Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $451,382)
In this project, the researcher will build upon existing collaborations with the DNA Forensics Division of the FBI and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology DNA Identification Laboratory for the purposes of developing a next generation DNA forensics platform based on high throughput electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). The approach is based on using ESI-MS to "weigh" DNA forensic markers (as opposed to separating them by size) with enough accuracy to yield an unambiguous base composition (i.e. the number of As, Gs, Cs, and Ts) which in turn can be used to derive a DNA profile for an individual. This project will further develop ESI-MS for mtDNA and STRs as well as perform developmental validation studies (e.g., sensitivity, specificity, mixture studies) and implement a prototype semi-automated bench-top platform.