School of Biomedical Sciences

Forensics Unit

The UNT Center for Human Identification Forensic Unit is an accredited forensic casework laboratory that processes forensic evidence for serological and DNA analysis.  The unit consists of four Forensic DNA Analysts, a Forensic DNA Technologist and a Technical Leader.  Serological testing services include the examination of evidence for biological fluids such as blood and semen.  DNA testing services include autosomal STR, mini autosomal STR, Y chromosome STR and mitochondrial DNA analyses.  Expert testimony services are also provided as needed.  The laboratory serves as an adjunct laboratory to the Texas Department of Public Safety especially in regard to criminal paternity testing, kinship analyses and mitochondrial DNA testing.  Cases accepted include violent crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, and robbery and high volume property crimes such as theft and burglary.  All CODIS eligible profiles are submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety for CODIS entry and searching against forensic unknown and convicted offender indices.

The laboratory accepts evidence from law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Texas.  A large portion of the caseload originates from Fort Worth, Denton and surrounding areas.  The services provided are offered at no charge to law enforcement within Texas.  Funding for casework is provided by the National Institute of Justice through the DNA Backlog Reduction Program.  The goal of this program is to assist states and units of local government to screen, process, and analyze forensic DNA samples and to increase the capacity of forensic DNA laboratories to process more DNA samples.  The overall intent is to reduce the number of criminal cases awaiting forensic DNA analysis.

Our analysts display technical expertise in a number of areas, including evidence screening, DNA extraction, quantitation, amplification, capillary electrophoresis, fragment analysis using short tandem repeat markers (STRs), mitochondrial DNA analysis, and operation of the ABI? 3130xl Genetic Analyzers,  as well as the latest data analysis and population database software.