Loyola University Chicago

Forensic Science Program

Upcoming Seminars

The field of Forensic Science faces continual challenges and responds by developing new investigative techniques. Our Forensic Science Program at Loyola University Chicago strives to meet this rapidly changing environment by educating our students in innovative ways. To this end, we present our Forensic Experts Seminar Series featuring professionals who will present their work on current topics, ranging from DNA and drug analysis to the investigation of digital evidence.

We enthusiastically invite interested students, faculty and staff to join us for these events.

Please contact Dr. James DeFrancesco, jdefrancesco@luc.edu, for additional information.  


The DEA Laboratory System

 Nelson A. Santos, M.P.A.

Deputy Assistant Administrator

US Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington, DC

(March 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm in McCormick Lounge - Coffey Hall, Lakeshore Campus)

Mr. Santos will provide an overview of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Laboratory System.  He will discuss the laboratory system’s structure and organization, areas of responsibility, analyst’s duties, and basic training for forensic drug chemists.   

Mr. Santos serves as a Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  In this capacity, he leads the largest de-centralized forensic science laboratory system in the U. S. federal government consisting of over 550 scientific, technical, and administrative personnel.  He began his career in 1987 as a Forensic Chemist in Miami, Florida and has held supervisory and managerial positions in Miami, Chicago, and Washington, DC.  He has lead significant efforts to enhance DEA laboratory system operations to include implementing a system-wide laboratory information system (LIMS), developing and implementing DEA’s first centralized training program for forensic chemists, and reorganizing drug research activities and functions.  Throughout his career, Mr. Santos has been active in the national and international forensic science community holding several key leadership positions in prominent organizations.  He served as the vice-chair for the National Commission on Forensic Science from 2013-2017. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Santos served as the Chair of Interpol’s Forensic Science Symposium Committee.  He was the DEA member-representative to the White House Subcommittee of Forensic Science and served for five years as Chair of the Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG).  Mr. Santos Chaired the Council of Federal Forensic Laboratory Directors (CFFLD) for three years, and from 2004 to 2006 he served on the Board of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD).  He remains an active member of ASCLD, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Forensics Committee and Interpol’s Forensic Science Managers Organizing Committee.   Mr. Santos holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Florida International University and a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University.