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University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center Announces Partnership with Fishers Police Department to Interpret DNA Testing Results

Aerial view of the University of Indianapolis at sunset.

INDIANAPOLIS—The University of Indianapolis, in conjunction with the Human Identification Center, announced today a partnership with the police department of the City of Fishers to provide rapid DNA testing result interpretation to help the agency more quickly identify victims of crimes or provide investigative direction.

Earlier this year Fishers Police became the first department in the state to use rapid DNA testing. Dr. Krista Latham, professor of biology and anthropology, and Director of the Human Identification Center at the University of Indianapolis, along with a group of specially trained students in the biology department will provide interpretation of the Rapid DNA test results.

“The ability to provide this valuable service to the Fishers Police Department and greater central Indiana community aligns with the university’s motto of Education for Service. The University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center is excited to add rapid DNA reachback support to the forensic services available to Indiana investigative agencies,” said Dr. Latham. “Additionally, students will get to apply their training and experience in DNA profile interpretation to real world settings. This unique opportunity, in addition to specialized courses aimed at training forensic scientists and cutting edge research opportunities will prepare our students for careers in the field of forensic investigation.” 

Traditional DNA test results can take weeks for results and interpretation, but this new technology provides initial results in 90 minutes, which can help police agencies when time is of the essence. Police will collect two samples, one for rapid DNA testing and one for the state police for traditional profiling. Rapid DNA profiles will act as presumptive tests providing investigative leads while the other sample travels through conventional DNA analysis with the Indiana State Police. Once the sample has been processed through the Rapid DNA system, that’s when Dr. Latham and her team will analyze the DNA profile results by verifying true DNA fragments and removing artifacts produced by the analysis process to ultimately pass or fail a sample for comparison purposes.

“We are excited about this partnership, we believe that Rapid DNA is another innovative tool that can be used to keep all of our communities safer.” said Chief Ed Gebhart of the Fishers Police Department.