Brigham Young University. Center for Molecular Genealogy

The Center for Molecular Genealogy was created in 2000 after BYU was approached by James Sorenson to develop a systematic lab and process to carry out his ideas. Scott Woodward, director of the Center for all three years of its existence, developed Sorenson's ideas and created a way of scientifically tracing DNA to determine genealogy. The Center disintegrated in 2003 after Sorenson discontinued funding and took the research back to his private company.

Variant Names

Molecular Genealogy Lab

Genealogy Lab


Established: 2000

Abolished: 2003

Location: Provo, Utah (2000- 2003)


The Center was created in order to gather blood samples from students in order to build a large DNA sample collection. The Center was also tasked with identifying and creating a "blueprint" upon which all DNA might fit so that common strands could be traced between samples in order to understand familial connections. The aim of the project was to demonstrate the closeness of the family tree. Thus, the Center collected blood sample donations and extracted information from those samples regularly.

Assets and Administrative Structure

The Center was under a director who reported to College of Biology and Agriculture.

Associated Units

Superior unit: Brigham Young University. College of Biology and Agriculture (2000-2003)

Associated unit: Brigham Young University. Dept. of Microbiology (2000-2003)

Associated unit: Brigham Young University. Center for Family History and Genealogy (2000-2003)


Article from 7 Nov 2001 on BYU NewsNet WWW Site accessed Sept. 13 2011 (variable name Genealogy Lab; associated with Dept. of Microbiology; functions; administrative structure)

The Family Historian Vol. 1 Issue 1: p. 3 (associated with Center for Molecular Genealogy)

Maintenance Information

Record ID: EAC-2011-00150

Creator: ARC