Sheree Hughes, PhD merges her research interests of DNA typing, human anatomy, and forensic anthropology by investigating degraded and challenging biological samples for human identification (HID) and forensic intelligence purposes.
Dr. Hughes leads a research group of students where the main research focusses on improving DNA collection, room preservation, sample preparation, and DNA typing methods for skeletal and highly decomposed human tissues for missing persons and disaster victim identification applications.
Other current research interests include exploring alternate DNA markers (INNULs, INDELs, SNPs) and various NGS technologies, improving genotyping methods from handled items (e.g. “touch” samples, firearms, and explosive devices), exploring proteomics, and assessing the utility and persistence of body fluid identification markers (miRNA) in environmentally challenging samples.
She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented numerous papers at international scientific meetings. Co-PI Hughes was a commissioner on the Texas Forensic Science Commission from 2014-2018 and has been actively teaching, conducting, and managing forensic research and training programs on human decomposition and DNA-based HID methods for more than ten years.
Collecting “touch” DNA from a fired gun to identify the shooter.
Cleaning and sanding bone sample for forensic DNA-related research.
Collection of DNA from donor for biological research.