From left to right: Jill Fetster, Krista John-Williams, Gela Mendoza, Daniel Escalada, Margaret Shekarkhar and Lilly Moreno, DNA Facility manager.

Mission Statement: The Forensic DNA Profiling Facility is a College of Arts & Sciences recharge center that provides teaching, research and service support for DNA profile (fragment) analyses. Activities in the Facility include graduate student support, grant support, class laboratory instruction, workshop support, internships, crime lab proficiency test manufacturing, and casework analysis. The Facility is part of the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) in and administered in cooperation with the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department Chemistry & Biochemistry . The Facility also coordinates with the Biology’s DNA Core Facility for advanced analysis and sequencing of samples prepared in the Profiling facility.

Capabilities of facility: The Facility, located in Owa Ehan 118, 120 and 123, includes state of the art equipment for research, service support and graduate student training in forensic DNA profiling. These include an ABI 310 capillary electrophoresis instrument, an ABI 9700 Geneamp thermocycler, a MJ Research PT-200 thermocycler, a Bio-Rad VersaFluor fluorometer, an Eppendorf Biophotometer, a Barnstead NanoPure Diamond UV water system, a FotoDyne Express gel image system, and Nuaire PCR UV workstations.

The Facility is an ASCLD-LAB approved manufacturer for DNA proficiency tests. Such tests are used by the nation’s crime laboratories to verify the technical capabilities of their DNA analysts in order to maintain their ASCLD-LAB accreditation. The FDPF does offer DNA sequencing support for human mitochondrial DNA analyses.

In addition to ongoing human population and DNA profiling studies, the Facility will help develop and support non-human DNA studies as well. Animal, plant and microbial DNA can be processed and profiled by the Facility. Some of the ongoing research studies at FIU in non-human DNA are: microsatellite development and profiling of cannabis (marijuana), soil microbial profiling studies (forensic, and environmental); disease-related microbial profiling in cystic fibrosis infections (Mathee) (Mills), and coral diseases. In addition, the FDPF has the capability to offer contracted services for canine (i.e. the DNA “dog tag”), equine, and bovine (i.e., the DNA brand) profiling for both individual identification and parentage analyses.

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FIU  |  College of Arts & Sciences |  Chemistry/Biochemistry  |  IFRI