AAFS Offers Young Forensic Scientists Scholarship


AAFS pic
Image: AAFS.org

An experienced forensic pathologist residing in Austin, Texas, Dr. Danielo Perez has provided services over the years to many counties in the state that don’t have medical examiners of their own. Committed to the advancement of his participation outside of his work in Austin, Dr. Danielo Perez is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists (AAFS).

The AAFS recently highlighted an opportunity for AAFS members and affiliates to travel for an international presentation at the Brazilian Academy of Forensic Sciences (BAFS) Second interFORENSICS Conference in May 2019. AAFS is offering the Young Forensic Scientists Scholarship, which will cover the cost of the trip, to student/trainee affiliates, as well as associate members and members who are 35 or younger.

Those interested can submit their 500-word or less applications in either English or Portuguese to the conference’s online portal at interforensics.com/en. A panel of AAFS/Forensic Sciences Foundation jurors will review all applications and choose three submissions to receive scholarship funding. The deadline for all applications is March 1, 2019 by 11:59 p.m. EST.


Avenues of Postmortem Toxicological Analysis


Forensic Pathologists pic
Forensic Pathologists
Image: bls.gov

With experience as a forensic pathologist in Austin, Texas, Dr. Danielo Perez has performed autopsies across rural communities in Central Texas that do not have their own medical examiner’s offices. In this capacity, Dr. Danielo Perez performed a number of duties, including toxicological analysis of blood and urine.

When undertaking drug testing among live patients, blood and urine samples are commonly analyzed in the lab. After death, similar tests present a number of challenges, including variable concentrations depending on the area of the body in which the chemical is found. Urine specimens can also be difficult to analyze when decomposition occurs.

While urine may be useful for initial tests, a drug’s presence does not always correlate with drug effects at the time of death. This has to do with the way the body takes an extended period to eliminate drugs and their metabolites through urine. Often, the presence of toxins in a urine sample is used to determine whether liver and stomach contents should be further tested.

Postmortem toxicology testing primarily involves the liver, where a majority of toxins and drugs are metabolized. Even when no traces of substances are found in the blood, they may still be concentrated in the liver (although forensic interpretation is often challenging). Another avenue of postmortem toxicology is the clear, gel-like vitreous humor, which is found in the eye and is particularly useful for determining blood alcohol concentration.

About NAME Accreditation

National Association of Medical Examiners pic
National Association of Medical Examiners
Image: thename.org

Austin, Texas resident Dr. Danielo Perez is an experienced forensic pathologist, a role in which he has conducted autopsies related to deaths that were unexplained, unnatural, or unattended. In addition to his work in Austin, Dr. Danielo Perez keeps up with emerging trends in the field and networks with his peers through membership in the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME).

In order to ensure high quality services in death investigations across the country, NAME has developed a comprehensive accreditation program. Accreditation is not for individual medical examiners, but instead evaluates an entire office’s standards and practices with an emphasis on the policies that govern its everyday activities. Accreditation is conducted on a peer-review basis in which fellow medical examiners offer evaluation, feedback, and suggestions for improvement.

In addition to standard accreditation, NAME also offers International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation in the ISO/IEC 17020 category in partnership with the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board. All accreditations are valid for a four-year period.

American Academy of Forensic Sciences – Membership Levels

 American Academy of Forensic Sciences pic
American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Image: aafs.org

Based in Austin, Texas, Danielo Perez is a forensic pathologist with experience working for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago. Danielo Perez belongs to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Established in 1948, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the forensic sciences.

There are three types of memberships available within AAFS. The first is a student affiliate membership. To become a student affiliate, the applicant must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program that would lend itself to a forensic science career. This status can be maintained for two additional years after graduation, and once a student affiliate gains employment in a forensic discipline, he or she is eligible to become a trainee affiliate.

Trainee affiliate status is granted to those who meet education requirements but do not yet have the experience required for the third status, associate member. Associate members must be actively engaged in the field and have made a significant contribution to the forensic science literature or they must have advanced forensic science in another way. They also must hold a degree from an accredited and approved university.

The Pathologist’s Role in Determining Cause of Death

Pathologist pic
Image: bls.gov

Dr. Danielo Perez is an Austin, Texas, professional with an extensive background as forensic pathologist. Experienced in unattended, unexplained, and unnatural deaths in Austin and Cook Counties, Dr. Danielo Perez has performed numerous autopsies.

The most critical task of the pathologist involves determining cause of death, which fulfills both legal obligations associated with the duties of law enforcement, and the needs of surviving family members. A focus is on whether natural causes were involved or if the death involved murder or foul play.

Aspects of death that are considered include basic questions as to whether the location or manner of death was out of the ordinary. Gun and knife wounds may be present, as well as other indications of a potentially unnatural death, from bruises to strangle marks.

Autopsies help determine a number of other critical factors, including the approximate time of death and details of the perpetrator, such as height, weight, and left- or right-handedness. These clues together create a cohesive narrative of the last moments of a person’s life and are a vital aid in cases where police investigations proceed further.

ASCP Prepares for 2018 Annual Meeting in Baltimore

American Society of Clinical Pathology pic
American Society of Clinical Pathology
Image: ascp.org

An Austin, Texas-based forensic pathologist, Dr. Danielo Perez received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, New York. The Austin resident has since worked to enhance his professional knowledge and skills through memberships in several organizations. Dr. Danielo Perez currently maintains membership in groups such as the American Academy of Forensic Scientists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Registration is now open for ASCP’s 2018 Annual Meeting. Pathologists and other laboratory professionals from across the country will attend the three-day event, which will take place October 3-5 in Baltimore. Highlights of the meeting include nearly 250 hours of education sessions organized into seven focus areas.

In addition to hearing from experts in the field, attendees can earn up to 22.5 continuing medical education credits. The meeting will also include networking activities and exhibits featuring the latest laboratory and pathology products and services.

Those planning to attend the ASCP Annual Meeting can take advantage of advanced registration discounts through September 5, 2018. Additional details are available at www.ascp.org.

The Benefits of Acupuncture

 Acupuncture pic
Image: webmd.com

An Austin resident and former forensic pathologist with Central Texas Autopsy, Danielo Perez holds a master of science from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an MD from SUNY Downstate Medical College. To complement his background in forensic pathology, Danielo Perez of Austin is currently taking acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine classes and plans to open an integrative medical practice.

Based on the concept that optimal health relies on a balance of energy in the body, acupuncture involves the strategic placement of fine needles into specific body locations. Before placing needles, a qualified acupuncturist will conduct a thorough health history assessment, as well as a physical exam that might include examining the tongue, feeling the pulse, and asking extensive questions about diet and lifestyle. Then, he or she will place needles in precise points on the body, where they remain for five to 20 minutes. Acupuncture has proven effective in alleviating symptoms such as low back pain, migraine headaches, and fibromyalgia, and can also be helpful in the treatment of emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.