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Forensic Science

Research group leader: Dr Barbara Daniel and Dr Leon Barron

Contact email: barbara.daniel@kcl.ac.uk, leon.barron@kcl.ac.uk, denise.syndercombe-court@kcl.ac.uk

Research group website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/biohealth/research/divisions/aes/research/forensic/index.aspx

King's College London has had an active, dedicated forensic science research programme since 1985. Throughout this period, we have worked closely with forensic science practitioners to ensure that our research is focused on addressing their fundamental questions and most important needs.

Explosives and Environmental Forensic Group – Dr Leon Barron

Novel methods for the detection of explosives is a collaborative project being carried out with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – Forensic Explosives Laboratory and the ‘Threat Mitigation Technologies – Metropolitan Police Service’ group.

Monitoring river water for the presence of licit and illicit drugs is an illuminating piece of research carried out by this group

Trace DNA and Body Fluid Detection Group – Dr Barbara Daniel

This research is supported by the Metropolitan Police Forensic Directorate and has recently attracted funding from the Home Office. Recent advances in technology have meant that forensic DNA profiles can be obtained from fewer and fewer cells and even from cell-free DNA in tears and sweat. Being able to detect body fluids on clothing is of paramount importance and this group is not only studying the nature of the trace DNA but also devising an automated detection system using human specific biomarkers.

Forensic Genetics Group – Dr Denise Syndercombe Court

This group are part of the ‘European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence’ and are at the forefront of research into phenotypic markers for physical description and age, and geographic ancestry using next generation resequencing methodologies. They have recently been awarded a KTP to work with Illumina on their new forensic initiative with the aim of developing their methodology for forensic identification in the future.

Prospective students on our PhD programmes will benefit from:

• Being part of a dynamic, interactive and supportive research team;
• Depth of understanding of forensic science and scientific approaches to solving crime;
• Leading the discovery and publication of new approaches in forensic science;
• Collaboration with industrial and internationally renowned experts in their field;
• Formal postgraduate training opportunities in research methods, experimental design, education and publishing.

Research groups

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