The Lab

About Us

Microscope Icon

The BCIT Forensic DNA Laboratory, founded in 1999 by Dr. Dean Hildebrand, is an important part of the Institute’s Forensic Science and Technology Department, home to the most comprehensive forensic investigative programs in the country.

Our scientists are not only recognized forensic DNA experts, but also dedicated educators who enhance experiential learning activities with examples from their extensive casework experience.

The laboratory, accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, has handled a significant range of challenging forensic casework, including unidentified human remains cases with highly degraded samples. Using instrumentation and techniques at the forefront of forensic science, the laboratory contributes to vital humanitarian and criminal work that is integral to the social prosperity of our communities.

Our team is proud of the DNA-based humanitarian and investigative work conducted on behalf of our local, national, and international clients, as well as our role in educating the next generation of forensic scientists.

View Services
scc_logo

The BCIT Forensic DNA lab is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 and CAN-P-1578 accreditation standards. The ISO/IEC 17025 standard is designed for general laboratory accreditation, and is the standard to which most labs are held to be considered technically competent. CAN-P-1578 is the guideline for accreditation of Forensic Testing Laboratories, in this case tailored to analysis, comparison and interpretation of human DNA samples for the purposes of identification.

View Info

The Team

Steen Hartsen Headshot

Steen Hartsen

Steen Hartsen is an instructor in the Forensic Science & Technology department at BCIT, where he teaches the Forensic Biology: DNA Typing Applications course, and has been handling the day to day operations of the BCIT Forensic DNA Lab for the past 7 years. He has been qualified as an expert witness for DNA analysis…

Read More

Steen Hartsen is an instructor in the Forensic Science & Technology department at BCIT, where he teaches the Forensic Biology: DNA Typing Applications course, and has been handling the day to day operations of the BCIT Forensic DNA Lab for the past 7 years. He has been qualified as an expert witness for DNA analysis in murder and sexual assault cases.

He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Technology in Forensics from BCIT, and a Masters of Business Administration from Royal Roads University. He has been responsible for developing and facilitating DNA based student research projects at BCIT, including recovery of DNA from challenging samples, as well as evaluating novel technologies for biological fluid screening and DNA profiling. He has also been involved in developing quality assurance documentation and processes as part of the BCIT Forensic DNA Lab’s accreditation process.

Read Less
Dean Hildebrand Headshot

Dean Hildebrand

Dr. Hildebrand received his BSc (1990) and PhD (1996) from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His knowledge of molecular biology led him to pursue a career in forensic science. Dr. Hildebrand is currently the Associate Dean for the Computing, Chemistry and Forensics departments. Prior to that he has held…

Read More

Dr. Hildebrand received his BSc (1990) and PhD (1996) from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His knowledge of molecular biology led him to pursue a career in forensic science. Dr. Hildebrand is currently the Associate Dean for the Computing, Chemistry and Forensics departments. Prior to that he has held faculty and director positions within the Forensics department at BCIT and is a recognized expert in the field of forensic DNA analysis. His work focuses on the recovery and analysis of DNA from degraded remains using STR’s, mini-STR’s, Y-STR’s and mitochondrial DNA for the purposes of human identification. The laboratory he helped establish at BCIT is called upon by local and international Coroner and Police agencies to assist in challenging casework where human identification is required. He also works as a consultant for the B.C. Coroners Service (Identification and Disaster Response Unit) as a subject matter expert in forensic DNA analysis. In this capacity he helped develop and now maintains the unidentified remains and missing person DNA database for the province of BC.

Read Less
Jason Moore Headshot

Jason Moore

Jason Moore has been extensively involved in forensic DNA testing, research, and curriculum development at the BCIT Forensic Science and Technology department since 2006. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in 2005 at UBC, he came to BCIT and completed an Advanced Specialty Certificate in Forensic Science in 2007. In 2006 he began to…

Read More

Jason Moore has been extensively involved in forensic DNA testing, research, and curriculum development at the BCIT Forensic Science and Technology department since 2006. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in 2005 at UBC, he came to BCIT and completed an Advanced Specialty Certificate in Forensic Science in 2007. In 2006 he began to working with Dr. Hildebrand in the BCIT Forensic DNA laboratory. Jason’s duties include biological screening, forensic DNA testing, report writing, and technical review of case files. Currently he is also responsible for quality assurance activities in the laboratory which has recently achieved accreditation under the Standards Council of Canada. Jason completed a Master’s degree from SFU in the field of ancient DNA in 2011 and has been qualified and testified as forensic DNA expert witness.  He is also one of the Instructors in the Forensic Biology: DNA Typing Theory and Application courses at BCIT.

Read Less

Most Recent In the News Post

Posted on March 21, 2016

Cold cases heat up through new approach to identifying remains

Original Post Date: 21/03/2016

In an effort to identify the thousands of John/Jane Doe cold cases in the United States, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher and a team of international collaborators have found a multidisciplinary approach to identifying the remains of missing persons.

View Article