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david-ballard

Dr David Ballard

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Genomics

Research interests

  • Forensics

Biography

Dr David Ballard gained his first degree in Physiology from University College London in 1998, his MSc in Forensic Science from King’s College London in 2000, and his PhD titled “Characterization and differentiation of three British population groups” from the University of London in 2013. He is a senior lecturer in forensic genomics as well as the programme director for the MSc/MRes Forensic Science programmes. In this role, he leads these postgraduate degree programmes and teaches forensic genetics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

For the last 20 years Dr Ballard has combined forensic casework activity, as the principal scientist within the ISO17025 accredited DNA analysis at King’s laboratory, while conducting research in forensic genomics. His knowledge and expertise in DNA analysis is now being used to identify bushmeat versus legal meat products and to provide important genetic information on the pangolin genome that has not been well described in the scientific literature.

His current research interests are focused on massively parallel sequencing technologies and DNA intelligence applications including metagenomics and phenotype prediction. Please see his PURE profile for more details. He has published over 50 research articles that have gained over 2000 citations. Additionally, he is a member of the International Society of Forensic Genetics DNA Commission tasked to develop new international standards for the use of next generation sequencing technology in forensic DNA applications and recommend new nomenclature standards. He is also a member of the editorial board of Forensic Science International: Genetics.

    Research

    dna-samples
    Forensic Genetics

    Forensic Genetics is concerned with specialist ‘next-generation’ analysis of trace biological level evidence to solve crime, providing intelligence to law enforcement in forensic investigations.

    world map
    Forensic Genomics: Genomic discovery of forensically relevant variation as revealed through massively parallel sequencing

    Forensic genomics utilises massively parallel sequencing technologies to explore detailed information from forensic samples.

    Project status: Ongoing

    family
    Implementation of massively parallel sequencing technology in kinship

    The project focusses on kinship testing, which is the process by which we can use inherited DNA shared between individuals to work out how/if they are related.

    Project status: Ongoing

    forensic research team
    Massively parallel sequencing technology in international criminal casework

    This work builds upon the sequence characterisation and frequency determination of alleles at forensic STR and SNP markers.

    Project status: Ongoing

    Canine
    Canine individual and breed identification

    Exploring the usefulness of biological material of canine origin left directly by the dog or transferred by humans, and recovered from a crime scene.

    Project status: Ongoing

    TrafficNighttexco-kwok-NWXN_0frxCQ-unsplash
    International Forensics

    The international forensics group has a wide remit to look at evidence from international sources, providing data to support research in criminal justice.

    RhinoPoaching
    Tackling illegal wildlife crime through the development of novel methods for fingermark analysis

    We have a training project in Zimbabwe ‘the use of fingerprints to combat wildlife crime’. This research project is the next stage to find improved methods.

    Project status: Ongoing

    News

    Blood spatters reveal a suspect's age through new technique

    Researchers at King’s College London have discovered a new method of forensic analysis which could more accurately predict the age of criminal suspects based...

    Blood cells

    A new method for analysis of bloodstains

    Interdisciplinary teams at King’s have been working on research to provide new methods of analysis for blood stains at forensic crime scenes. New techniques...

    Police tape at a crime scene

    Features

    Rosalind Franklin at 100: How her legacy lives on

    This weekend, July 25th, marks 100 years since the birth of Rosalind Franklin, one of history’s leading scientists. While working at King’s, Franklin famously...

    Rosalind franklin_hero

      Research

      dna-samples
      Forensic Genetics

      Forensic Genetics is concerned with specialist ‘next-generation’ analysis of trace biological level evidence to solve crime, providing intelligence to law enforcement in forensic investigations.

      world map
      Forensic Genomics: Genomic discovery of forensically relevant variation as revealed through massively parallel sequencing

      Forensic genomics utilises massively parallel sequencing technologies to explore detailed information from forensic samples.

      Project status: Ongoing

      family
      Implementation of massively parallel sequencing technology in kinship

      The project focusses on kinship testing, which is the process by which we can use inherited DNA shared between individuals to work out how/if they are related.

      Project status: Ongoing

      forensic research team
      Massively parallel sequencing technology in international criminal casework

      This work builds upon the sequence characterisation and frequency determination of alleles at forensic STR and SNP markers.

      Project status: Ongoing

      Canine
      Canine individual and breed identification

      Exploring the usefulness of biological material of canine origin left directly by the dog or transferred by humans, and recovered from a crime scene.

      Project status: Ongoing

      TrafficNighttexco-kwok-NWXN_0frxCQ-unsplash
      International Forensics

      The international forensics group has a wide remit to look at evidence from international sources, providing data to support research in criminal justice.

      RhinoPoaching
      Tackling illegal wildlife crime through the development of novel methods for fingermark analysis

      We have a training project in Zimbabwe ‘the use of fingerprints to combat wildlife crime’. This research project is the next stage to find improved methods.

      Project status: Ongoing

      News

      Blood spatters reveal a suspect's age through new technique

      Researchers at King’s College London have discovered a new method of forensic analysis which could more accurately predict the age of criminal suspects based...

      Blood cells

      A new method for analysis of bloodstains

      Interdisciplinary teams at King’s have been working on research to provide new methods of analysis for blood stains at forensic crime scenes. New techniques...

      Police tape at a crime scene

      Features

      Rosalind Franklin at 100: How her legacy lives on

      This weekend, July 25th, marks 100 years since the birth of Rosalind Franklin, one of history’s leading scientists. While working at King’s, Franklin famously...

      Rosalind franklin_hero