Illumina has entered into a collaborative research agreement with the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics and the Institute of Applied Genetics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC).

The collaboration includes research, development, validation and implementation of practical assays for forensic identification using Illumina’s sequencing technologies.

As per the agreement, the studies should be carried out on forensically relevant genetic markers for human identity testing, pharmacogenetics for molecular autopsy, microbial forensics and additional markers and methods to generate investigative leads in criminal cases and matters of national security.

UNT Institute of Applied Genetics executive director Bruce Budowle said their work with Illumina enables them to design sample preparation, analytical protocols, hardware and software that expand the capabilities of forensic DNA analysts.

”Results of these projects will allow forensic scientists to accelerate implementation of the next wave of forensic DNA analysis tools," Budowle added.

The next-generation sequencing collaboration will enable forensic laboratories to apply the advanced science to assist law enforcement and the forensic medical community.