Susan Walsh, Ph.D.
The goal of the lab is to enhance our understanding of the genetic basis of human physical appearance and ancestry.
In a forensic context, retrieving information on the externally visible characteristics of a sample donor found at a crime scene can provide valuable intelligence information, e.g. eye, hair or skin color, to name a few. As we deal with quantitative traits where different genes and also environmental factors can contribute to the phenotype, we try to unveil the genetic basis of certain traits using genome-wide association approaches and next-generation sequencing, amongst others. We then try to determine what are the most-predictive biomarkers, and develop molecular tools to predict these traits for practical applications in forensics and anthropological studies.
Students interested in DNA analyses methods, including next-generation sequencing, and Population Genetics/Bioinformatics should contact me for current possibilities.
To help us and improve physical appearance prediction by being a volunteer for our phenotype collection, please sign up!