on the recoverability of biological fluid evidence. Int J Legal Med. 2022 Sep; 136(5):1201-1210.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35355113
  2. Lynch PC, Cotton RW. Determination of the possible number of genotypes which can contribute to DNA mixtures: Non-computer assisted deconvolution should not be attempted for greater than two person mixtures. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2018 11; 37:235-240. PMID: 30261423
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. 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;
  6. 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;
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
Showing 10 of 17 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 17 publications over 14 distinct years, with a maximum of 4 publications in 1990

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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