CSI: Seattle

GEN ST 162

In this laboratory-based course, you’ll investigate a modified crime and mystery based on an actual case that took place in Australia. In our Seattle event, the victim is a talented graduate student in genome sciences. He is found dead one morning with various pieces of evidence critical to the crime at the scene. By following clues left by the victim, interviewing UW staff across campus and chemically tracing the origins of materials at the scene of the crime, you’ll discover the victim’s medical history, secret laboratories and the past series of events that led to this tragic event.

Course Curriculum and Features

Students will operate as forensic scientists, utilizing a variety of trace evidence analyses — fingerprinting, mass spectrometry, protein gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography — to identify and track down science-based evidence. These exercises will illustrate the power and pitfalls of chemical forensics and help you understand the statistical basis for deciding guilt or innocence. The course will conclude with a student-led trial.

Note: A laptop is required to participate in this course. Rentals are available through the Student Tech Loan Program to students who have registered for autumn quarter.

Designed For

Those considering careers in biology research, forensics or the law; a working knowledge of the biology and chemistry of DNA is helpful but not required.


Brook Nunn
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Genome Sciences

Dates & Times

Aug 22–Sep 15, 2017

UW Seattle
9 a.m.–12 p.m.