The forensic research group is primarily concerned with the improvement and utilization of different types of techniques and protocols for DNA analysis in crime investigation. A fast and accurate way for paternity and crime related cases is DNA testing. But DNA testing depends on availability of population databases for statistically accurate results. Therefore, there is a constant need to genotype all major populations of Pakistan
Moreover, it will help in determining STR (X, Y and autosomal) frequency of different populations of Pakistan for the development of a DNA database which will be useful in future forensic casework. We are developing new protocols and STR multiplex systems with combination of different types of DNA markers for, accurate DNA profiling from highly degraded DNA samples especially from bones, same paternal lineage male discrimination, age prediction, suicidal behavior and trace evidence analysis. This group is also performing phylogenetic analysis of different population ethnic groups of Pakistan and prediction of phenotypic traits based on SNP genotyping in humans
key research areas
Population genetics, DNA phenotyping, STR multiplex development, rapidly mutating (RM) Y-STRs, Next generation sequencing of Y-STRs, SNP genotyping, Age prediction, Trace evidence analysis, Protein modeling, Phylogenetic analysis, forensic toxicology, Computational Drug Designing
LIST OF RESEARCH PROJECTS
- HEC NRPU project on “Development of 21 STR loci DNA database for each province of Pakistan” with approved amount of Rs. 3.6 million.
- Chief-investigator of collaborative Australian project in University of Technology Sydney on “Mutation mechanism of RM Y-STRs through Next Generation Sequencing” funded by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (Rs. 5 million).
- Collaborative research project with Uppsala University, Sweden, and Stockholm police on forensic evaluation of STRs, mtDNA and methylation markers for Trace DNA evidence analysis.
- PI ORIC project on “Y-STR Haplotype Diversity Analysis with increased Power of Discrimination at 24Y/RM-YSTRs in Kashmiri population of Pakistan” with amount of Rs. 0.25 million.
- PI ORIC project on “Y-STR Database Development with improved power of discrimination at 24Y/RM-YSTRs in Sindhi population of Pakistan” with amount of Rs. 0.2 million.
- Establishment of first state of the art Forensic DNA services laboratory at CAMB in Pakistan
- Forensic training workshops were conducted for Police officials, Lawyers, and medicolegal doctors
- Development of new STR multiplex systems for simultaneous amplification of miniSTRs, autosomal, Y-chromosomal, and X- STRs
- Development of 19 Rapidly mutating Y-STRs multiplex system to differentiate males of same paternal lineage
- Detection and submission of rare and variant STR alleles to international DNA population databases like NIST STR database, YHRD and STRidER
- Detection of trace chemical explosives through Raman Spectroscopy and their touch DNA profiling
- Fingerprint patterns and ridge density variations and prediction through SNP genotyping in Pakistani population
- Thirteen (13) PhD students and 45 M.Phil. students have completed their degrees from this lab
ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH LINKAGES
- Centre of Forensic Science, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
- Department of Immunology, Genetics Uppsala University, Sweden
- Punjab Forensic Science Agency, Lahore Pakistan
- Department of Forensic Science, University of Health Sciences Lahore Pakistan
Muhammad Shahzad firstname.lastname@example.org
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