UHV genetics professor to lead 'CSI'-style DNA, forensics camp

June 5, 2011 at 1:05 a.m.

Students fascinated by the science that unlocks crime secrets in the "CSI" TV drama series are invited to jump into a laboratory to learn more about the popular field at an upcoming DNA, Genetics & Forensics Camp.

"It is true that the CSI series of TV shows has had a major influence on how people think about forensic science," said Richard Gunasekera, UHV director of graduate biology studies and camp director. "This camp will help students realize what is real and what is not from those fictional shows, while they still have fun and try to solve a mystery using scientific analysis."

Students will learn how to gather evidence, use lab equipment, analyze DNA and other skills.

This is the first time the camp will be in Sugar Land after the last three were in Victoria.

At the end of the camp, students will earn a certificate of completion.

"Students will learn quite a bit, starting with DNA and genetics, the basic groundwork for all of the life sciences," said Gunasekera, who has worked as a forensics expert in court cases. "One thing we will do is extract DNA material from hair samples."

The biology professor said students who study DNA and forensics can enter a variety of industries including medicine, nursing, genetic and biomedical engineering, research science, and lab analysis in forensics, microbiology, environmental and other health-related fields.

Nancy Penry, UHV training and development coordinator, will handle registration and help organize the camp. UHV will host a Plant Biotechnology Camp in Victoria and Sugar Land later this summer.

"Dr. Gunasekera does a great job with the students, and they really like the camp," Penry said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for students to study under a truly motivating university professor."



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