Catherine Cupples Connon, PhD, D-ABC

Catherine Connon

Assistant Professor
Undergraduate Program Director
Internship, Independent Study, & Study Abroad Coordinator
(804) 828-4318

Catherine Connon received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Missouri. She graduated from VCU with a Master’s of Science degree in Forensic Science and earned her Doctorate of Philosophy degree from the University of North Texas in Biology with a specialization in forensic molecular biology.

Professional experience
Dr. Connon is an assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science at VCU, teaching several of the forensic biology track upper-level courses. She started her career in forensic molecular biology in 2006 with LabCorp in their Forensic Identity Department – a private, ASCLD accredited DNA laboratory with ISO 17025 certification formerly located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Following LabCorp’s acquisition of Orchid Cellmark (later Cellmark Forensics), Dr. Connon relocated to Dallas, TX to join Cellmark’s forensic R&D group, where she remained until 2015. During her employment with LabCorp/Cellmark, she served various roles, including processing forensic DNA casework, developing and validating new procedures, serving as a QA representative, manufacturing and reviewing forensic serology and DNA proficiency tests, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate student interns. Currently, she is a consultant for Bode Technology in northern Virginia. Prior to her forensic molecular biology career, Dr. Connon worked in a plant genomics laboratory at the University of Missouri assisting with research involving various strains of maize mitochondrial genomes and maternally inherited diseases.

Professional accomplishments
Dr. Connon has presented original research at conferences and in poster sessions, and has provided courtroom testimony and depositions for forensic serology/DNA casework. She has publications in forensic science and plant genomics. She is also a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is certified as a Molecular Biology Diplomate with the American Board of Criminalistics. 

Research Interests

Development of presumptive and confirmatory tests for EDTA detection in forensically relevant blood samples.


  1. Connon CC, Greenspoon SA, Simmons T. Crafting an Effective Virtual Classroom in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Forensic Science Education 2020;2(2).
  2. Vineyard AR, Hazelrigg EJ, Ehrhardt CJ, Connon CC. Evaluation of Bluestar® Forensic Magnum and Other Traditional Blood Detection Methods on Bloodstained Wood Subjected to a Variety of Burn Conditions. Journal of Forensic Sciences 2019; 64(3). DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.13946.
  3. Emily R Brocato, M. Katherine Philpott, Catherine C Connon, Christopher J Ehrhardt. Rapid Differentiation of Epithelial Cell Types in Aged Biological Samples Using Autofluorescence and Morphological Signatures. PLOS ONE (2018).
  4. Emily R Brocato, M. Katherine Philpott, Catherine C Connon, Christopher J Ehrhardt. Rapid Identification of Epithelial Cell Types in Forensic Samples Using Intrinsic Fluorescence and Morphological Signatures. BioRxiv (2018).
  5. Cox JO, DeCarmen TS, Ouyang Y, Strachan B, Sloane H, Connon C, Gibson K, Jackson K, Landers JP, Dawson Cruz T. A novel, integrated forensic microdevice on a rotation-driven platform: Buccal swab to STR product in less than 2 h. Electrophoresis 37:23-24 (2016) 3046-3058.
  6. Connon CC, LeFebvre AK, Benjamin RC. Development of a Normalized Extraction to Further Aid in Fast, High-throughput Processing of Forensic DNA Reference Samples. Forensic Science International: Genetics 2016; 25C: 112-124.
  7. Connon CC, LeFebvre AK, Benjamin RC. Validation of Normalized Extraction, Low Volume Fast PCR and Alternative Capillary Electrophoresis Detection to Improve Processing Efficiency for Forensic DNA Samples. Forensic Science International: Genetics (in process).
  8. Connon CC, LeFebvre AK, Benjamin RC. Validation of Alternative Capillary Electrophoresis Detection of STRs using POP-6 Polymer and a 22cm Array on a 3130xl Genetic Analyzer. Forensic Science International: Genetics (in process).
  9. Connon CC, LeFebvre AK, Benjamin RC. Low Volume Fast PCR Amplification of STR Loci. Forensic Science International: Genetics (in process).
  10. Cupples CM, Champagne JR, Lewis KE, Dawson Cruz T. STR Profiles from DNA Samples with “Undetected” or Low Quantifiler™ Results. J Forensic Sci 2009;54(1):103-107.
  11. Clifton SW, Minx P, Fauron CM, Gibson M, Allen JO, Sun H, Thompson M, Barbazuk B, Kanuganti S, Tayloe C, Meyer L, Wilson RK, Newton KJ. Sequence and comparative analysis of the maize NB mitochondrial genome. Plant Physiology, Nov 2004; 136(3): 3486-503.