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Seth Faith

Seth Faith

Main Content

  • Adjunct Professor (Forensic Science)


  • Regensburger J., Sander, A.J., Schuetter J.M., Bornman D.M., Faith S.A, Nelson S.C., Young B.A.Methods And Compositions For Identifying Repeating Sequences In Nucleic Acids.USPTO Application No.: US 9,708,653 B2 (2017) International Application No.: PCT/US2013/026346



Seth A. Faith is an internationally recognized expert in bioforensics, specializing in genomics, bioinformatics, and data science research. He is currently a Research Leader in the Advanced Genomics Group at Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit contract research organization. Dr. Faith has led industry and academic research teams with major scientific accomplishments; his scholarly work has been presented in numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, invited presentations/workshops and government reports. Notably, Dr. Faith has directed research resulting in the first demonstration of the use of Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics to perform forensic DNA STR genotyping compatible with the U.S. National DNA Database (NDIS), the first Cloud-based bioinformatics system for forensic genotyping (Altius), and a big-data microbiome approach for conducting trace analysis of materials around the globe. His research has been funded by the US Department of Defense and Department of Justice.

Dr. Faith was previously an assistant professor at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the Chancellor’s Faculty excellence program in forensics.  In his tenure track role, he developed the world’s first course in “Next-generation DNA forensics” that trained undergraduate and graduate students in new technologies for forensic science, serving a critical gap in workforce development. His students have secured jobs in federal and private laboratories, as well as advanced graduate programs in forensics.  Dr. Faith also advised faculty in proposal authorship and contract research execution (e.g., US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security) leveraging his experiences in contract research and network of federal funding agencies.

Dr. Faith is a trusted scientific advisor and consultant, providing numerous continuing education courses and consulting services to state and local law enforcement laboratories, international biosecurity organizations, and federal forensics laboratories. Further, he serves in several advisory roles for committees that oversee the standards of forensic science in the US, including The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis and Methods (SWGDAM), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Standards Board (ASB).  His leadership in these areas is helping to define the next-generation of protocols used in forensic science laboratories. Dr. Faith is also a member of a joint task force for developing advanced methods for missing persons identification at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s DNA laboratory in London, OH.

Dr. Faith was trained in molecular biology/virology at Northeast Ohio Medical University and he received specialized biodefense and aerobiology training as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Regional Biocontainment Laboratory.

Dr. Faith has a passion for STEM education, raising awareness of professional science careers and promoting opportunities for minorities in science.

Miscellaneous qualifications

  • 2016-present  Member, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Standards Board (ASB) in DNA
  • 2016-present  Member, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Standards Board (ASB) in Wildlife Forensics
  • 2016-present Member, NIST Organization of Science Area Committees (OSAC), Wildlife Forensics Subcommittee
  • 2015-present  Committee Member, FBI Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM)

Job positions

  • 2018-present   Research Leader – CBRNE Defense and Applied Genomics, Battelle
  • 2018-present   Adjunct Professor – DNA Forensics and Genomics, Penn State University Forensic Sciences Program
  • 2014-2017       Assistant Professor – Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, North Carolina State University, Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences
  • 2010-2014       Technical Leader – Human DNA Forensics and Genomics, Battelle Memorial Institute
  • 2006-2010       Aerobiology Research Specialist and Fellow, University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research, Regional Biocontainment Laboratory


  • Since 2015       Full Member, International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG)
  • Since 2013       Associate Member, American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
  • Since 2004       Full Member, American Society of Microbiology (ASM)


Workshops Hosted/Coordinated

  • NGS for DNA Forensics. Next Generation Dx Summit. Washington DC (2018).
  • Next-generation Sequencing in Forensics: Introduction, implementation and the future. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Crime Laboratory, Charlotte, NC (2017).
  • Co-Organizer and presenter. Moving Implementation Mountains: Experiencing the Forensic Laboratory NGS Workflow Workshop. 27th International Symposium on Human Identification. Minneapolis, MN (2016).
  • Analyzing and Utilizing Data from Next-Generation Sequencers in the Forensic Genomics Era. 26th International Symposium on Human Identification. Grapevine, TX (2015).

Selected Publications

For the listing publications please visit Pubmed

  1. Silva D., Sawitzki F., Scheible M., Bailey S., Alho C., and Faith S.A. Paternity testing using Massively Parallel Sequencing and the PowerSeqTM AUTO/Y system for short tandem repeat sequencing. Electrophoresis. in press
  2. Silva D., Sawitzki F., Scheible M., Bailey S., Alho C., and Faith S.A. Genetic analysis of Southern Brazil subjects using the PowerSeqTM AUTO/Y system for short tandem repeat sequencing. Forensic Science International: Genetics (2018).
  3. Bailey S.F., Scheible M.K., Williams C., Silva D., and Faith S.A., Secure and Robust Cloud Computing for High-throughput Forensic Microsatellite Sequence Analysis and Databasing. Forensic Science International: Genetics (2017)
  4. Gettings K.B., Kiesler.K.M., Faith S.A., Montano E., Baker C.H., Young B., Guerrieri R.A., Vallone P.M. Sequence variation of 22 autosomal STR loci detected by next generation sequencing. Forensic Science International: Genetics. 21 (2016)15 -21.
  5. Bartling C.M., Hester M.E., Bartz J., Heizer Jr. E., and Faith S.A. A Next-generation Sequencing Approach to Epigenetic-based Tissue Sourcing. Electrophoresis. 6 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/elps.201400087
  6. Bornman D.M., Hester M.E., Schuetter J.M., Kasoji M.D., Minard-Smith A., Barden C.A., Nelson S.C., Godbold G., Baker C., Yang B., Walther J.E., Tornes I.E., Yan P.S., Rodriguez B., Bundschuh R., Dickens M.L., Young B.A., Faith S.A. Short-read, high-throughput sequencing technology for STR genotyping.  BioTechniques Rapid Dispatches.  2012. Apr;0(0):1-6.

Honors and Awards

  • 2012 – Emerging Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute