Loyola University Chicago

Forensic Science Program

Upcoming Seminars

The Forensic Science Program at Loyola aims to introduce students to a broad range of forensic-related topics and prepare them for careers in a variety of settings.  We host a Forensic Expert Seminar Series to expand student exposure beyond coursework.  Speakers are experts in their respective forensic disciplines and related fields.  Topics range from forensic research to case studies, from expert witness testimony to opioid death and other current events.  See our archived seminars page for previous speakers and topics.  

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

Please email Wendy Gruhl for additional information.  


Forensic Experts Seminar Series - Spring 2024


Microscopic Traces: Solving Real World Problems with Science

Christopher S. Palenik, PhD  

Senior Research Microscopist and Vice President

Microtrace, LLC | Elgin, IL


Wednesday, April 17, 2023 at 7:00pm - McCormick Lounge 

This talk will take a look at the world around us through the lens of a microscope.  Beyond the visual, a microscopic view can provide clues and solutions to a wide array of problems in fields as varied as forensic science, art authentication, animal cruelty, patent litigation, explosions, food contamination, and product failures.  Through a variety of colorful case examples, the audience will gain news insights into the way science, applied through a microscope and microanalysis, can contribute to societally relevant questions.

Speaker Biography

Christopher Palenik grew up thinking that every home had a library and a laboratory.  With visitors from forensic laboratories around the world routinely at his childhood dining room table, Chris became fascinated with the breadth of practical information that can be revealed through thoughtful scientific analyses. With an educational background that spans chemistry, geology, materials science, and nuclear engineering, Chris has studied at forensic laboratories around the world, developing an intimate familiarity with a wide range of materials and microanalytical approaches.  Chris is a microscopist at Microtrace, a private microanalytical problem solving laboratory outside of Chicago that provides scientific support for criminal, military, civil, and patent litigation; clients in pharmaceutical, food, and manufacturing industries, and buyers and sellers of fine art, antiquities, and collectables.




Check back again - more details and speakers coming soon!


Updated 01 Feb 2024