Greg Hampikian

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Greg Hampikian is an American biologist of Armenian descent and the founder and director of the Idaho Innocence Project. He is considered[by whom?] one of the foremost forensic DNA experts in the United States.[1][2][3][4]

Hampikian assisted in the establishment of various forensic evidence projects such as the Georgia Innocence Project, the Irish Innocence Project, and the Innocence Project France. He is currently a Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Criminal Justice at Boise State University. Hampikian is a DNA Expert on the Georgia Innocence Project Board. Hampikian is a New York Times contributing columnist whose two most popular contributions to date have been "Men, Who Needs Them" and "When May I Shoot a Student". Hampikian has published in numerous scholarly scientific journals, including Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Hampikian was inducted as a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. His inventions range from a magnetic shape memory alloy micro-pump to a forensic DNA labeling kit that prevents contamination of samples given to the police. Hampikian pioneered the study of DNA and protein sequences absent from nature and coined the term Nullomers. Hampikian lectures on DNA science generally as well as DNA in forensic evidence specifically nationwide.[5] Hampikian is noted for his work on several exonerations both nationally and internationally including his work on the Amanda Knox case.

Life and work[edit]

Hampikian is of Armenian descent. He received a master's degree and a PhD from the University of Connecticut in 1986 and 1990, respectively. He has worked with many attorneys on cases which involved DNA forensics investigation.[3] He established the Idaho Innocence Project which analyzes wrongful conviction claims and assists those who have been falsely charged.[3]

Hampikian is a contributor to scientific journals, newspapers and magazines; including a farcical look at the issue of allowing concealed weapons on college campuses.[6] He has been featured on television numerous times in news networks such as CNN and BBC. He is also the co-author of the "Exit to Freedom" which documents the life of Calvin C. Johnson Jr., a wrongfully convicted criminal who spent seventeen years in prison.[7]

Hampikian is also an amateur folk singer and songwriter.[8]

Amanda Knox[edit]

During the high-profile case of Amanda Knox, on May 23, 2011, Hampikian announced that, based on its independent investigation and review, DNA samples taken at the crime scene all pointed to African drifter Rudy Guede and excluded Knox and Sollecito.[9] Upon reexamination of the DNA, he concluded that the evidence is unreliable and contaminated.[3] Hampikian's findings are one of the main reasons that Knox and Sollecito were set free.[3]


  1. ^ "Hampikian to return to CCSU for Forensic Science Day". The Citizen. Apr 13, 2005. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  2. ^ Hoffman, Nathaniel (June 24, 2009). "Greg Hampikian". Boise Weekly. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Top Forensic DNA Expert Dr. Greg Hampikian to Speak at Armenian Medical World Congress". Asbarez. April 2, 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Atlanta Magazine". Atlanta Magazine. Emmis Communications. 45 (10): 83. February 2006. ISSN 0004-6701. Retrieved 5 April 2013. Greg Hampikian, an Innocence Project board member and forensics expert.
  5. ^ "Selected Works of Greg Hampikian". Boise State University. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  6. ^ "When May I Shoot a Student?". The New York Times. Feb 27, 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  7. ^ Johnson, Jr., Calvin C.; Greg Hampikian (2003). Exit to Freedom. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0820325597.
  8. ^ "Dr. Greg Hampikian Talks Pearl Harbor, Ex-mas". Boise Weekly. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  9. ^ Sewell, Cynthia. "Boise expert: DNA shows Amanda Knox isn’t guilty", Idaho Statesman, 27 May 2011.