Moses S. Schanfield

Moses Schanfield
Somers Residence Hall
2100 Foxhall Road, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20007
[email protected]

Dr. Schanfield is a professor of forensic science. He came to George Washington University from the Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory, in Rochester, NY, where he was director of a full service regional crime laboratory serving eight counties in upstate New York and a population of approximately 1.25 million. Prior to that, Dr. Schanfield was the director of Analytical Genetic Testing Center, Inc. in Denver, Co., a private forensic laboratory that was on the forefront of developing DNA technology for forensic science, and was involved with many of the early forensic DNA cases. Dr. Schanfield serves on GW committees, the editorial board of the journal Human Biology, is a founding member of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics, and the International Society of Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS), is on the permanent program committee of the ISABS educational conference, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences,  as well as numerous other organizations in anthropology, genetics and forensic science. Professor Schanfield teaches population genetics to forensic science, biology and anthropology students at GW and from the consortium of colleges in Washington, DC, Introduction to Forensic Science FORS 2104W a writing in discipline course for undergraduates, and Forensic Molecular Biology 1 to students in the FMB program.

Dr. Schanfield has testified more than 115 times in state courts (40 states including Maryland and Virginia), federal court, military courts, in Barbados, Canada and Puerto Rico. He has testified on the subjects of forensic parentage testing, population genetics, forensic testing, DNA and non-DNA forensic evidence and firearms. Dr. Schanfield has testified in many of the early forensic DNA cases that have been reviewed by appellate courts. This does not include the large number of civilian paternity cases that he has testified in since 1973.

Dr. Schanfield's major accomplishments include being a founding organizer of the First European-American Intensive Course in PCR Based Clinical and Forensic Testing, SplitCroatia (1997) which is now the  ISABS Course in Forensic Genetics and Molecular Anthropology, and Mayo Clinics Lectures in Personalized Medicine, which is in Croatia, every other odd year. His laboratory AGTC, helped develop the first NIST standard for Forensic DNA testing  which received the R & D 100 Award, for the development of Standard Reference Material 2390 "DNA Profiling Standard." He received a Gold Medal at the First Latin American Congress of Hemotherapy and Immunohematology for the discovery of the role of immunoglobulin subclass in the severity of RH (D) hemolytic disease of the newborn, was a co-discoverer that HIV originated in Africa, that DNA migration shifting can be corrected by using an in lane size ladder, the current standard for all DNA sequencing and testing, and the co-discoverer that the anonymous polymorphism Groups Specific Component (GC) was the vitamin D transport protein (VDBD).


Moses S. Schanfield received his bachelor's degree in anthropology, with minors in chemistry, biostatistics and genetics from the University of Minnesota; he received a master's degree in Anthropology from Harvard University and his doctoral degree in human genetics from the University of Michigan. He did post-doctoral training in immunology at the University of California, San Francisco.


Dr. Schanfield has authored and edited three books, more than 100 peer reviewed articles, and 45 book and encyclopedia chapters or non-peer reviewed articles on forensic sciences including forensic DNA testing, paternity testing, anthropo-logical genetic studies, the genetics of the immune response, and the genetic basis of disease susceptibility. For this, Dr. Schanfield has been recognized by several Who's Who publications. The second edition of Dr. Schanfield's and Dragan Primorac’s  publication: Forensic DNA Methods and Applications is going into its second edition with CRC Press.