Our forensic DNA testing laboratory is the core of the Marshall University Forensic Science Center’s mission to provide critical assistance to criminal justice agencies. Nationally recognized and accredited, MUFSC’s forensic laboratory provides essential testing services to state and local criminal justice systems throughout the United States. MUFSC’s services include: DNA analysis for property crime, sexual assault, and other forensic evidence; DNA analysis for relationship samples; DNA analysis for convicted offender samples for the state of West Virginia; and STR case review.
Forensic DNA Casework
DNA has become increasingly important in the prosecution of crimes, both civil and criminal in nature. As a result, pressure has increased on state and local crime laboratories to process an increasing number of new cases, while simultaneously trying to reduce existing backlogs. Because of our accreditation, our laboratory is able to analyze forensic casework /samples for these laboratories. MUFSC has formed several partnerships with organizations from across the country and provides unique advantages to these partners.
- CODIS Analysis: 23,500+
- Property Crimes: 1,890+
- Relationship Testing: 320+
- Sexual Assault: 1,910+
- Technical Reviews: 2,200+
Accredited Forensic DNA Testing Laboratory
MUFSC has a highly-educated and proficiency-tested staff, all of whom have graduate degrees. These experienced scientists are dedicated to following well-defined quality assurance policies while performing forensic DNA analysis in our state-of-the-art laboratory.
Our forensic DNA laboratory is accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB). We are an ISO/IEC 17025 compliant forensic testing laboratory. Our accreditation, by ANAB, also demonstrates our compliance with federally mandated quality assurance standards for the analysis of CODIS DNA samples.
Property Crimes & Forensic DNA Profiles
In 2007, MUFSC began a project to study the effectiveness of DNA testing to help solve property and related crimes. Due to limited resources, many crime laboratories are only able to perform DNA testing on evidence stemming from violent crimes. In order to test the effectiveness of using property crime DNA data to solve other property and violent crimes, MUFSC has partnered with and provided testing for several law enforcement agencies servicing small, medium, and large urban populations.
Law enforcement personnel from these agencies collect DNA samples from the scene of suspected property crimes. The samples are then sent to our laboratory to be analyzed and prepared for comparison to CODIS. By utilizing DNA as a tool to prosecute property and other violent criminals, MUFSC is playing an important part in reducing the societal and economic impacts of these crimes.
Forensic Relationship Testing
MUFSC offers criminal relationship DNA testing services. Relationship DNA testing is one of the more well-known applications of forensic DNA technology. While relationship testing is common in the form of parentage analysis (also called paternity testing), MUFSC can provide HID special case analysis upon request.
The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is a DNA profile database of convicted offenders. Our DNA laboratory is the designated convicted offender testing laboratory for the WVSP.
The database process begins when officials from the West Virginia Department of Corrections collect blood samples from certain convicted offenders. The samples are then sent to the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory (WVSPFL) which assigns a bar code to each sample to ensure the individual’s identity is protected. From these samples, MUFSC personnel generate unique DNA profiles which are sent to the WVSPFL. WVSPFL personnel review the data, enter the profiles into the WV state CODIS database, and uplaoad them to NDIS (national database) over a Wide Area Network (CJIS-WAN). Once the profiles are housed within these databases, the profiles can be compared by law enforcement to unidentified DNA profiles from open cases anywhere in the USA.
For additional information about CODIS, please visit the FBI CODIS Program website.