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Mitchell M. Holland

Mitchell M. Holland

Main Content

  • Director, Forensic Science
  • Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
107 Whitmore
University Park, Pa 16802
Email: mmh20@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-5286

Websites

Education

  1. Postdoctoral Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Baltimore, Maryland. 1990
  2. Ph.D. in Biochemistry, The University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. 1989
  3. B.S. in Chemistry, Hobart College, Geneva, New York. 1984

Biography

Dr. Holland holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Philosophy from Hobart Collage in Geneva, New York (1984). He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Maryland College Park (1989) and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland where he studied Human Genetics (1990).

Dr. Holland is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, has served as an associate professorial lecturer in the Forensic Science Department at the George Washington University, and has been an adjunct faculty member at other colleges and universities. Dr. Holland has been on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Journal of Legal Medicine. He has held positions on governmental and company advisory boards (e.g., DMORT and Identigene Inc), and has been recognized by organizations for his work (e.g., by the FBI and NY City OCME).

Prior to being asked to help develop the Forensic Science program at Penn State, Dr. Holland was the Senior Vice President, Operations and Laboratory Director of The Bode Technology Group (Bode). Bode is one of the largest forensic DNA laboratories in the U.S., providing DNA identification services to public agencies and private citizens. Bode specializes in forensic casework, convicted offender databanking, forensic research, and product development. Dr. Holland oversaw the laboratory activities at Bode, as well as the IT, applied research, and wet-lab product development groups. Dr. Holland's laboratory at Bode was capable of producing greater than 30,000 forensic DNA profiles each month from sources such as convicted offender samples and victim family references. In addition, Dr. Holland's laboratory was capable of completing work on more than 800 forensic cases per month. Journal articles published by Dr. Holland while at Bode include;

  • Development of a quality, high throughput DNA analysis procedure for skeletal samples to assist with the identification of victims from the world trade center attacks, MM Holland, CA Cave, CA Holland, TW Bille (2003) Croatian Medical Journal, 44(3), pp. 264-72
  • Human hair histogenesis for the mitochondrial DNA forensic scientist, CA Linch, DA Whiting, MM Holland (2001) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 46(4), pp. 844-53

From 1991-2000, Dr. Holland held various positions at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) in Rockville, Md., including Scientific Laboratory Director from 1993-2000. At AFDIL, Dr. Holland was responsible for the laboratory that identified the remains of 1st Lt Michael Blassie (the Vietnam Unknown Soldier) and Tsar Nicholas Romanov. The focus of the work at AFDIL was the identification of U.S. military personnel killed in Vietnam, Korea, and as a result of conflicts during World War II. AFDIL continues to be responsible for the DNA identification of every U.S. military soldier killed while serving his/her country today. Journal articles published by Dr. Holland while at AFDIL include;

  • A sensitive denaturing gradient-gel electrophoresis assay reveals a high frequency of heteroplasmy in hypervariable region I of the human mtDNA control region, LA Tully, TJ Parsons, RJ Steighner, MM Holland, MA Marino, VL Prenger (2000) American Journal of Human Genetics, 67(2), pp. 432-43
  • Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis validation and use for forensic casework, MM Holland, TJ Parsons (1999) Forensic Science Review, 11, pp. 21-50
  • Amplification and sequencing of Mitochondrial DNA in forensic casework, RJ Steighner and MM Holland (1998) Methods in Molecular Biology: Forensic DNA Profiling Protocols, 98, pp. 213-224
  • A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region, TJ Parsons, DS Muniec, K Sullivan, N Woodyatt, R Alliston-Greiner, MR Wilson, DL Berry, KA Holland, VW Weedn, P Gill, and MM Holland (1997) Nature Genetics, 15, pp. 363-368
  • Mitochondrial DNA sequence heteroplasmy in the Grand Duke of Russia Georgij Romanov establishes the authenticity of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II, PL Ivanov, MJ Wadhams, RK Roby, MM Holland, VW Weedn, and TJ Parsons (1996) Nature Genetics, 12, pp. 417-420
  • Establishing the identity of Anna Anderson Manahan, M Stoneking, T Melton, J Nott, S Barritt, R Roby, M Holland, V Weedn, P Gill, C Kimpton, R Aliston-Greiner, and K Sullivan (1995) Nature Genetics, 9(1), pp. 9-10

Dr. Holland has had extensive experience over the last 18 years with human remains identification cases, including the identification of victims from the World Trade Center disasters and from numerous commercial airline accidents.

