Dr. Holland’s Research Group

Advances of the FRNSC program through 2013 during my tenure as the Director.

Provost Jones, 12 Sep 2013-22z869y


Dr. Holland’s research group is focused on advancing forensic DNA applications, especially in the area of forensic mitochondrial (mt) DNA analysis.  The group is currently leveraging the power of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) to measure rates of mtDNA heteroplasmy in different population groups; evaluate the transmission of heteroplasmic variants between maternal relatives and tissue types; assess the impact of damage on the interpretation of low-level heteroplasmic variants; and develop best practices for the application of MPS approaches in forensic casework.  In addition, members of Dr. Holland’s group are exploring ways to extract small fragments of nDNA from highly degraded skeletal material for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis on an MPS platform; developing software tools for the analysis of mtDNA MPS data; and assessing the ability to recover viable DNA from metallic surfaces such as those found in ammunition components.

What does a Forensic DNA Profile look like?

Below is a video featuring some of the work that Dr. Holland has been involved with

The Power of Mitochondrial DNA Heteroplasmy – Adventures in Genomics

Video by Illumina

Current and prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr. Holland about opportunities to work in his research laboratory. http://science.psu.edu/people?combine=Mitchell Holland&person_type=All&department=12&taxonomy_entity_index_tid_depth_1=All.

Current lab members can log into our lab research group site here