In the past 20 years forensic molecular biology has faced substantial technological developments. Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci have become the golden standard for (human) identification in crime case, ID and paternity case work. National DNA databases that consist of STR-profiles serve as powerful intelligence tool to combat crime even across boarders. Major developments have been witnessed in the field of the uniparentally inherited genomes mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA. Also, the application of X-chromosomal markers has found a vital niche in forensic DNA analysis. Molecular photofitting is one of the current and future key research topics, which involves the prediction of the geographical source as well as physical traits of an individual by analysis of its DNA.
The research activities mainly focus on the analysis of (bio)organic molecules in particular on the analysis of small molecules (drugs, pharmaceuticals, metabolites) as well as on the analysis of nucleic acids. The method of choice for the characterization of these species is mass spectrometry, which is in most cases hyphenated to a chromatographic method (liquid chromatography and gas chromatography). Research activities are indented to optimize the complete analytical process. We are working on the optimization of chromatographic techniques, on the improvement of the mass spectrometric detection of biomolecules, on the validation of sample preparation procedures, and the application of the established techniques in fields like forensic analysis, environmental analysis, diagnostics, therapeutic drug monitoring, metabolic profiling, genetics, as well as pharmacogenetics.