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Battelle Solvers We have some of the best employees working to solve the world’s most difficult challenges. 

Forensic Genomics Staff

Christine Baker, M.S.

Christine Baker, M.S., Forensics Genomics Technical Lead

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to revolutionize DNA forensics—but only if it makes the leap from theory to practice in working forensic laboratories and in the courtroom. Principal Research Scientist Christi Baker plays a key role in helping government agencies integrate the latest NGS technologies into their laboratory processes and validating methods for the criminal justice system. Christi oversees the technical teams who are helping agencies get up and running with NGS technologies. Under her guidance, the Battelle Applied Genomics team works with agencies to select or develop NGS test kits, develop and validate laboratory workflows, set up analysis pipelines and train laboratory personnel on the new methods. She is currently working on technology translation projects with multiple U.S. government clients. 

Craig Bartling, Ph.D.

Craig Bartling, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Craig Bartling is unlocking the secrets contained in proteins to shed new light on problems ranging from pathogen identification to forensic analysis. He is working to find new applications for proteomics for medical diagnostics, intelligence, law enforcement and environmental management. A Senior Research Scientist on Battelle’s Applied Genomics team, Craig is leading efforts to expand Battelle’s metagenomics and proteomics capabilities. He brings more than 14 years of research experience with a particular focus on protein analysis. While his background is in biochemistry, his scientific expertise spans many areas, including genomics, proteomics and protein characterization, environmental monitoring, structural biology, molecular biology, mass spectrometry, enzyme kinetics, biological and chemical threat characterization and assay development. His current research is largely focused on practical applications of proteomics, or the study of protein expression by cells, systems and organisms. 

Lindsay Catlin, M.S.

Lindsay Catlin, M.S., Researcher

Lindsay Catlin is bringing new genomic technologies to criminal forensic laboratories. A Researcher on the Battelle Applied Genomics team, she provides support for implementation of Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) technologies for criminal investigation. Since joining Battelle in 2016, Lindsay has been primarily focused on an MPS implementation project for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (OBCI). OBCI is one of the first forensic laboratories in the nation to implement MPS for investigation of missing person cases. In addition to her work with OBCI, Lindsay is working on a project for the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency (JIDO) to evaluate a rapid DNA processing technologies to be used in the field. 

Richard Chou, M.S.

Richard Chou, M.S., Researcher

Richard Chou, a Researcher on the Battelle Applied Genomics team, is working to find answers to emerging questions in genomics. Over the last five years, Richard has investigated a wide range of questions for Battelle clients and for internal research and development projects. His past research spans molecular biology and genomics projects for agriculture, environmental science, forensics and biodefense. More recently, his work has been focused more exclusively on applied genomics. Currently, Richard is studying the signatures left behind in the genome by the DNA editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas9, a gene splicing technique that allows researchers to precisely snip out individual genes from the genome and replace them with new gene sequences. In addition to studying the genome, Richard’s current research is also focused on the proteome: the unique complement of proteins produced by an organism. Richard is investigating the use of proteins in hair (which is “rich” in protein but limited in DNA), for forensic identification. 

Mike Dickens, Ph.D.

Mike Dickens, Ph.D., General Manager

Mike has expertise in biological sciences ranging from molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry research to applied industrial fermentation and bioprocessing. His experience includes managing research programs in biological threat agent characterization, detection and analysis, including biological threat agent microbial forensics.

Melody Graves, MPH, PMP

Melody Graves, MPH, PMP, Project Manager

Melody Graves, a Project Manager for Battelle CBRNE Defense–Threat Assessment and Applied Genomics groups, ensures that every project completed for our clients remains in scope, on schedule and within budget. She brings more than 20 years of research and project management experience. For the last ten years, her work has focused on advanced genomics and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) threat assessment. Over the course of her career at Battelle and at North Carolina State University, she has served a diverse range of clients including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies in the intelligence and defense communities. While at NCSU, she managed numerous projects for the Laboratory of Analytic Sciences and served as the liaison to federal clients. Melody holds a Masters of Public Health from The Ohio State University and a B.S. in Environmental Health from Ohio University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). 

Richard Guerrieri, M.S.

Richard Guerrieri, M.S., Forensics Research Leader

Richard is an internationally known scientist in the field of human identification, and court recognized expert witness with more than 250 testimonies who has established the nation’s largest capacity and highest throughput DNA database testing laboratory. Richard has more than 30 years of forensic laboratory experience, including nearly 20 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory.

Seth Faith, Ph.D.

Seth Faith, Ph.D., Research Leader

Dr. Seth Faith is advancing Battelle’s genomics technology research and development portfolio for the forensic and security communities. A Research Leader on the Battelle Applied Genomics team, Seth leads research programs aimed at developing and validating sequencing and bioinformatic methods for use in forensic investigations and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) defense. He has previously led numerous programs for the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice with a focus on for forensics, biosecurity and bioterrorism risk assessment. As an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University, he also developed the first college course on the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in forensics and published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles in forensics and microbiology. Seth also serves on several national advisory boards for development of standards for forensic testing and analysis, and conducts training and consulting for forensic laboratories internationally.

Sara Nitcher, Ph.D.

Sara Nitcher, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist

Are there novel genetic markers that can be used for more precise subject identification in forensic investigations? How can we know if a particular microbe carries the genes for resistance to an antibiotic? These are just a few of the questions Dr. Sara Nitcher has tackled for Battelle’s clients. A biochemist by training, Sara now serves as a Principal Research Scientist on the Battelle Applied Genomics team, where she supports research and development projects for forensic and non-forensic applications of genomic technologies. Her current projects include evaluating technologies for metagenomic identification of microbes in environmental samples and identifying the best methods for homogenizing various types of biological samples. She also supports Battelle’s research into Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies for forensics, including identification of new markers that could lead to more accurate and precise identification of subjects. 

Trevor Petrel, Ph.D.

Trevor Petrel, Ph.D., Director of Advanced Technology Development

Dr. Trevor Petrel is Director of Advanced Technology Development at Battelle. In this role, he focuses on finding new applications for Battelle’s applied genomics technologies and identifying the most promising avenues for future research. Much of Battelle’s work in genomics to date has been focused on forensic and criminal justice applications. Trevor sees continued work ahead to expand Battelle’s offerings in this area, but also plans to look for new opportunities beyond this limited, but well-defined market. In particular, he hopes to explore potential applications for human health and diagnostics. He also sees applications for environmental surveying and monitoring. Trevor brings more than two decades of combined laboratory and experimental design experience, including nearly 15 years supporting chemical and biological defense research. He has experience in leading-edge technical thrusts such as sensor development, biomaterials and surface chemistry, and is a subject matter expert in biomolecular formulation and drug delivery technologies.