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TV fiction or reality, can we really determine someone’s physical characteristics from a DNA sample?


23 Nov main-forensics Part of Transforming the Future of Healthcare

About this Event

If a crime has been committed, and the only evidence left is a trace of blood, can we use the DNA contained within this bloodstain to predict what the person committing the crime actually looked like - are they a 6-foot man with red hair and a large nose? TV programmes such as CSI and Bones would have us believe that the answer is ‘yes’, but is reality finally ready to catch up with science fiction?

Please note we are running this talk online twice to accommodate multiple time zones.


About The Department

The aim of the Department of Analytical, Environmental & Forensic Sciences at King’s is to develop and improve forensic science methodologies and to explore and minimise the negative impact of the environment on human health.The department brings together more than 100 analytical, environmental, forensic and toxicological researchers with computer scientists, social scientists and engineers. Based in laboratories at King’s Waterloo Campus, the department develops technologies and techniques to identify biomarkers, find pollutants and monitor, measure and model their effects.

Our experts use this evidence to advise governments and inform policy: shaping drink driving legislation and policing drug use in international athletics for more than 25 years.

Postgraduate courses include:

Analytical Toxicology MSc

Forensic Science MSc, MRes

About The Academic

Dr David Ballard

Dr David Ballard is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Genomics within the Department of Analytical, Environmental & Forensic Sciences, and Programme Director for the Forensic Science MSc/MRes. He has an active research portfolio in multiple aspects of forensic genetics and is the senior scientist within the ISO17025 accredited DNA analysis at King’s forensic laboratory. He received his MSc in forensic science in 2000 from King’s College London and his PhD in 2013 from the University of London. Dr Ballard has 20 years’ experience in the human identity field having overseen the implementation of various novel forensic methodologies within the UK during that time. His research interests are currently focused on next generation sequencing technologies and phenotype prediction.

At this event

David Ballard

David Ballard

Postdoctoral Researcher in Forensic Genetics

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