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2017 Dates Now Available for the

Practical DNA Training Program


May 29 - June 8, 2017

June 19 - 29, 2017

August 14 - 24, 2017



For an application, please click the appropriate date:

May 29 - June 8, 2017

June 19 - 29, 2017

August 14 - 24, 2017


For more information or an application please contact us at 807-343-8877 or or click here.


Paleo-DNA Laboratory participates in Doors Open Thunder Bay 2016


Doors Open Thunder Bay is held every two years and showcases buildings of architectural and historical significance, as well as our community's cultural centres, natural spaces, and infrastructure.

This year, the Ontario Heritage Trust's Doors Open Ontario theme is "medical science and innovation." This provincial theme will be highlighted through several local venues, including the Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory.

Pre-arranged tours will provide members of the public with unprecedented access to Lakehead University's state of the art facility. The laboratory administers the extraction, purification, and amplification of DNA from highly degraded materials for world-renowned archaeological projects, as well as works with national law enforcement organizations on cold cases using mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Doors Open Thunder Bay 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Members of the Lakehead University community and general public are encouraged to attend. For more information on this event, please visit the Doors Open Thunder Bay website or download the guide. To register for a Paleo-DNA Laboratory tour, please click here. Admission is free.


Not sure if your samples will yield DNA results?

Our ancient DNA feasibility test could help you!

    • Give added credibility to DNA testing in your grant proposal
    • Know what types of DNA analyses are attainable
    • Save money knowing which samples will be successful

The feasibility test includes sample extraction, DNA purification and quantification, PCR with specific target region(s) and gel electrophoresis photo.


You will receive a picture of the gel and the quantity of DNA present.


Sample Types

Mitochondrial DNA

Autosomal DNA

Chloroplast DNA










*may also detect any human DNA contamination for heavily handled samples.


We can utilize both destructive and non-destructive methods for DNA extraction.



Who's Your Doggy?

Dog DNA Sampling Kit

The Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory is pleased to begin offering Canine DNA Testing through a partnership with DNA My Dog. Kits for this easy and painless cheek swab DNA test are now available at our facility. Testing for a dog's breeds can give insights into its breed heritage such as personality traits, exercise levels, and predispositions for certain diseases so you can become proactive in your dog's health. Results are ready in 2 weeks and include a custom certificate and Breed Heritage report including a percentage breakdown of each breed found in your dog.


Pick up a kit today for $68.81 plus tax and find out more about your favourite companion.


Mitochondrial DNA is in our blood!

Paleo-DNA Laboratory is the leader in human mitochondrial DNA analysis.  We were one of the first Canadian laboratories to develop mitochondrial DNA analysis techniques.  We were the first laboratory to offer a DNA training course emphasizing mitochondrial DNA analysis.   Several biotech companies, DNA service and forensic labs have extensively used the Paleo-DNA Laboratory as the source for staff training and new employee recruitment. 

We are the preferred outsourcing partner for mitochondrial DNA analysis for one of the largest DNA service companies in the United States.  Our lab analyzes samples from various partner companies and institutions from around the world.  Our DNA laboratory is specifically designed to accommodate low-copy number or degraded samples.  Each sample is considered unique and is analyzed as such.  Our commitment to contamination control and high standards emphasizes the reliability of results produced at the Paleo-DNA Laboratory.  If you need timely, accurate results why not go where the world’s largest companies go?


Paleo-DNA History

The Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory, established in 1996, is a research laboratory affiliated with the Lakehead University Centre for Analytical Services (LUCAS).  This state of the art facility is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.   We have been pioneers in the application of modern molecular genetic techniques and technologies to the study of archaeological, degraded and Paleo-DNA.  The laboratory provides three functions: research, services and teaching. 


Paleo-DNA Research

The Paleo-DNA staff and students are fully committed to research and teaching. Our research covers many aspects of DNA analysis; from the development and implementation of new extraction and purification methods through to their application. Research projects have involved the study of disease in ancient populations, wildlife classifications, and both modern and ancient human identification; among others. For more on Paleo-DNA research, click here.


Paleo-DNA Services

We are a leader in mitochondrial DNA research, continually improving our methodology, sensitivity and detection methods for DNA examination.    Services include both nuclear (STR and Y-STR) and mitochondrial DNA analysis on a variety of sample types.  For more on Paleo-DNA services, click here.


Paleo-DNA Teaching / Training programs

As a University affiliated facility, our main objective is education.  We offer courses and training programs to anyone who wants to learn more about DNA.  Off site training is also available. For more on our training programs, click here.