Dr. Holland has given hundreds of lectures and/or presentations on forensic DNA analysis (many at professional conferences and seminars), and has published 40 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and other manuscripts. In addition, Dr. Holland has been qualified in numerous courts of law as an expert in forensic DNA analysis. Finally, Dr. Holland has established a consulting firm (www.forensicdnaconsultants.com) to support the legal, law enforcement and crime laboratory communities.

Employment

2009-Present:  Director of the Forensic Science Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

2005-Present:  Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

2005-Present:  Founder, Forensic DNA Consultants, Port Matilda, PA

2005-2009:  Associate Director of the Forensic Science Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

2000-2005:  Senior VP, Operations and Laboratory Director (2003-2005) and VP, Laboratory Director (2000-2002), The Bode Technology Group, Springfield, VA

1991-2000:  Scientific Laboratory Director (AKA: Branch Chief)(1993-2000), Head of Research (1992-1993), and Research Scientist (1991-1992), Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rockville, MD

1990-1991:  Research Associate, Sinai Hospital, Department of Surgical Research, and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

Professional Affiliations, Special Appointments, Testimony

American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Fellow

Scientific Committee Member, International Society for Applied Biological Sciences, 2004-Present

American Society of Human Genetics, Previous Member

Member of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM), FBI Academy, 1992-2000

Associate Professorial Lecturer in Forensic Sciences, Department of Forensic Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 1993-2000 (Forensic DNA Profiling 254)

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and

Gynecology, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 1994-1999

Associate Graduate Faculty, Forensic Science Program, Marshall University,Huntington, WV, 1997-1999

Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Forensic Sciences 2000-2010

Advisory Board Member for the International Journal of Legal Medicine 1996-2007

National Institutes of Justice Grant Review Board, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2007

Testified:  More than 20 Times

Continuing Education & Workshops

Greater than 80 invited lectures and presentations at professional conferences, and typically attend at least one or two professional conferences each year; for example, the 21st International Symposium on Human Identification (workshop organizer) and the Mid Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Annual Meeting (workshop organizer) in 2010, and the Mid Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Annual Meeting (workshop organizer) and the 7th ISABS Meeting in Croatia (oral presentation) in 2011.

Workshop Organizer, Mid Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Annual Meeting, Virginia Beach, VA, workshop entitled “DNA Mixture Interpretation”, May 2011

Workshop Organizer, 21st International Symposium on Human Identification, San Antonio, TX, workshop entitled “LCN STR Analysis”, October 2010

Co-Workshop Organizer, Mid Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Annual Meeting, State College, PA, workshop entitled “DNA Mixture Interpretation”, May 2010

Co-Workshop Organizer, Penn State University, University Park, PA, workshop entitled “Forensic Science Workshop Series: From the Scene to the Classroom - Biology and Bioterrorism”, June 2009

Workshop Organizer, Study Abroad Program through Penn State University and the University of Zagreb, Zagreb and Split, Croatia, “LCN STR Analysis”, June 2008

Co-Workshop Organizer, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Chicago, IL, workshop entitled “Extracting DNA from Challenged Samples“, February 2003

Co-Workshop Organizer, the 10th International Symposium on Human Identification, Orlando, FL, workshop entitled “MtDNA Sequence Analysis in Forensic Casework: Methods and Current Issues”, September 1999

Co-Course Director, MtDNA Training Course (two weeks), George Mason University, Prince William County Campus, The Institute for Biosciences, Bioinformatics, and Biotechnology, Manassas, VA, November 1998

