Faculty Spotlight

Donna Wielbo, PhD

Meet Dr. Wielbo

Donna Wielbo, Ph.D.

Dr. Donna Wielbo is the Director of Forensic Science Programs and Clinical Associate Professor in the department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy.

“As the largest forensic science program in the world, our program is well known throughout the Forensic community.  With over 2000 graduates in the last 20 years many of our graduates now hold director and senior management positions in forensic labs in the US and overseas. “

Professor Wielbo received a B.Sc. in Microbiology from Aberdeen University and an M.Sc. in Forensic Science from Strathclyde University, Scotland. She was then employed by the British Home Office Forensic Science Service before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

“I was around 14 years old when I was first introduced to hard sciences in high school and I became enthralled with the use of science to solve murders and other crimes. From that point on I knew I wanted to work in the field of Forensics,” Dr. Wielbo said.

Currently, Dr. Wielbo is Director of Forensic Science Programs and Clinical Associate Professor in the department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, and academic advisor for the online M.S. degree programs in Forensic Serology and DNA and Forensic Science.

I’ve always been interested in biological evidence, blood spatter and crime scene reconstruction.  We offer courses in biological evidence and serology as well as blood spatter and distribution which are two of our most popular courses.”

As Assistant Professor, Dr. Wielbo’s career took a detour conducting research in the area of hypertension and molecular biology. After conducting genomics research with CuraGen Corporation, she then made her way back into the field of Forensics when she took up a position with the National Forensic Science Technology Center, Largo, FL., in the area of training and education.

“Many of our students graduate to become crime scene investigators or bench forensic scientists and routinely apply the information we teach them in the collection, analysis and interpretation of forensic evidence. Some may have to testify in court as expert witnesses and explain forensic processes and procedures to juries,” Dr. Wielbo said.

It’s important for an analyst to understand not just what they do but why and the science behind it to better prepare them for court room testimony.”

Dr Wielbo has been instrumental in both development and teaching of the online forensic programs since their inception in 2000.