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, 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.
Gene Godbold spends a lot of time thinking small. He’s helping Battelle use advanced genomic methods to improve our understanding of all kinds of microbes, from dangerous pathogens to oil-metabolizing bacteria. His research enables Battelle’s clients to address difficult challenges such as tracing the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations and identifying bacteria with environmental remediation potential. Gene is a senior scientist on Battelle’s Applied Genomics team, where he focuses on bioinformatics projects in microbial genomics. He brings more than 20 years of research experience with particular expertise in the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis, bacterial antibiotic resistance, immunology, biocuration and biochemistry. Since joining Battelle in 2002, he has also investigated problems in mammalian neuropharmacology, human performance, toxicology and immunology. His current work in Applied Genomics is helping to advance the use of genomic methods, including Massively Parallel Processing (MPS), to study microbial populations.
Battelle’s Jocelyn Bush is on the front lines of next-generation forensics. A Forensic Genomics Researcher on Battelle’s Applied Genomics team, Jocelyn is working to help forensic laboratories implement the latest DNA technologies. Jocelyn has devoted her career to forensic science, with a particular focus on applications of next-generation sequencing (NGS), also called Massively Parallel Sequencing, for forensic investigation. She provides training and subject matter expertise to help laboratory personnel integrate NGS into their workflows and quality systems. As part of her work, she supported a Battelle-led National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study to evaluate different methods of NGS in academic, research, federal, state and local forensic labs across the country.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Mark Wilson is a noted genomics researcher with decades of experience in forensic science. Mark leads research and development for Battelle’s next-generation sequencing technologies, including ExactID®, and provide training and support for Battelle’s forensic clients. Mark began his career as an FBI Special Agent in 1984. He eventually moved from investigative fieldwork to the Laboratory Division, where he applied his background in molecular biology to trace evidence analysis. In his new role at Battelle, he is focused on driving the adoption of next-generation sequencing technologies in crime laboratories. Some of these emerging technologies may allow forensic scientists to ascertain where in the world a person has been based on the distribution of microorganisms and pollen grains on their skin or clothing.
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.
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.
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.