The Future is Now for MPS mtDNA Analysis – ISHI News


The Future is Now for MPS mtDNA Analysis

Monday September 24th, 2018 // 8:30 am - 5:00 pm // 101

Early Registration, before August 1st$225.00
Standard Registration, after August 1st$250.00
Student Registration$200.00

The forensic community stands poised to transition to massively parallel sequencing (MPS) of mtDNA. Available MPS methods make mtDNA more accessible to forensic laboratories, enable routine analysis of the mtgenome, increase the utility of mtDNA via enhanced sensitivity, and act as a transition step from conventional STR to MPS-based STR/SNP analysis. The purpose of this workshop is to educate the community on the availability of complete systems for MPS analysis of mtDNA; including enrichment approaches, library preparation methods, instrument choices, and analysis software solutions. Materials will be distributed that will provide crime laboratories with the resources necessary to move forward with validation and implementation in their laboratories.


Learning Outcomes:

Attendees will gain a thorough understanding of:

  1. The role of MPS in forensic mtDNA analysis
  2. The complete systems currently available for forensic MPS mtDNA analysis
  3. The paths to validation and implementation of forensic MPS mtDNA analysis


Intended Audience:

Forensic examiners and technical leaders in crime laboratories and private forensic DNA laboratories interested in exploring the possibilities of using MPS mtDNA analysis as a way of expanding their services and segueing into MPS analysis of STR and SNP loci. General knowledge of forensic DNA analysis and DNA sequencing are recommended.


Tentative Agenda:

8:30 – 8:40Introductions by the Chair and Co-Chair
8:40 – 9:25Crash Course in MPS mtDNA Analysis: Survey of ApproachesMitchell Holland, Penn State University
9:25 – 10:10Validation and Implementation of MPS mtDNA Analysis at the FBI Including Training, Proficiency Testing, and Other Details Relating to ImplementationMichael Brandhagen, FBI Laboratory
10:10 – 10:30BREAK
10:30 – 11:15SAM2 – Harmonizing Phylogenetic Alignment of mtDNA Haplotypes in Forensic Genetics and BeyondWalther Parson, Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck
11:15 – 12:00mtGenome Sequencing of NIST Reference Materials and Population SamplesKevin Kiesler, NIST
12:00 – 1:30LUNCH
1:30 – 2:10High Throughput mtDNA Sequencing: Data Analysis and Success Rates at AFDILKim Sturk-Andreaggi, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory
2:10 – 2:50MPS mtGenome Analysis of Challenging Samples in a Missing Persons DNA ProgramDaniela Cuenca, California DOJ Laboratory
2:50 – 3:10BREAK
3:10 – 3:50Interpretation of mtDNA Heteroplasmy: Assessing Rates, Drift, Differentiation of Maternal Relatives, and MoreMitchell Holland, Penn State University
3:50 – 4:30Genetic Privacy when Performing MPS Analysis on the mtGenome: CODIS & Missing Persons DatabasesMichael Brandhagen, FBI Laboratory
4:30 – 5:00Roundtable Discussion & Resource Distribution



Private: Michael BrandhagenCo-Chair

Forensic DNA Scientist, FBI Laboratory

Michael Brandhagen has worked at the FBI Laboratory since 2004. His first six years there were spent performing DNA casework, but he now works exclusively on forensic DNA research and validation projects

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Private: Mitch HollandCo-Chair

Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eberly College of Science, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Holland is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and has served as an associate professorial lecturer and adjunct faculty member at various colleges and universities.  He has been on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Journal of Legal Medicine, and has held numerous positions on governmental and company advisory boards and has been recognized by the FBI and others for his work.

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Private: Kevin Kiesler

Research Biologist, Applied Genetics Group, Biomolecular Measurement Division, NIST

In his current position at NIST, Kevin is focused on next generation sequencing research for human identification using a variety of marker types such as mitochondrial DNA, STRs, SNPs, and microhaplotypes on both the Illumina and Ion Torrent platforms.

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Private: Walther Parson

Associate Professor, Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck

Walther Parson holds an associate professorship at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria and an adjunct professorship at PennState, PA, USA. Under his scientific supervision the Austrian National DNA Database Laboratory was set up in 1997 in Innsbruck, where he is currently overseeing the High Through-put DNA Database Laboratory and the research group Forensic Genomics.

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Private: Kimberly Sturk-Andreaggi

Research Scientist, Emerging Technologies Section, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory

Ms. Sturk-Andreaggi has contributed to and managed various projects over her 15+ year tenure at the AFDIL including mitochondrial DNA coding region SNP panels, species identification, low template techniques, automated processing, and the development of population databases. Her current focus is on the use of next-generation, or massively parallel, sequencing for human identification.

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