The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) is an accredited forensic laboratory which is globally recognized as a leader in forensic identification.
Located on the growing campus of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas, UNTCHI services include forensic genetic and anthropological examinations for criminal casework and missing persons identification, local CODIS operations, and development and management of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) for the US Department of Justice. UNTCHI also is committed to the training of students and professionals in various aspects of forensic genetics and maintaining an active, innovative research program to improve forensic identification capabilities. Interdisciplinary expertise in forensics, genetics, genomics, microbiology, molecular biology, anthropology, bioinformatics and other related disciplines are available within the UNTCHI to support its mission.
With funding support from the State of Texas and various Federal Government agencies, UNTCHI continues to support forensic DNA testing.
To date, UNTCHI has processed the majority of missing person samples for the United States that reside within CODIS. UNTCHI also has been instrumental in decreasing sexual assault and criminal casework backlogs within Texas. In addition to forensic and missing person DNA services, UNTCHI provides anthropological examinations of skeletal remains to determine gender, ancestry, age, stature, possible signs of trauma and if the remains are of forensic significance. Since 2011, UNTCHI has managed the NamUs program which consists of a central on-line repository of information related to missing and unidentified decedent cases that serves law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, and the general public. Regional Service Administrators located throughout the US work closely with agencies and families with missing loved ones in an effort to exchange information and potentially resolve missing persons cases.
The forensic scientists at UNTCHI are recognized subject matter experts that often are called upon to assist in various investigative needs such as reduction of laboratory backlogs for the State of Texas, casework interpretation, testimony support, and development of software and databases to assist investigators nationwide as well as internationally. Active research efforts support the service work at UNTCHI and are collaborative with scientists from around the world. In the past several years, UNTCHI has published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications related to forensic genetics in the areas of human identification, microbial forensics, and molecular autopsy. Most of the mentored Masters and Doctoral students involved in the research continue on to active, successful careers.