DNA fingerprinting series: a tribute to Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys invented the technique of DNA fingerprinting in 1984, a technique that changed forensic science forever. To mark his retirement in 2012 from the University of Leicester, Investigative Genetics has published a series of articles today that discuss DNA fingerprinting, the impact it’s had in divergent fields, and the man himself.


The series launch articles include an introductory editorial by the Editors-in-Chief Manfred Kayser, Antti Sajantila and Bruce Budowle; an personal opinion piece by Mark Jobling on the DNA fingerprinting story; and two reviews outlining the past, present and future of DNA fingerprinting in

forensics (by Lutz Roewer) and in anthropological genetics (by Michael Crawford and Kristine Beaty).


In addition, you can listen to our interview podcast with Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, featured in BioMed Central’s online magazine Biome. Professor Jeffreys talks about his initial discovery of DNA fingerprinting, his work on human genetic recombination, the impact of DNA fingerprinting on society, and also the future of forensic DNA applications. The full transcript of the interview has also been published as part of the Investigative Genetics thematic series.


The abovementioned articles will be closely followed by further reviews on DNA fingerprinting in zoology, botany, microbiology and radiobiology. You can read the full Open Access article series on the Investigative Genetics website, where you can also submit a manuscript. If you would like your manuscript to be considered as part of the DNA fingerprinting thematic series, please mention this in your cover letter.


Investigative Genetics is a peer-reviewed, open access, online journal that publishes articles on the development and application of molecular genetics in a wide range of science disciplines with societal relevance. To sign up for article alerts, or for more information about the journal please visit our website or contact the Editorial Office.

Images: Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys (top; attributed to University of Leicester); Variations of variable number tandem repeat allele lengths in 6 individuals (bottom; attributed to PaleWhaleGail, Wikimedia Commons)

Sam Rose

Journal Development Manager at BioMed Central
Sam studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Manchester, and is responsible for the development of BioMed Central's genetics journal portfolio.
Sam Rose

Latest posts by Sam Rose (see all)

View the latest posts on the On Biology homepage