$3.5 million Life Technologies grant will help train, certify forensic scientists at UNT Health Science Center

The Center for Human Identification at the UNT Health Science Center recently received a three-year $3.5 million grant from Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), a leader in forensic DNA testing systems, to train researchers from around the world in forensic DNA analysis techniques. This first of its kind accelerated academic certification program will train forensic scientists in areas where DNA database legislation or DNA programs are being established  to process samples and populate databases worldwide for use in criminal investigations and identity verification.

Up to 12 students per session will earn eight credit hours of accelerated learning at the UNT Health Science Center’s campus at Fort Worth, Texas. The grant will help establish a hands-on, didactic operational lab with state-of-the-art equipment, teaching faculty and up to 20 fellowships. The four-week program will give scientists the skills required to process DNA samples in countries where DNA database programs are growing at a faster rate than their ability to hire and train analysts to process samples. 

As part of the grant, Life Technologies will equip a state-of-the-art, high-throughput laboratory used to process single-source DNA reference samples. The grant also provides for a faculty director and two full-time training coordinator positions to train the DNA experts. The Health Science Center will issue the advanced certificate of completion and retain the state-of-the-art equipment for current and future DNA analysis.

Arthur Eisenberg, PhD, chairman of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics at the UNT Health Science Center, discussed the grant with Patty Zamora from Life Technologies on Blog Talk Radio on February 15.

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