The emerging role of genetics professionals in forensic kinship DNA identification after a mass fatality: Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina volunteers

Siobhan M. Dolan, Devki S. Saraiya, Sandra Donkervoort, Kelly Rogel, Caroline Lieber, Amanda Sozer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To explore the experience of medical genetics professionals who volunteered in the DNA identification efforts after Hurricane Katrina to identify "lessons learned" and plan for future recovery efforts. METHODS: A web-based survey was administered to volunteers in the Fall of 2007. RESULTS: Sixty-six individuals (75%) completed the survey. Eighty-six percent volunteered because they felt their skills as genetics professional were needed and 46% desired additional training on the molecular aspects of kinship analysis. Most (97%) reported that they would like to see the genetics community become actively involved in further developing the role of genetics professionals in mass fatality response. All respondents (100%) would volunteer again. CONCLUSION: Developing a registry of volunteers and educational materials tailored to the needs of genetics professionals should be explored as a mechanism to prepare the genetics community to play an active role in future mass fatality response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-417
Number of pages4
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009



  • DNA identification
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Mass fatality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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