Norwegian University of Life Sciences Department for Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science

Netherlands Forensic Institute

Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department for Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science

Universitetstunet 3
1432 Ås

Scientific Lead

Prof. Thore Egeland

Prof. Thore Egeland
Phone: +47 (0) 6496 6391


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Project Staff

Dr. Guro Dørum

Dr. Guro Dørum


Institute Presentation

The Biostatistics group has its major research activities in the scientific borderland between bioinformatics and applied statistics. The scientific staff consists of 6 permanent positions in bioinformatics and statistics and several post-docs and PhDs. Egeland heads this group. He transferred January 2010 from the Institute of legal medicine, University of Oslo, with which he cooperates closely.

Prof. Egeland will continue research on statistical methods in forensic genetics in his new environment in close contact with NIPH. The output of this work is both methods and software. In 1995 the development of the freeware program Familias [1] started. This freeware program is designed to handle complicated cases of identification based on DNA evidence and is the most commonly used program worldwide for the types of applications it addresses. The development of Familias has continued and extensions are currently being implemented. Software has also been developed in other areas. For instance, FEST [2] is a freeware package for simulation and likelihood calculations involving distant family relationships using as many as 500 000 SNPs.

There are several examples of cooperation with the Institute of Legal Medicine in Santiago de Compostela. For instance, statistical methods were developed to infer the most likely geographical origin of mtDNA sequence profiles. More recently, statistical methods for quantitative mtDNA were published. Softwware was developed for the mentioned projects and will be extended and made available to the community as a part of the EUROFORGEN project. We have also published on issues related to DNA databases.. For instance, we have developed methods aiming to bridge the gap between different approaches to interpreting DNA evidence following a hit in a database.

Dr. Dørum defended her PhD in applied statistics the fall of 2011. She is familiar with bioinformatics and statistics applied to genetics.