faSTR DNA Analysis Technology Presented at Leading Forensic DNA Conference

James Landers, PhD, Commonwealth Professor of Chemistry at the University of Virginia and Chief Scientific Officer at MicroLab Inc., spoke at the Bode Mid-Atlantic: DNA and Investigators Conference held in Philadelphia on November 7-10, 2016. This three-day conference brought together leaders in law enforcement and federal agencies to discuss the latest techniques and technologies in the field of forensic DNA analysis.

Landers spoke at a session entitled, Policy and Impact – Forensic DNA Use in Investigations. He discussed faSTR DNA Analysis, an emerging technology for point-of-analysis in non-laboratory environments. Following on the developments of rapid DNA technology, faSTR DNA Analysis allows for the analysis of forensic DNA in a truly portable form-factor with ultra-rapid sample-to-answer times.

The session kicked off with a keynote presentation by Detective Timothy Relph of the Wichita Police Department. Detective Relph discussed his involvement with the BTK Task Force that pursued and captured the BTK serial killer for a series of ten murders occurring between 1974 to 1991.

Other presenters in this session included:

  • Lisa Hurst, Law Firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell: DNA Legislative Updates
  • Angela Williamson, PhD, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative National Training and Technical Assistance
  • Vince Figarelli, Superintendent, Arizona DPS Crime Laboratory: Rapid DNA Initiative – Implementing Statewide for Law Enforcement
  • Megan Shaffer MacKenzie, PhD, DNA Identification Testing Division, Laboratory Corporation of America: Professional Ethics

Landers’ research at the University of Virginia focuses on rapid prototyping of microdevices for separations, DNA purification and DNA amplification.  His group was among the first to generate a fully integrated lab-on-a-chip (PNAS 103:19272, 2006), successfully applied to detecting infectious agents in biofluids and cancer diagnostics, and more recently defined new approaches to fluidic control on microchips (NATURE Physics 5:231, 2009). He has authored more than 180 papers and 25 book chapters on topics as diverse as receptor biochemistry, capillary electrophoretic method development, microchip fabrication, forensic DNA analysis and integrated microfluidic systems for application to both the clinical and forensic arenas.

Following phase 3 development of the faSTR DNA system, it is anticipated that MicroGEM International PLC will commercialize the technology.

For information about additional MicroGEM technologies, including its flagship product, the PDQeX 2400 for rapid DNA extraction, contact info@zygem.com.

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