Co-Workshop Organizer, the 2nd European Symposium on Human Identification, Innsbruck, Austria, workshop entitled “MtDNA Sequence Analysis in Forensic Casework: Methods and Current Issues”, June 1998

Co-Organizer, workshop entitled “The First International Workshop on Human Mitochondrial DNA”, Washington, DC, October 1997

Faculty Member, “The First European-American Intensive Course in PCR Based Clinical and Forensic Testing”, Split, Croatia, September 1997

Organized and Attended, “Statistical Genetics for Forensic Scientists”, by Bruce Weir, Rockville, MD, September 1997

Faculty Member, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, New York, NY, workshop entitled "Advanced DNA Technologies: Automation and Application", February 1997

Faculty Member, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Nashville, TN, workshop entitled "Advanced DNA Technologies", February 1996

Faculty Member, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Seattle, WA, workshop entitled "Implementation and Consequences of New DNA Technologies: The Sequel", February 1995

Course Co-Director, The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and The American Registry of Pathology, in conjunction with The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, "Methods and Advanced Techniques in Human Identification", June 1994

Faculty Member, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, San Antonio, TX, workshop entitled "Implementation and Consequences of New DNA Technologies in the Forensic Laboratory", February 1994

Faculty Member, The Fourth International Symposium on Human Identification, Scottsdale, Arizona, workshop entitled "Practical Techniques in DNA Analysis of PCR Fragments", September 1993

Visiting Research Scientist, FBI Forensic Science Research and Training Center, The FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, September-December 1991

Selected Publications

Molecular analysis of the human mitochondrial DNA control region for forensic identity testing, MM Holland (2012) Curr Protoc Hum Genet, Chapter 14:Unit 14.7

Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis: current practices and future potentials, T Melton, C Holland, M Holland (2012) Forensic Science Review, 24, pp. 101-22

Second Generation Sequencing Allows for mtDNA Mixture Deconvolution and High Resolution Detection of Heteroplasmy, MM Holland, M McQuillan, KA O’Hanlon (2011) Croatian Medical Journal, 52, pp. 299-313

GeneMarker® HID: a Reliable Software Tool for the Analysis of Forensic STR Data, M Holland, W Parson (2011) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56(1), pp. 29-35

Forensic Science Education, M Holland, D Sykes, R Shaler (2006) Forensic Magazine, July Issue

Development of a quality, high throughput DNA analysis procedure for skeletal samples to assist with the identification of victims from the world trade center attacks, MM Holland, CA Cave, CA Holland, TW Bille (2003) Croatian Medical Journal, 44(3), pp. 264-72

A new database of mitochondrial DNA hypervariable region 1 and 2 sequences from 162 Japanese individuals, K Imaizumi, TJ Parsons, M Yoshihno, MM Holland (2002) International Journal of Legal Medicine, 116 (2), pp. 68-73

Improved mtDNA sequence analysis of forensic remains using a “mini-primer set” amplification strategy, MN Gabriel, EF Huffine, JH Ryan, MM Holland, TJ Parsons (2001) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 46(2), pp. 247-53

Human hair histogenesis for the mitochondrial DNA forensic scientist, CA Linch, DA Whiting, MM Holland (2001) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 46(4), pp. 844-53

Multiplex PCR amplification of eight STR loci in Austrian and Croatian Caucasian populations, J Ross, W Parson, I Furac, M Kubat, M Holland (2001) International Journal of Legal Medicine, 115, pp. 57-60

Molecular analysis of the human mitochondrial DNA control region for forensic identity testing, MM Holland, EF Huffine (2001) Curr Protoc Hum Genet, Chapter 14:Unit 14.7

A sensitive denaturing gradient-gel electrophoresis assay reveals a high frequency of heteroplasmy in hypervariable region I of the human mtDNA control region, LA Tully, TJ Parsons, RJ Steighner, MM Holland, MA Marino, VL Prenger (2000) American Journal of Human Genetics, 67(2), pp. 432-43

