Photo: SB Newswire

Candice Bridge has had a remarkable career. At the age of 25, she was one of the first people to earn a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry with a focus on forensic science. She also became the first black female chemistry instructor at both of her alma maters, Howard University and the University of Central Florida. Although those accomplishments were great, her biggest one yet might be earning a $324,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice. The grant will allow Bridge to create new forensic science techniques to help law enforcement in sexual assault investigations. 

The grant will offer Bridge the opportunity to work with tools that are only available to the FBI and a select number of federal and state forensic laboratories. Using these tools, she will determine alternative ways to identify a rape suspect outside of DNA. Bridge noted the importance of this line of research in a press release, stating “It’s an important line of research that has become even more important as rapists attempt to elude capture by covering their DNA tracks after an assault."

In addition to the grant from the National Justice Institute, she also has received a service contract with the public defender's office in Orlando. Under the contract, she will help the public defender's office create a website that will serve as a tool to educate prosecution and defense attorneys on forensic science analysis. The goal is to help the court system better understand forensic science and its limitations. 

Congratulations to Bridge, who has made her mark in the world and has been given the opportunity to do more with this grant!

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