The Center for Forensic Science Research & Education (CFSRE) and Verogen have entered into a collaborative agreement to establish CFSRE as a leader in the field of forensic Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), also known as Massively Parallel DNA Sequencing (MPS).
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CFSRE, supported through this collaboration, has recently completed their validation of the ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit on the MiSeq FGx® platform. In the coming months, CFSRE will be working to develop training materials for law enforcement and practitioner communities, and implementing a high-quality workflow for application with casework services.
“We are very excited to be working with Verogen on the forefront of evaluating and implementing this new technology,” said Dr. Barry Logan, Executive Director at CFSRE. “The evaluation of new technologies that can be applied to criminal investigations is an important component of our organization’s mission.”
With this technology, a single DNA test provides a wealth of information to aid investigations along multiple vectors. The included autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) markers can be used to populate and search the CODIS U.S. National DNA Index (NDIS). The same test also provides Y-STR results for profiling male subjects, X-STR results for complicated kinship scenarios, and a large number of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to assist with low-quality samples typical in forensic contexts. Additionally, a collection of these SNPs can provide information about appearance, such as hair color, eye color, and biogeographical ancestry, to aid stalled cases with investigative leads or to rapidly refine a subject pool. This new toolbox uses best-in-class sequencing technology to add significant depth and breadth to forensic DNA analysis, while enabling recovery of results from biological evidence samples for which traditional methods have proven inadequate.
“We have been encouraged by our evaluation of this technology and its ability to recover almost twice as many genetic markers for degraded and low-level sample types as compared to traditional capillary electrophoresis-based approaches,” said Dr. Heather McKiernan, Director at CFSRE. “This technology will continue to propel genetic testing capabilities forward, helping to resolve the more challenging forensic cases encountered in this modern era.”
“We are enthusiastic to continue working with CFSRE, who have an established track record in forensic training and education, to address the important educational aspects of NGS adoption in forensic laboratories,” said Brett Williams, CEO of Verogen. “Their validation of the ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit has shown the power and promise of this technology for contributions towards criminal justice.”
The CFSRE has been established at the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation to promote continuing professional development for forensic scientists, application of new technologies to criminal investigations, a myriad of forensic research and grant work, and educational programs in forensic science. The Center faculty have strong associations with major national and international organizations within the forensic science community.
About Verogen, Inc.
Verogen is committed to public safety and justice for all. Headquartered in the San Diego area, we serve those who pursue the truth using genetic tools. Powered by gold standard Illumina sequencing technology and working in partnership with forensic laboratories, Verogen is advancing science to unlock the true potential of forensic genomics. For more information, visit www.verogen.com.