Forensic science lecture series opens with former DEA forensic chemist

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public are invited to a free lecture, "Forensic Science: The Real CSI," on Aug. 30 by Sanford A. Angelos, retired Sanford A. Angelos, retired senior forensic chemist for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The event is the first of a series of presentations on forensic science, criminal justice, and crime fiction. The 2010 Forensic Science Lecture Series will feature four leaders within the forensic-science field. All lectures are free and will be held on Mondays from 12:20 to 1:10 p.m. in 111 Wartik Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus.

Angelos will describe how forensic scientists use chemistry to analyze and track illicitly manufactured substances such as methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and phencyclidine -- PCP. His lecture will include a detailed explanation of how law-enforcement personnel must receive rigorous training to enter and handle clandestine drug labs.

In addition to his 30-year service as senior forensic chemist for the DEA, Angelos has taught a general forensic-science course at Columbia College of Chicago for over 20 years, and he has presented and published numerous papers at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. He has worked on hundreds of illicit-substance cases, including an FBI case with over 50 defendants involving a PCP drug lab and a major gang case involving crack cocaine. Since his 'retirement,' he has worked as a forensic-science specialist with the Department of Justice International Criminal Investigation Training Assistance Program, and he has lectured to forensic scientists in Colombia, Thailand, and Uzbekistan. In addition, he has worked with the Department of State, the Bureau of International Narcotics, and law enforcement agencies in Armenia and the Republic of Georgia. He has been the chairman of both the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society and the Criminalistics Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Angelos earned master's degrees in both education and criminalistics in 1985 and 1975, respectively, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1972, also at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Penn State 2010 Forensic Science Lecture Series is sponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science. For more information, contact the Forensic Science Program at 814-863-6758 or e-mail


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Last Updated January 09, 2015