Dr Salem Alketbi: from UCLan to leading expert in forensic DNA analysis

University of Central Lancashire graduate, Dr Salem Alketbi, has risen through the ranks in the field of forensics and criminology to become an Expert in forensic DNA for the Dubai Police Force.

Since high school, Salem has always had an interest in biology and genetics and this, coupled with a passion for crime novels, is the reason he chose to study BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology at the University of Central Lancashire.

After graduating in 2011, Salem embarked on a journey with the Dubai Police Academy, where he delved into the intricacies of policing for a year. In 2012, he moved on to work in the Biology and DNA section of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology within the Dubai Police Force. Building on his practical experience in forensic DNA analysis, Salem returned to UCLan to complete an MSc DNA Profiling from 2013 to 2014.

Following his second graduation, Salem continued his tenure with the Dubai Police Force, ascending to the role of Expert in the forensic DNA field. Over six years of service, Salem contributed to more than 1,600 cases, earning accolades such as eight first-class appreciation badges from the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, alongside prestigious awards like the Dubai Police Excellency Award for Best New Employee and the Winner of the Dubai Government Excellence Program 2016.

In 2018, Salem embarked on study leave from his role at the Dubai Police Force to commence a full-time PhD at UCLan. His focus turned to Touch/Trace DNA analysis, inspired by the prevalence of such samples in forensic laboratories. Despite the complexities inherent in Touch DNA analysis, Salem was determined to explore novel methodologies to enhance DNA recovery, thus undertaking his dissertation on this subject.

Salem showcased his research at esteemed gatherings such as the 28th and 29th Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, both in Prague and Washington DC.. His findings found their way into renowned journals like the International Journal of Legal Medicine and the Journal of Forensic Science International. Salem's contributions, totalling seventeen articles, are accessible via Central Lancashire Online Knowledge (CLoK).

Salem Alketbi, BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology and MSc DNA Profiling graduate
Salem Alketbi, BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology and MSc DNA Profiling graduate

"I loved being a part of UCLan. The teachers are so helpful and assist you in developing your career"

Salem Alketbi, BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology and MSc DNA Profiling graduate

In the summer of 2023, Salem graduated and published his thesis titled "Analysis of Touch DNA" on CLoK, solidifying his status as an expert in Touch DNA profiling. Presently, Salem is back at the forefront of forensic casework in the Biology and DNA section of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology within the Dubai Police Force. His involvement in projects concerning Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) programs underscores his commitment to humanitarian forensic efforts, further demonstrated by his completion of the Humanitarian Forensic Action Training Course by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Reflecting on his time at UCLan, Salem fondly recalls the supportive environment fostered by the Faculty and the invaluable skills gained through the coursework. He also cherishes his time in Preston, praising the city's conducive atmosphere for both study and leisure activities.

When asked for advice for aspiring graduates, Salem emphasises "the importance of pursuing one's interests and gaining practical experience through internships or volunteer work." He specifically highlights the dynamic nature of the forensic science field and the multitude of opportunities it presents for those equipped with the right qualifications and dedication.

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