Under the Microscope – Xiangpei Zeng

The ISHI 26 agenda is already filling up with some great talks from amazing speakers! While the forensic community is a tight-knit group, we can always get a little closer, right? With that in mind, we asked our speakers some questions to get to know them a little better outside of their work. We’ll be posting their responses over the coming months in a feature we like to call Under the Microscope.




Today, we’re chatting with Xiangpei Zeng, who will be presenting An Evaluation of the Powerseq™ Auto System: A Multiplex Short Tandem Repeat Marker Kit Compatible With Massively Parallel Sequencing during the General Sessions.

Xiangpei Zeng is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Dr. Budowle’s lab at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). He was born in China, and received his Medical Degree from medical school of Sun Yat-sen University (China) in Forensic Medicine. He continued to study in Sun Yat-sen University and received his Master Degree in Forensic Genetics. In August 2012, He joined the Department of Molecular & Medical Genetics at UNTHSC and continued his study in Forensic Science. His primary research focus is the application of ancestry informative markers in Forensic Genetics using massively parallel sequencing technology.


How did you come to work in the field of forensics/DNA?

I like the CSI TV shows very much. So after I got medical degree, I decided to study forensic genetics. My ultimate goal is to become a forensic geneticist.


If you woke up tomorrow and this field no longer existed, what would you choose for a career?

I will take the medical exam and become a medical doctor.


What new technologies are you most excited about or where do you see the field heading in the next 10 years?

I hope new technologies can help us better interpret the results of mixture samples, degraded samples and minimal samples.


What person would you say has had the biggest influence in your life?

Confucius. His theory helps me to become a hard-working and well-disciplined man.


Who in the audience would benefit most from your talk?

I hope everyone can benefit from my talk, especially for the scientists that are interested in the applications of next generation sequencing in the forensic field.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the winnings?

I have no ideas. Maybe I will use some money in my own research.


If you were to have a theme song, what would it be?

Hotel California


What would your ideal vacation be?

Two weeks in Hawaii with my wife.