Main researcher: Mª Victoria Lareu Huidobro
Forensic genetics is a scientific discipline that uses the current scientific knowledge and tools in the field of genetics to identify individuals based on DNA analysis.
In many cases the identification of individuals and the establishment of biological relations is an essential element in order to solve different types of problems (paternity or kinship relations, identification of ancestors, family reunification processes, adoptions, disappearances), even of criminal judicial consequences (identification of violent crime suspects, sexual assaults…).
The Genomic Medicine Group studies the identification of new molecular markers that facilitate the identification based on morphological characteristics (skin pigmentation, eye colour, etc.), genetic identification of geographical origins, etc. Our analytical services and our expert advice are therefore requested by the main police forces around the world in order to solve the most difficult cases.
In this area, we are currently working on the forensic applications of SNPs, including the diagnosis of degraded material or with few copies, the research on the geographical origin of biological samples, the analysis of physical characteristics from biological samples, applications of mitochondrial DNA and genetic markers of sex chromosomes for forensic cases.
Among the methodological developments that are carried out, the development of new multiplexes and genotyping methods in degraded samples can be mentioned.