Paleo-DNA Training Courses - Virtual DNA Skills Training Course


The Paleo-DNA Training Courses - Virtual DNA Skills Training Course is an online, virtual laboratory-based training program designed to show learners the fundamentals of molecular techniques, including DNA extraction amplification (using PCR), sequencing, and interpretation. The course includes training in DNA technologies such as multiplex PCR, real-time PCR, and the use of the 3130xl automated sequencer and ABI 7000 real-time PCR equipment.

The aim of the course is to provide learners with an understanding of the concepts and theory of DNA analysis techniques; appreciate the laboratory practices associated with a variety of DNA analyses, and showcase practical DNA techniques available to a molecular biologist.

The learning outcomes of the course will be an understanding of the methods routinely used in DNA isolation, preparation and amplification; an understanding of the principles of DNA separation techniques; an understanding of the processes for data interpretation and the statistical evaluation processes associated with identity testing; and familiarization with the range of historical and current DNA markers used in human identification.

Registration for Paleo-DNA Training courses are offered in Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer sessions.

This offering is approved as a Micro-credential by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) of Ontario and is OSAP-MC eligible at Lakehead University.

To learn more about the provincial program and how to apply for OSAP for Micro-credentials, please visit Micro-credentials from Ontario’s postsecondary schools.
For a list of frequently asked questions on OSAP for Micro-credentials, please visit Lakehead Student Central: Financing, Scholarships & Awards and Government Aid.
To learn more about OSAP for Micro-credentials, please visit Lakehead Student Central.

Introduction: Virtual Tour Paleo-DNA Laboratory facility
Unit 1: Laboratory Practices
Unit 2: Sample Preparation
Unit 3: Extraction and Purification
Unit 4: Quantification
Unit 5: The Polymerase Chain Reaction
Unit 6: Gel Electrophoresis
Unit 7: Sequencing
Unit 8: Mitochondrial DNA
Unit 9: Short Tandem Repeats
Unit 10: The Y-Chromosome

Each unit is designed to follow the general process of the collection and preparation of a sample followed by the extraction and analysis of the DNA. The topics discussed will cover different types of samples that can be used for DNA analysis (buccal, hair, blood, bone) and the different preparation procedures required for each sample type. The participants will observe various DNA extraction methods applied to a variety of tissue types. DNA will be copied and analyzed using PCR (polymerase chain reaction), Multiplex PCR, Real-time PCR, Sequencing, and fragment analysis. Other techniques covered in the units include gel (Agarose and polyacrylamide) and capillary electrophoresis, measuring, centrifugation and pipetting. Participants will be shown how to analyze and interpret mitochondrial DNA, autosomal STRs (short tandem repeats), and Ychromosome DNA.

A Non-Credit Transcript and a Certificate of Participation will be issued by Lakehead University.

For more information, please contact the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at 807-343-8010, ext. 8616 or

Credential Earned
Certificate of Participation
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) Eligibility
Instructional Method
Web Based
10 Weeks
January 8 - March 24, 2024
May 13 - July 28, 2024
September 16 - December 1, 2024
$600 (+HST)

Program and Course Related Questions

You can find answers to your questions related to your chosen course or program by contacting the Instructor listed within the course or program details page.

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