Blackett Family DNA Activity

The career of a DNA analyst

What does a DNA analyst do?

DNA analysts prepare and analyze DNA from criminal evidence. They interpret the results of their DNA analysis and often are required to testify as expert witnesses on their findings. Because of the important nature of their work, analysts check each others findings (a process known as peer review). They also follow strict quality control procedures to ensure accuracy within the laboratory.

The field of DNA forensics is rapidly changing, requiring DNA analysts to stay current on all new techniques and procedures. Regular attendance at seminars, lectures, and forensic functions is highly recommended.

Where do DNA analysts work?

DNA analysts often work for crime labs such as those run by commercial entities, the FBI, and local law enforcement agencies. Universities and biotechnology companies also offer employment opportunities in research.

What kind of background is required to be a DNA analyst?

DNA analysts typically have a Bachelor's degree in the sciences or have successfully completed courses such as genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry.

Analysts are trained in the applications and equipment of forensic science. They should have a complete understanding of each stage of DNA analysis and be proficient with the procedures, techniques, applications, terms, and scientific principles.

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
Tuesday, August 20, 1996
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