The Center for Advanced Genomics

Solutions to the Toughest Forensic Challenges



Signature Science was founded with the mission to analyze the biological and chemical signatures associated with threats to the security of our country. Now we apply that experience and expertise domestically. Our ANAB-accredited Forensic DNA Laboratory offers state-of-the-art forensic serology and DNA analysis services. We support our law enforcement clients by providing cost-effective, scalable casework solutions for both traditional and specialized sample analysis. Because we, too, want to solve every case, our Center for Advanced Genomics engages in high-level genomic research, development, and testing and evaluation to address the scientific and technical forensic challenges facing our criminal justice system.


At the core of the Center for Advanced Genomics are Signature Science’s experts in forensic science, bioinformatics, and quality assurance, who form a powerful multidisciplinary team dedicated to advancing the state-of-the-art in forensic science and genomic technologies. The Center effectively moves our innovative research through the method development and validation processes that ultimately enable quality-focused, advanced forensic solutions to federal, state, and local law enforcement.

Our research laboratories are hubs for innovative technology discoveries in proteomics, genomics, and microbial forensics. Technology advancements include developing novel methods for maximizing DNA recovery in both yield and quality from forensic samples subjected to challenging conditions; evaluating and optimizing sequencing technologies for forensic applications; and exploring alternate analysis approaches for human forensic identification such as protein sequencing. Research efforts at the Center for Advanced Genomics are supported by federal government-funded contracts as well as internal investments, and include a network of collaborating partners spanning academia, industry, and government.


Stephen Turner, Ph.D.
Leader, Genomics R&D
Ph.D. Human Genetics, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Turner leads the genomic R&D program at the Center for Advanced Genomics, developing leading-edge forensic solutions. He was the founding director of the University of Virginia School of Medicine Bioinformatics Core.

Dr. Turner’s expertise is in bioinformatics, biostatistics, computational biology, and genomics-related data science.

Curt Hewitt, Ph.D.
Leader, Human Identification R&D
Ph.D. Genetics & Molecular Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Hewitt leads innovative R&D in the field of human identification for the Center for Advanced Genomics, developing novel methods for maximizing DNA recovery yield and quality from challenging, degraded, or aged samples.

Dr. Hewitt’s expertise is in molecular biology, proteogenomics, microbial forensics, and synthetic biology.

Christina Neal, M.S.
Senior Forensic Scientist
M.S. Biotechnology, The Johns Hopkins University

Ms. Neal is a Senior Forensic Scientist for SigSci’s Center for Advanced Genomics performing genomics-based R&D and technology assessments, and high-throughput DNA analysis with CE, sequencing, and array genotyping. Served as a Forensic Scientist at AFDIL, in support of the AFMES.

Ms. Neal’s expertise is in forensic DNA sequencing, array genotyping, and mitochondrial genome sequencing.

Leslie Parke, PMP, CQA
Director, Forensic DNA Laboratory

Ms. Parke serves as Laboratory Director for Center for Advanced Genomics’ ANAB-accredited DNA casework laboratory where she oversees the quality systems. She has 20 years of experience managing biology-focused projects for U.S. government programs and over 25 years of experience as a QA expert.

Ms. Parke routinely receives client acclaim for excellence in responsiveness and customer service.

Jamie Haas, M.S.
Technical Leader
M.S. Forensic/Investigative Genetics, The University of North Texas Health Science Center

Ms. Haas serves as Technical Leader for the Center for Advanced Genomics’ ANAB-accredited DNA casework laboratory where she specializes in the interpretation of complex DNA mixtures.

Ms. Haas is expert in applying probabilistic genotyping to casework and forensic lab method improvement.

Carmen Reedy, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Ph.D. Chemistry (Bioanalytical), University of Virginia

Dr. Reedy serves as a Forensics Team Lead for Signature Science, performing DNA sequencing R&D, technology assessments, and high throughput DNA analysis. Her solid phase DNA extraction experience is vast and includes microchip-based methods for genomic and mitochondrial DNA extraction.

Dr. Reedy’s expertise is in DNA extraction and quantitation, array genotyping, and NGS technology.

Elayna Ciuzio (Moreithi), M.S., PMP
Senior Forensic Scientist
M.S. International Health, George Mason University

Ms. Ciuzio serves as the Manager of Forensics Operations in Charlottesville and subject matter expert, performing R&D, emerging technology assessments, and high-throughput DNA analysis. Ms. Ciuzio specializes in genotyping, PCR, massively parallel sequencing, and forensic sample collection training. Ms. Ciuzio is a skilled user of standard and emerging DNA technologies, including Rapid DNA, sequencing, and SNP-generating platforms.


David Russell, M.S.
Forensic Scientist
M.S. Biology (Microbial Forensics), Western Carolina University

Mr. Russell serves as a Forensic Scientist for the Center for Advanced Genomics in support of research, development, test and evaluation efforts. Mr. Russell’s technical forensic expertise includes DNA Extraction, Nuclear DNA real-time PCR quantification, human STR amplification and mtDNA sequencing.



Bioinformatics – Genomic Data to Actionable Forensic Insight

  • Targeted Sequencing
  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Array Genotyping
  • Investigative Genetic Genealogy
  • Forensic DNA Phenotyping
  • Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence

Applied Research – Innovative Solutions

  • Microbial Forensics
  • Proteomics
  • Metagenomics
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Massively Parallel Sequencing
  • Recipient of Federal R&D Awards and Grants
  • Research Collaborator with Academic, Governmental, and Commercial Partners

DNA Casework – ANAB Accredited Laboratory


  • Serological Testing
  • Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Reduction
  • Forensic DNA Casework
  • Degraded DNA Testing
  • FRISC (Cartridge Case Analysis)
  • Probabilistic Genotyping
  • Expert Witness / Consultation


  • AB 7500 Real-Time PCR
  • AB 3500 xL Genetic Analyzer
  • Illumina® MiSeq FGx
  • Illumina® iScan
  • Investigator 24plex QS, GlobalFiler,™ and Yfiler™ Plus Amplification
  • Male screening / stop-at-quant using Investigator Quantiplex Pro
  • Genemapper ID-X Software
  • STRmix™ Probabilistic Genotyping Software


  • On-site Technical Support
  • Casework Applications
  • Applied Research
  • Technology Advancement
  • Method Development
  • Training / Validation
  • Systems Integration