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Robert Barsley, LSUSD '77, Installed as President of American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Dr. Robert Barsley, DDS, JD, professor and head of the Division of Diagnostic Sciences in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry and Biomaterials and director of Oral Health Resources, Community & Hospital Dentistry, was recently installed as president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). This multidisciplinary professional organization provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. Organized in 1948, the AAFS serves a membership of 6,000 forensic science professionals who are the focal point for public information when forensic science issues are addressed in the public domain. The AAFS publishes the internationally recognized Journal of Forensic Sciences. Dr. Barsley will serve a one-year term as the 65th president of the organization, hosting the annual scientific meeting in February 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert Barsley, DDS, JD

A 1977 graduate of LSUSD, Dr. Barsley’s interest in forensic science, and in forensic odontology in particular, began during his sophomore year in dental school, kindled by lecturers from the LSU School of Medicine who shared their experiences working with coroners’ offices in the New Orleans area. After graduation, he made identifications for Tangipahoa Parish where he practiced prior to joining the LSUSD faculty in 1980. He became a full-time faculty member in July 1982, one week after the crash of a PanAm jet at Moisant Field. He worked side-by-side with LSUSD faculty and students in a successful effort to aid law enforcement in identifying the more than 150 victims of that tragedy.

Dr. Barsley graduated from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans in 1987 and was admitted to the Louisiana bar that same year. Mentored by now-retired faculty members Ronald Carr and Joseph Cuminale, he has served as a consultant to numerous coroners’ offices in southern Louisiana and is on staff at the coroner’s office in both Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

As a member of DMORT Region VI (United States Public Health Service), he served an extended tour of duty in the dental section of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita morgues in St. Gabriel and Carville, Louisiana, where he directed scores of dentists from all over the United States in identifying the hundreds of victims brought to the morgue. This six-month detail, using virtually all forms of forensic science, resulted in most of the bodies being identified and returned to their families for burial.

Dr. Barsley has held numerous offices in various forensic organizations and is currently treasurer of the Forensic Science Foundation. He is co-chair of the Odontology Section of the Scientific Working Group on Disaster Victim Identification funded by the National Institute of Justice and the FBI. In addition, he is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy, and the Odontology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Dr. Barsley served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Congressional Health Policy Fellow in the office of Senator John Breaux. He currently serves as a delegate to the American Dental Association (ADA) House of Delegates and is a former chairman of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention, and Interprofessional Relations. He is a former general chairman of the New Orleans Dental Conference, the current secretary/treasurer of the Louisiana Dental Association, and the general chairman of the Committee on Local Arrangements of the ADA Council on the Annual Session for the meeting to be held in New Orleans in October 2013.

Dr. Barsley serves as the appointed magistrate judge for the City of Ponchatoula where he resides with his wife Gwen, a retired junior high school principal. Their daughter Emily is a freshman at LSU.

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