In 1978, the Serological Research Institute (SERI) was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit California organization in the state of California. Within its first 12 months, SERI had trained over 100 criminalists throughout the United States in multisystem procedures for characterizing body fluids. In 1980, while continuing to train criminalists, SERI also began accepting casework for analysis and selling forensic products and supplies to labs worldwide.
SERI grew alongside the fledgling field of forensic serology. In the 1980s the lab researched multiple possible genetic markers for identification of blood and semen stains. When UC Berkeley researcher George Sensabaugh identified the semen-specific protein P30, SERI analysts developed an electrophoresis method to confirm its presence. In 1988, SERI began exploring DNA typing as applied to forensic work, and in 1996 the lab was one of the first to use capillary electrophoresis technology to analyze DNA from evidentiary items. In 2000, SERI began offering mitochondrial DNA testing on forensic samples.
From the beginning, SERI has also contributed to the development of certification and accreditation standards in forensic science. SERI staff participated in the first Symposium on Forensic Serology in 1987 and assisted with creating certification exams in biochemistry and molecular biology in 1989. SERI became accredited under ASCLD/LAB in 2000 and has maintained accreditation ever since, most recently through ASCLD/LAB’s successor: the ANAB ANSI accreditation board.
SERI analysts have processed over 14,000 cases–including over 65,000 forensic DNA samples–and testified in hundreds of cases in state and federal courtrooms across the country. Over the decades, our well trained scientists have often been scouted by other organizations, and today forensic laboratories throughout the United States are staffed with SERI alumni. Our extensive forensic biology experience and expertise lead the field in the analysis of challenging forensic evidence samples.