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Population Genetic Issues for Forensic DNA Profiles

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $711,906)

This application is for continued support of a highly productive team of statistical geneticists, forensic scientists, and statisticians at the University of Washington, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research in New Zealand, and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. These investigators will continue working to produce statistical procedures for providing quantitative strength to DNA evidence. Their work will extend population genetic theory for accommodating population structure in calculating match probabilities for autosomal and lineage markers, and combinations of these markers. A survey will be made of published Y-chromosome haplotype frequencies in order to compare the performance of alternative approached for calculating match probabilities. The investigators will also address the population genetic issues arising from the forensic use of next-generation sequencing. Attention will be paid to determining the appropriate value of theta to determine match probabilities for sequence-derived profiles, and for combining inferred STR profiles and sequence-based profiles. The widespread biomedical use of single nucleotide polymorphisms has enabled genealogical-database searches for forensic purposes, and the underlying statistical methodology will be examined to determine possible extensions of their use.

The primary outcome of the proposed work will be peer-reviewed publications, although the work will inform the investigators' many teaching activities and service on forensic advisory panels and editorial boards. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: October 22, 2020