WCU probes forensic DNA sequencing

Research at Western Carolina University on DNA sequencing used in crime labs has gotten a $718,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice.

Mark Wilson, director of the Forensic Science Program at WCU, has been evaluating new DNA sequencing instrumentation for use in crime laboratories. 

The grant will not only support the research but also provides scholarships for three graduate students working on related projects to help with the work, which builds on previous DNA sequencing done at WCU.

The work is of particular interest to faculty and scientists who are involved with the global Illumina Forensic Genomics Consortium, which is led by Wilson and top scientists specializing in the area of forensic DNA analysis.

“The research we perform is discussed by the consortium and has the potential to impact forensic crime labs across the country when this technology is incorporated into casework,” said Brittania Bintz, a forensic research scientist at WCU.

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