Tracey Dawson Green

Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D.



(804) 828-0642

Harris Hall South, 1015 Floyd Ave., Room 2012

Former Name

Tracey Dawson Cruz


  • Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Pathology, UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • B.S., Microbiology, North Carolina State University
  • B.S., Zoology, North Carolina State University


At Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Dawson Green serves as Professor of Forensic Science and Chair of the Department of Forensic Science. She was appointed Chair in January of 2019. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, she also manages the VCU Dawson Green Forensic Molecular Biology Research Laboratory.  Prior to her VCU appointment, Dr. Dawson Green worked as an Assistant Director and Technical Leader at Fairfax Identity Laboratories, where she oversaw CODIS lab operations and helped develop DNA testing strategies for high-throughput forensic casework analysis.  She has additionally served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Forensic Science at George Washington University.  Dawson Green still finds time to continue her work as a forensic DNA professional by serving as a technical consultant for several state and private DNA databasing and forensic casework laboratories.

Dr. Dawson Green is an active member of American Society of Crime Lab Directors, the International Association for Identification (ASCLD),  is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and is a distinguished member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences (MAAFS).  Additionally, she frequently serves as a peer-review panelist for the National Institutes of Justice forensic DNA-related federal grant programs.  Dr. Dawson Green served as a Commissioner for the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), the accrediting body for universities offering degrees in forensic science, from 2012 to 2018. Additionally, she was a twice past-President of MAAFS and continues to serve on numerous advisory boards and forensic science organizational committees.

Research Interests

Dr. Dawson Green has authored more than 35 peer-review published articles detailing her own research efforts, and frequently presents about her research program at annual forensic science professional meetings.  Additionally, she has directly trained more than 45 graduate-level forensic professionals in her research laboratory.  Dawson Green’s primary research efforts focus on prediction modeling for characterization of forensic DNA, workflow management and best laboratory methods for collecting and extracting DNA from latent fingerprints, development of new methods for separation of epithelial and sperm cell mixtures, and microfluidic design for microchip analysis of biological evidentiary samples. Her research efforts at VCU have led to two patents.

Select Publications

  • Schellhammer S, Hudson BC, Cox JO, Dawson Green T. (2022) Alternative direct-to-amplification cell lysis techniques for sexual assault sample processing. J. Forensic Sci 67(4):1668-1678: DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.15027
  • Smith CJ, Cox JO, Rhodes C, Lewis C, Koroma M, Hudson BC, Dawson Cruz T, Seashols-Williams SJ. (2021) Comparison of DNA typing success in compromised blood and touch samples based on sampling swab composition. J. Forensic Sci 66(4):1427-1434. DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14694
  • Cooley AM, Meiklejohn KA, Damasco N, Robertson JM, Dawson Cruz T. (2021) Comparison of the Performance of the Ion PGM™ and Ion GeneStudio S5™ Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) Machines Using a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Panel for Ancestry. SLAS Technol 26(1): 103-112.
  • Hudson BC, Cox JO, Seashols-Williams SJ, Dawson Cruz T. (2021) The effects of dithiothreitol (DTT) on fluorescent qPCR dyes. J Forensic Sci 66(2):700-708. DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14637.
  • Menchhoff SI, Solomon AD, Cox JO, Hytinen ME, Miller MT, Dawson Cruz T. (2020) Effects of storage time on DNA profiling success from archived latent fingerprint samples using an optimized workflow. Forensic Sci Research 7(1):61-68; DOI: 10.1080/20961790.2020.1792079.



  • FRSC 686 Emerging Molecular Applications for Forensic Biology
  • FRSC 676 Advanced Forensic DNA Analysis
  • FRSC 677 Professional Practices and Expert Testimony
  • FRSC/Z 438 Forensic Molecular Biology and Laboratory
  • FRSC 490 Professional Practices in Forensic Science


  • Journal of Forensic Science, Top 10 articles downloaded for 2022 for J. Forensic Sci 67(4):1668-1678.
  • Journal of Forensic Science, Top 10 articles downloaded for 2018 for J Forensic Sci. 63(1):47-57.
  • VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty Scholarship Recognition Award, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • VCU, Omicron Delta Kappa, Faculty Recognition Award, 2016
  • Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Professional Development Award ($1,996), 2013-2014