Postdoctoral researcher Tamy Buonasera (right) and Glendon Parker, adjunct associate rofessor in Environmental Toxicology and forensic science at UC Davis examine a tooth sample.
Parker’s laboratory can identify individuals based on tiny amounts of protein from hair, teeth and fingermarks.
Credit: Karin Higgins/UC Davis DNA evidence has revolutionized forensic science in the past few years, cracking open cold cases and bringing both convictions and exonerations.
"It's reading DNA when you don't have any DNA to read," said Glendon Parker, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology and graduate group in forensic science at the University of California, Davis.
Parker's laboratory at UC Davis, with colleagues including Jelmer Eerkens, professor of anthropology, Robert Rice, professor of environmental toxicology and Brett Phinney, manager of the Proteomics Core Facility at the UC Davis Genome Center, is working to establish proteomics as a new tool in forensics and anthropology.
In a paper published in May 2019 in Forensic Science International: Genetics, the team has also shown that it is possible to get enough protein for personal identification from a fingermark.
Comparison of protein expression levels and proteomically-inferred genotypes using human hair from different body sites, Forensic Science International: Genetics (2019).