Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $227,399)
The number of forensic case submissions to the Forensic Biology Section of the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner (ACOME) has continued to steadily rise from year to year. In response, staff scientists have worked extensively to implement systems to streamline sample processing, improve casework turnaround time, and reduce the backlog. While adapting to new legal requirements for the processing of sexual assault kits in Pennsylvania and converting to the expanded Core Loci, the ACOME has pinpointed additional capacity enhancements and processing advancements that will lead to improved laboratory efficiency and sample throughput. Through the proposed effort, the ACOME will acquire and performance check new equipment and software upgrades as well as validate a new quantitation chemistry and provide in-house Y-STR training to staff scientists to expand the capacity and efficiency of the Forensic Biology Laboratory.
Expected results from this program include improvements to laboratory quality and efficiency as well as increased sample throughput. A reduction in the casework backlog and the turnaround time for casework will also result from this project. nca/ncf