Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2013

June 6, 2013

Sri Lankan forensic scientists train in DNA analysis at OSU School of Forensic Sciences

Sri Lankan forensic scientists Piyanka De Silva (right), Rasika Perera and Samara Jeewa Bandara, test samples from mock cases. Sri Lankan forensic scientists Piyanka De Silva (right), Rasika Perera and Samara Jeewa Bandara, test samples from mock cases.

A team of forensic scientists from the Sri Lanka Government Analysis Department is receiving three-week training in DNA analysis at the Oklahoma State University School of Forensic Sciences in Tulsa this month in preparation of launching the first forensic DNA program in the Asian island nation.

"OSU Center for Health Sciences has been an integral part of developing the first government forensic DNA program in Sri Lanka," said Robert Allen, Ph.D., chair of the school of forensic sciences at OSU-CHS. "We are proud to continue to train Sri Lanka forensic scientists on DNA analysis technology and prepare them as they spearhead this technology in their country."

In August 2012, OSU-CHS hosted the first group of forensic researchers from Sri Lanka as part of the initial training process. The scientists were the first from their nation to receive training on DNA analysis technology.

The goal of the program, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice, the Sri Lanka government and OSU-CHS, is to introduce the forensic DNA analysis program this year in Sri Lanka, where more than 20 million people live. The technology will help investigating and potentially solving the 200 sexual assaults and 7,000 homicides that occur in the country every year.

The program will revolutionize the way law enforcement investigates sexual assault and homicide crimes that currently go unsolved, said Allen.

A program officer from the U.S. Department of Justice will visit the OSU School of Forensic Sciences during the training to visit with the Sri Lankan scientists and discuss other international training opportunities with OSU-CHS.

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