Indianapolis University Human Identification Center Announces Partnership with Fisherman’s Police Department to Interpret DNA Test Results

INDIANAPOLIS—The University of Indianapolis, in conjunction with the Human Identification Center, today announced a partnership with the City of Fishers Police Department to provide rapid interpretation of DNA test results to help the agency identify crime victims more quickly or provide investigative direction.

Earlier this year, the Fisherman’s Police became the first state department to use rapid DNA testing. Dr. Krista Latham, professor of biology and anthropology and director of the Center for Human Identification at Indianapolis University, and a group of specially trained students in the biology department will provide interpretation of the results of the rapid DNA test.

“The ability to provide this valuable service to the Fisherman’s Police Department and the community of central Indiana aligns with the university’s motto, Education for Service. The Indianapolis University Center for Human Identification is pleased to add rapid DNA return support to forensic services available to Indiana investigative agencies,” said Dr. Latham. “In addition, students will be able to apply their training and experience in interpreting DNA profiles to real-life contexts. This unique opportunity, in addition to specialized courses aimed at training forensic scientists and cutting-edge research opportunities, will prepare our students for careers in the field of forensic investigation.

Traditional DNA test results can take weeks for results and interpretation, but this new technology provides initial results in 90 minutes, which can help law enforcement agencies when time is of the essence. Police will collect two samples, one for rapid DNA testing and one for state police for traditional profiling. The rapid DNA profiles will act as presumptive tests providing investigative leads while the other sample will undergo conventional DNA analysis with the Indiana State Police. Once the sample has been processed through the Rapid DNA system, this is when Dr. Latham and his team will analyze the DNA profile results checking for true DNA fragments and removing artifacts produced through the analysis process to ultimately pass or fail a sample for comparison.

“We are thrilled with this partnership, we believe Rapid DNA is another innovative tool that can be used to keep all of our communities safe.” said Chief Ed Gebhart of the Fishermen’s Police Department.

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