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Salem Alketbi talks about his forensics career journey

University of Central Lancashire graduate, Salem Alketbi, has risen through the ranks in the field of forensics and criminology to become a Captain and Assistant Expert for the Dubai Police Force.

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

After graduating from his degree in 2011, Salem joined the Dubai Police Academy where he studied 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 in the Dubai Police Force. After gaining work experience in the field of forensic DNA, Salem returned to the University of Central Lancashire and completed an MSc DNA Profiling from 2013 to 2014.

On graduating for the second time, Salem continued to work for the Dubai Police Force and became a Captain and Assistant Expert in the forensic DNA field, as well as Head of the Biology Lab in the Biology and DNA section. During his six years working for the Dubai Police, Salem has worked on more than 1,600 cases and gained eight first class appreciation badges from the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology. Salem cites this as his greatest achievement to date.

Currently, Salem is on study leave from his job at the Dubai Police Force as he commenced a PhD at the University of Central Lancashire and is studying full-time. The aim of his research is to focus on examining the factors affecting touch DNA such as surface type, environmental factors, the collection methods used and extraction techniques. Salem is undertaking this research in a bid to suggest novel methodologies that can help improve touch DNA recovery, which could be used in forensic labs.

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

"I love being in the School of Natural Sciences and the teachers are so helpful and help you to develop in your career."

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

Salem presented some of his research to the 28th Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics in Prague and his research has also been published in the Journal of Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series.

Since Salem started his PhD journey at University, he has published around seven journals about his research on the field of touch DNA profiling and his papers can be found on Central Lancashire Online Knowledge (CLoK).

Speaking about his at time at University, Salem said: “I love being in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences and the teachers are so helpful and help you to develop in your career. I also enjoy the city of Preston. It is quiet and peaceful, which is good for studying. The undergraduate degree and master’s course that I took at the University of Central Lancashire were so specific to my field of work and helped me to gain a lot of confidence.”

When asked what advice he would give to graduates wishing to follow a similar career path, Salem said: “If you want to work in the forensic field, it is important to gain some experience by working in forensic cases to find out what interests you because there are many different areas that you can work in.”