Moses S. Schanfield

Faculty: Full-Time
Address: Somers Residence Hall
2100 Foxhall Road
Washington, DC,
Phone: 202-242-5765
[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, and a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors 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.

Dr. Schanfield has testified more than 115 times in state courts (39 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 Fifth, ISABS Course in Forensic Genetics and Molecular Anthropology, Split, Croatia (2007), helping to develop NIST standard 2390 which received the R & D 100 Award, for the development of Standard Reference Material 2390 "DNA Profiling Standard." 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 95 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. Dr. Schanfield's new co-edited publication: Forensic DNA Methods and Applications will be available November 15, 2013 from CRC Press.