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JGSBS Graduate Honored with Lifetime Acheivement Award in Forensic Science

Michael F. Rieders, PhD, VSM, a 1985 graduate of the Jefferson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, was chosen as the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Dr. Halbert E. Fillinger, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award from The Vidocq Society.

Rieders, Chairman of the Board of Directors at NMS Labs, Willow Grove, Pa., was chosen for his leadership and continuing commitment in the field of forensic science.

The Halbert E. Fillinger, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award was established in honor of Dr. Halbert E. Fillinger, Jr., an active member of the Vidocq Society and nationally renowned forensic pathologist whose scientific sleuthing helped solve hundreds of homicides. Established in 1990, The Vidocq Society is an organization of criminal justice and forensic professionals who volunteer to help resolve cold, unsolved homicides.

Dr. Rieders is a strong advocate for, and contributor to, the Society’s mission. By working with various criminal justice organizations, Dr. Rieders works to bring a systematic understanding of the value of forensic sciences to the criminal justice community.

Dr. Rieders is a Forensic Toxicologist and a licensed Laboratory Director. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Full member of The Society of Forensic Toxicologists, The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, The World Association of Medical Law and The National Association of Medical Examiners where he serves on their Foundation Board.

While Dr. Rieders served on Pennsylvania’s Advisory Committee on Wrongful Convictions, he worked with the Forensic Science Subcommittee on recommendations to improve the forensic science investigation system. He has testified in numerous criminal, civil and arbitration proceedings.

Dr. Rieders earned a doctoral degree in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Thomas Jefferson University and is a graduate of Arcadia University where he is faculty member and instructor for the Master's in Forensic Science Program. He is a Board member of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Sciences in New Haven, Connecticut and the National Forensic Science Technology Center in Florida.

“I am honored to learn that my colleagues at The Vidocq Society, an organization that I have proudly served as a member for so many years, have recognized my contributions to the profession through the Fillinger award,” explained Dr. Rieders. “Dr. Fillinger was a friend and mentor who I had the great fortune to work with for many years.” He went on to add that he looks forward to continuing his lifetime of work with The Vidocq Society.

The Halbert E. Fillinger, Jr. Medal and Lifetime Achievement Award is not presented every year but only when the Board of Directors deems someone particularly worthy. Past honorees of the award include Professor William Bass in 2003, FBI top Agent Robert Kenneth Ressler in 2007, Frank Bender in 2009, Kenneth D. Freeman in 2010 and Lt. Colonel James Carino in 2012.

The award was presented to Dr. Rieders at a ceremony in Philadelphia on September 14.

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