Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter and Gene By Gene Join Forces to Shape the Future of Investigative Genetic Genealogy

The following announcement was written by Gene By Gene, the parent company of FamilyTreeDNA:

Barbara Rae-Venter, PhD

HOUSTON, Sept. 27, 2019 — Genetic genealogist Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter, recognized for her groundbreaking work in the Golden State Killer case, named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2019, and Nature’s 10 people who mattered in science in 2018, has been named Director of Gene By Gene’s newly formed Investigative Genetic Genealogy Unit.

Gene By Gene, known in the direct-to-consumer business as FamilyTreeDNA, was the first company to market direct-to-consumer DNA testing, and first to provide familial matching through a person’s DNA signature. “Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter pioneered law enforcement’s most revolutionary crime-solving tool since the fingerprint,” says president and founder, Bennett Greenspan. “We are excited to have a genealogist of Dr. Rae-Venter’s caliber working with us to set industry-leading standards for investigative genetic genealogy.”

The much sought-after Dr. Rae-Venter is a retired biotechnology patent attorney, and former assistant professor at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who also holds a Ph.D. in biology. Her decision to commit to Gene By Gene came down to a shared history with company owners Bennett Greenspan and Max Blankfeld, and sheer admiration.

According to Dr. Rae-Venter, “Their willingness to work with law enforcement to help solve the most violent of crimes, through crime scene DNA matching, takes great corporate courage. I am honored to be part of the Gene By Gene team, as we forge the future for investigative genetic genealogy and a safer society.”

The success of investigative genetic genealogy has been demonstrated in more than sixty arrests of suspected murderers and rapists since the Golden State Killer break in April of 2018. This week, in Clearfield, Utah, a suspected serial rapist was arrested after Dr. Rae-Venter provided investigators with information using the FamilyTreeDNA matching database. This is one of more than 20 cases of either violent crime, or unidentified remains Dr. Rae-Venter has assisted in solving since GSK.

Gene By Gene’s FamilyTreeDNA division leads the industry in offering the widest array of genetic genealogy consumer tests available on the market, and has the most comprehensive DNA database in the world. FamilyTreeDNA is the only consumer DNA testing company to process all of its consumer tests on-site at the Gene By Gene state-of-the-art CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory.


Founded in 2000, FamilyTreeDNA is the pioneer of the genetic genealogy and direct-to-consumer DNA testing industry, and the top choice for consumer privacy, according to U.S. News and World Reports and Consumer Report. FTDNA is a privately held company located in Houston, Texas. http://www.familytreedna.com. Gene By Gene is a CAP and CLIA accredited laboratory located in Houston,Texas which processes genetic tests for commercial customers, along with consumer DNA tests for its FamilyTreeDNA division. www.genebygene.com

One Comment

Interesting article. I purchased a DNA kit a couple of years ago, and have discovered a few interesting things. For one thing, all of the relatives that were listed as “relatives” seemed related to only 2 of my grandparents. When I learned how to look at the actual chromosomal data, it became quite clear that most of my DNA came from those 2 grandparents: my paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather accounted for about 80% of my DNA. After a few generations, it’s likely that our genealogical trees might not correlate very much with our inherited DNA. While this doesn’t have a whole lot to do with identifying criminals, it may be a reason it is difficult to identify family members who may know of these bad actors.


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