My research work encompasses two
areas: body modification and brain banking.
I have been interested in the
forensic aspects of body modification and tattooing
since I first used these deliberate changes of the body
to make a positive identification in my forensic
pathology fellowship. Definitive confirmation of a
patient's identity is one of the three basic tasks of a
Brain banking involves the
harvesting and storage of brain tissue so it can be used
in research. As a resident, I obtained brains for the
Alzheimer's Disease Registry at the Institute of
Pathology at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. In
my fellowship, I obtained brain tissue from suicides and
age-matched control subjects as part of a multi-center
study looking at the anatomic aspects of suicide.
Forensic pathologists are uniquely
able to obtain and study human tissue, particularly from
individuals who have died violently. Studying the brains
of suicide victims and schizophrenics may provide some
insights into their disease.