New hire bolsters team efforts to unlock new clues from DNA evidence
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb.16, 2015)—Battelle’s Applied Genomics team has a new member as Dr. Toni Diegoli joins to be the technical lead for Battelle’s Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Program.
As a forensic genomics principal research scientist, Diegoli is responsible for research and development efforts, including functioning in a key technical role on several active contracts involving forensic genomics.
An explosion of genetic research since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 has uncovered thousands of biomarkers that can be applied to DNA-based forensics. Next generation sequencing takes these biomarkers to a new level that yields significantly more information than current DNA testing.
Diegoli has worked in the forensics community for more than 10 years, most recently contributing to successful efforts at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) to develop a next generation sequencing (NGS) program for routine personnel accounting casework.
Diegoli is proficient in forensic molecular biology and population genetics as they relate to human identification, and she has project management experience, including serving as a principal investigator on a grant from the National Institute of Justice aimed at further validating the X STR marker system for forensic use through a large-scale mutation rate study as well as assessment of recombination rate and linkage.
Diegoli joins the team that recently developed Battelle’s revolutionary new software solution ExactID™ which applies advanced bioinformatics to next-generation sequencing (NGS) data. ExactID analyzes NGS data that can predict physical appearance, ancestry, clinical traits and familial relationships among people. This information can be invaluable to forensic analyses and case work.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Harvard University, a Master of Science (M.F.S.) degree from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in Forensic Genetics from Flinders University in South Australia.
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