Candice Bridge, who was awarded a grant to review methods for catching suspects of sexual-assault crimes aside from DNA evidence
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With the upcoming Christmas Day release of the brilliant Oscar-worthy film Hidden Figures, it looks like black female scientists who rock out in science, technology, engineering and math fields are getting their day in the sun.

And so it is with Candice Bridge, the University of Central Florida’s first black female chemistry instructor, who just received a prestigious grant to study rape-investigation methods.

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Atlanta Black Star reports that Bridge received $324,000 from the National Institute of Justice to review methods of catching suspects of sexual assault crimes beyond DNA evidence. The grant will give Bridge access to exclusive tools utilized by the FBI and government laboratories.

“This grant will enable us to conduct research into a unique new means of identifying perpetrators of sexual assault when traditional DNA evidence doesn’t exist,” said Bridge in a statement. “It’s an important line of research that has become even more important as rapists attempt to elude capture by covering their DNA tracks after an assault.”

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The release also notes that UCF granted Bridge an award that will allow her to study the ways the body breaks down lubricants before forensic investigations can occur. In addition, according to the statement, she will create a website through the Orlando Public Defender’s Office that will give defense lawyers and prosecutors more information on forensic-science analysis.

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Bridge has been a superstar for a long time. She was one of the first people with a forensic Ph.D. in the country, which she earned at the age of 25. She was also the first black woman to teach chemistry at Howard University and the University of Central Florida. In addition, she was voted Professor of the Year in Howard's chemistry department her first year.

Read more at Atlanta Black Star.