DNA Commission of the International Society for Forensic Genetics: guidelines for mitochondrial DNA typing, A Carracedo, W Bar, P Lincoln, W Mayr, N Morling, B Olaisen, P Schneider, B Budowle, B Brinkmann, P Gill, M Holland, G Tully, M Wilson (2000) Forensic Science International, 110(2), pp. 79-85

Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis – validation and use for forensic casework, MM Holland, TJ Parsons (1999) Forensic Science Review, 11, pp. 21-50

Comparative identity and homogeneity testing of the mtDNA HV1 region using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, RJ Steighner, LA Tully, JD Karjala, MD Coble, MM Holland (1999) Journal of Forensic Sciences, 44(6), pp. 1186-1198

Expanding the forensic German Mitochondrial DNA control region database: genetic diversity as a function of sample size and microgeography, H Pfeiffer, B Brinkmann, J Hühne, B Rolf, AA Morris, R Steighner, MM Holland, P Forster (1999) International Journal of Legal Medicine, 112, pp. 291-298

The use of DNA analysis in the identification and re-association of remains recovered from TWA Flight 800 and KAL Flight 801, DA Lee, JM Willard, JP Ross, DE Katz, MM Holland (1999) The 6th Indo Pacific Congress on Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, INPALMS-1998-KOBE, Yoshitsugu Tatsuno (ed.), pp. 249-252

A validation study for the extraction and analysis of DNA from human nail material and its application to forensic casework, TD Anderson, JP Ross, DA Lee, RK Roby, JJ Canik, MM Holland (1999) Journal of Forensic Sciences, 44(5), pp.1053-56

Mitochondrial DNA regions HVI and HVII population data; B Budowle, MR Wilson, JA DiZinno, C Stauffer, MA Fasano, MM Holland, KL Monson (1999) Forensic Science International, 103, pp. 23-35

Mitochondrial DNA extraction and typing from isolated dentin – experimental evaluation in a Korean population, H Pfeiffer, R Steighner, R. Fisher, H Mörnstad, C-L Yoon, and MM Holland (1998) International Journal of Legal Medicine, 111, pp. 309-313

Population data for 101 Austrian Caucasian mitochondrial D-Loop sequences: application of MtDNA sequence analysis to a forensic case, W Parson, TJ Parsons, R Scheithauer, and MM Holland (1998) The International Journal of Legal Medicine, 111, pp. 124-132

Recovery of DNA for PCR amplification from blood and forensic samples using a chelating resin, JM Willard, DA Lee, and MM Holland (1998) Methods in Molecular Biology: Forensic DNA Profiling Protocols, 98, pp. 9-18

Amplification and sequencing of Mitochondrial DNA in forensic casework, RJ Steighner and MM Holland (1998) Methods in Molecular Biology: Forensic DNA Profiling Protocols, 98, pp. 213-224

A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region, TJ Parsons, DS Muniec, K Sullivan, N Woodyatt, R Alliston-Greiner, MR Wilson, DL Berry, KA Holland, VW Weedn, P Gill, and MM Holland (1997) Nature Genetics, 15, pp. 363-368

Multiplex systems for the amplification of short tandem repeat loci:  evaluation of laser fluorescence detection, MD Ricciardone, AM Lins, JW Schumm, and MM Holland (1997) Biotechniques, 23, pp. 742-747

DNA analysis, VW Weedn, DA Lee, RK Roby, MM Holland (1997) Analytical Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Toxicology, SHY Wong and I Sunshine (eds.), CRC Press, pp. 35-50

Mitochondrial DNA sequence heteroplasmy in the Grand Duke of Russia Georgij Romanov establishes the authenticity of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II, PL Ivanov, MJ Wadhams, RK Roby, MM Holland, VW Weedn, and TJ Parsons (1996) Nature Genetics, 12, pp. 417-420

