Distinguished Alumnus 2002
Edwin Huffine was born in Lawton and graduated from Lawton High School. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Cameron in 1983 and has a masters in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma. He taught chemistry labs and a tutorial lab at Cameron from 1985-88 and has returned to present several lectures on campus during the past five years.
In 1990 he was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration where he developed an operational DNA lab working with victims of plane crashes. He worked for the Armed Forces DNA identification laboratory in Rockville, Maryland from 1994 until 1999 - first as senior DNA analyst then as chief of the mitochondrial section. His responsibilities included testing the remains from American service members from past wars. He played a leading role in such high-profile cases as the identification of Vietnam's unknown soldier.
In 1999 he moved to Bosnia and began work with the International Commission on Missing Persons. He is currently director of their forensics sciences program in Bosnia. Challenged with identifying the remains of up to 40,000 persons still missing from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, he has been involved with developing the world's most successful and productive DNA identification system for skeletal remains. This technology has brought families hope that the bodies of their missing loved ones may be located, identified and returned to them. The advancements made in the ICMP DNA program have been used in the United States in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks and Mr. Huffine was one of 20 scientists who met in New York City to discuss the best approach for identifying the remains from that tragedy.
Among his awards are the Cameron Phi Kappa Phi 2001 Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Dr. Henry Lee in 2001 for "bringing answers to thousands of families who are missing loved ones." He lives in Sarajevo, Bosnia, with his three daughters and his wife, Sweetheart, a 1996 Cameron graduate.