Addition to accelerate DNA-based biosecurity and human identification developments
COLUMBUS, Ohio (January 18, 2017)—Battelle has hired nationally known forensic genomics scientist Seth Faith as a research leader for the applied genomics program.
Faith most recently worked as an assistant professor at North Carolina State University’s Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at the Forensic Science Institute. In this role he developed the first Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) in Forensics college course and published numerous peer-reviewed articles on genetics, forensics and microbiology.
Prior to that three-year post he worked at Battelle as a technical leader in Human DNA Forensics and Genomics and led a research team to develop one of the earliest approaches of forensic human identification using MPS, also known as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), culminating in one of the first publications on the use of short read MPS data for short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping of the full CODIS panel (Bornman, et al. 2012).
“We’re thrilled to have a person of Seth’s technical talents back at Battelle,” said Mike Dickens Business Line Manager, Applied Genomics. “As our forensic genomics research program continues to mature, Seth’s contributions will allow us to accelerate achievements in this rapidly changing field of genomic research.”
Faith holds a bachelor of science (B.S.) in biology and microbiology from the University of Akron and a doctorate (Ph.D.) in cell and molecular biology from Kent State University and Northeastern Ohio Medical University. He conducted postdoctoral training as a fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Regional Biocontainment Facility for biodefense and vaccine development.
Currently, Faith also leads research studies in DNA forensics, biosecurity and data analysis for the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies.
Through a combination of Battelle-funded research and development and funding from the U.S. government, Battelle has been at the forefront of successfully transitioning MPS from a research setting into a forensic setting. For example, Battelle’s recently completed National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant initiative assessed the feasibility of MPS technology using available commercial MPS products (platform, DNA kits, bioinformatics software) across eight participating U.S. forensic laboratories.
Additionally, Battelle has partnered with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (Ohio BCI) to validate and implement MPS technology in Ohio BCI’s accredited forensic laboratory to position Ohio BCI as a national leader in DNA forensics and expand their DNA testing capabilities to include investigations surrounding missing persons and unidentified human remains.
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