From Submission to Court: The Basics of a Forensic Biology Laboratory

Course Description

Many times, forensic laboratories lack a strong connection with investigators and prosecutors, leading to a limited understanding of how evidence is processed and transformed into a laboratory report. In this session, we will focus on the structure and workflow of a forensic biology laboratory, tracing the journey of evidence from its submission to the final information presented in court. By gaining knowledge about lab design, workflow, and the thorough validation processes in forensic biology labs, members of multidisciplinary teams will develop a greater understanding and appreciation for the meticulous procedures and quality control involved in fully examining evidence for its use in a court of law.

Learning Objectives

1. Review basic lab design and understand the importance of lab design to mitigate contamination and carryover.

2. Explore basics of forensic biology lab workflow: serology, DNA, and profile interpretation.

3. Identify major types of validation and the impact of validation on methods and results thereof.

4. Recognize quality assurance standards (basic & importance) for forensic DNA testing laboratories.

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