Barbara Rae-Venter

Barbara Rae-VenterGenetic genealogist, biologist, patent attorney; helped identify the Golden State Killer

Cracking Cold Cases with DNA: The Revolution of Genetic Genealogy



Rae-Venter was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2019” for her pioneering work in genetic genealogy. She is credited with demonstrating the value of DNA analysis and genealogy in the solution of violent crimes, including the case of the Golden State Killer.  A retired intellectual property attorney, her work draws from her degrees in psychology, biochemistry and biology.  She co-founded Firebird Forensics Group, a nonprofit that assists law enforcement in identifying suspects in violent crimes and in identifying human remains. She is also Director of Investigative Genetic Genealogy at Gene by Gene, the parent company of Family TreeDNA.  Rae-Venter has assisted law enforcement in solving more than 70 cases. In 2018, she was recognized by the journal Nature as one of “10 People Who Mattered in Science.”