Dinosaurs, cavemen and Hitler, the science behind applied genomics

Linda Strausbaugh: Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology

Linda Strausbaugh’s passion for science began at the age of nine when she became fascinated with dinosaurs and cavemen. During her undergraduate studies, she fell in love with anthropology and evolutionary and developmental biology, and has an ongoing fascination with ancient history, the classics and theatre. Today she’s a nationally recognized education innovator, who developed and directs UConn’s Professional Science Masters in Applied Genomics, and has developed and taught several genetics courses, including one named “Best on Campus” in the Boston Globe.

An expert on forensic DNA typing, Strausbaugh teamed up with State Archeologist and UConn Associate Professor of Archeology Nick Bellantoni to debunk the theory that a skull with a bullet hole found in Hitler’s Berlin bunker was that of the infamous dictator. When Bellantoni saw the skull in Moscow, he immediately suspected the skull belonged to a woman because of its structure. When Strausbaugh did DNA typing with a team in her lab, those tests confirmed the skull belonged to a female.

Dr. Linda Strausbaugh is the Director of UConn’s Center for Applied Genetics and Technology, Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology, and a DNA Expert. Her current research interests are in personalized genomic medicine related to the role of fungal communities in human health and disease.