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Welcome to the Forensic Institute for Research and Education at MTSU

Welcome to the Forensic Institute for Research and Education (FIRE) website. As a board certified forensic anthropologist, I have over thirty years of experience as a forensic educator and practitioner in settings involving skeletal crime scenes and analysis. In 2006 Middle Tennessee State University tasked me with bringing a forensic emphasis to campus. To accomplish this I realized that it would be essential to bring forensic science into three key areas: education, research, and community service. FIRE was launched in 2006 to promote partnerships and public service as a means of enhancing educational activities and exploring research possibilities. Internal and external boards of advisors facilitate all of FIRE's efforts. The internal board is comprised of approximately 15 MTSU faculty and administrators, while the external board consists of top administrators from state and federal agencies including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Metropolitan Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office; Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Tennessee Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security; Drug Enforcement Authority; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The internal and external boards meet annually to explore needs and examine areas of funded research. We have an excellent and committed support staff that continually pursues innovative and creative means of enhancing learning and scholarship at MTSU and brings all of FIRE's projects to fruition.

To learn more about each of our goals, please click on the links below.

Again, I welcome you to the Forensic Institute for Research and Education. If you are a serious student seeking a career in forensic science, an established forensic science practitioner considering a Master's degree, a forensic scientist or law enforcement personnel seeking specialized training, or just an average citizen with a strong interest in forensic science, I invite you to check us out. We may be what you have been looking for!

The Forensic Institute for Research and Education is located in Room 307 of Todd Hall. If you would like more information about FIRE, please contact us at 615-494-7713 or If you would like to be added to our mailing list, click here.

Hugh Berryman, Ph. D., D-ABFA

FIRE's Mission Statement

To advance forensic sciences through education, research, and community service in collaboration with faculty, students, and community partners.

The Forensic Science undergraduate program is a major within the Biology Dept. Click here to be directed to the program's website.

Questions? Email us at

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