Establishing the identity of Anna Anderson Manahan, M Stoneking, T Melton, J Nott, S Barritt, R Roby, M Holland, V Weedn, P Gill, C Kimpton, R Aliston-Greiner, and K Sullivan (1995) Nature Genetics, 9(1), pp. 9-10

DNA and the forensic odontologist, BC Smith, MM Holland, DL Sweet, JA DiZinno (1995) The Manual of Forensic Odontology, American Society of Forensic Odontology, CM Bowers and GL Bell (eds.), pp. 283-298

Serological and DNA methods for the identification of urine specimen donors, MM Holland, R Roy, and MD Fraser (1995) The Handbook of Workplace Drug Testing, RH Liu and BA Goldberger (eds.), pp. 159-180

Further validation of the Quad 1 STR DNA typing system: a collaborative effort to identify victims of a mass disaster, TM Clayton, DL Fisher, MM Holland, DA Lee, CN Maguire, VW Weedn, JP Whitaker, and P Gill (1995) Forensic Science International, 76, pp. 17-25

Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis of human remains, MM Holland, DL Fisher, RK Roby, J Ruderman, C Bryson, and VW Weedn (1995) Crime Laboratory Digest, 22(4), pp. 3-8

Identification of human remains using mitochondrial DNA sequencing: potential mother-child mutational events, MM Holland, RK Roby, DL Fisher, J Ruderman, DA Lee, CK Bryson, T Kupferschmid, RS Loft, AJ Eisenberg (1994) Advances in Forensic Haemogenetics, W Bär, A Fiori and U Rossi (eds.), pp. 399-406

Typing human DNA using capillary electrophoresis: comparison of slab gel and capillary formats, MM Holland, LA Turni, S Delrio, M Marino, RS Lofts, DL Fisher, J Ross, JW Schumm, and PL Williams (1994) Advances in Forensic Haemogenetics, W Bär, A Fiori and U Rossi (eds.), pp. 156-159

Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis of human skeletal remains: identification of remains from the Vietnam War, MM Holland, DL Fisher, LG Mitchell, WC Rodriguez, JJ Canik, CR Merril, and VW Weedn (1993) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 38(3), pp. 542-553

Extraction, evaluation, and amplification of DNA from decalcified and undecalcified United States Civil War bone, DL Fisher, MM Holland, L Mitchell, PS Sledzik, AW Wilcox, M Wadhams, and VW Weedn (1993) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 38(1), pp. 60-68

A systematic approach to the sampling of dental DNA (Technical Note), BS Smith, VW Weedn, GR Warnock, and MM Holland (1993) The Journal of Forensic Sciences, 38(5), pp. 1194-1209

Guidelines for the use of mitochondrial DNA sequencing in forensic science, MR Wilson, MM Holland, M Stoneking, JA DiZinno, and B Budowle (1993) Crime Laboratory Digest, 20(4), pp. 68-77

Short tandem repeat loci: application to forensic and human remains identification, MM Holland, DL Fisher, DA Lee, CK Bryson, and VW Weedn (1993) The Second International Conference on DNA Fingerprinting, DNA Fingerprinting: State of the Science, SDJ Pena, R Chakraborty, JT Epplen, and AJ Jeffreys (eds.), pp. 267-274

Application of serological and DNA methods for identification of urine specimen donors, MM Holland, R Roy, MD Fraser, and RH Liu (1993) Forensic Science Review, 5(1), pp. 1-14

Programmed demethylation in CpG islands during human fetal development, BR Migeon, MM Holland, DJ Driscoll, and JC Robinson (1991) Somatic Cell and Molecular Genetics, 17(2), 159-168

Isolation and characterization of a small catalytic domain released from the Adenylate Cyclase from Escherichia coli by digestion with trypsin, MM Holland, TK Leib, and JA Gerlt (1988) The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 263, 14661-146

Honors and Awards

  • Analytical Chemistry Prize
  • Hobart College 1983
  • Ralph Hadley Bullard Prize for Achievement in Chemistry
  • Hobart College 1984
  • 10 Years of Excellence in DNA
  • The FBI Laboratory 1998

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