The International Frontier in Forensic DNA Sequencing

Monday September 14th, 2020 // 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Early Registration (Before July 5, 2020)$250
Standard Registration (After July 5, 2020)$275
Student Registration$225

Fee includes breakfast, lunch, and materials.


This workshop will present the future of forensic DNA analysis that is made possible with massively parallel sequencing. Starting with STR markers and moving to mitogenomes, SNPs, genetic genealogy, and epigenetics, a range of MPS workflows will be presented by international experts in forensic genetics. The workshop will be divided into four informational sessions that progress by technology readiness level, from fully validated and implemented methods to applications that are just now coming on the horizon. Audience members will be quizzed using an interactive app that can be accessed on a hand-held mobile.


Learning Outcomes:

  1. Attendees will gain familiarity with NDIS-approved massively parallel sequencing (MPS) assays from practitioners who have adopted these new technologies.
  2. The realm of possible applications of MPS to forensic casework will be presented, from STRs, mtDNA and Y-chromosomes, to autosomal SNPs, DNA phenotyping, extended kinship analysis and genetic genealogy, as well as epigenetic discrimination of monozygotic twins.
  3. The hurdles to MPS implementation will be discussed by the FBI’s CODIS administrator.
  4. The ethical and legal ramifications of new marker sets and genetic privacy will be examined by a leading expert in forensic and medical genetics.


Intended Audience:

The intended audience is forensic science practitioners and researchers. Attendees should be familiar with STR typing, but no prerequisite knowledge in massively parallel sequencing (MPS) is required. An overview of MPS will be provided, followed by more advanced, specialized applications and discussions.


Charla MarshallChair

Chief, Emerging Technologies Section, AFMES-AFDIL

Charla Kristen Marshall is the Chief of the Emerging Technologies Section at AFMES-AFDIL. Her background is in molecular anthropology and ancient DNA. Before coming to AFDIL, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois.

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Marie Allen

Professor Forensic Genetics, Uppsala University, Sweden

Marie Allen's research is focused on developments of techniques and assays to improve analysis of challenging samples with limited and degraded DNA amounts.

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Frederick Bieber

Faculty of Medicine, Harvard University

Frederick R. Bieber has been a member of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University. His academic work focuses on the laboratory and statistical aspects of DNA-based human identification, with a focus on kinship analysis and its attendant legal, ethical, and policy implications.

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Erin Gorden

Research Associate, Emerging Technologies Section, AFMES-AFDIL

Erin Gorden has been with the AFMES-AFDIL since 2007 as a member of both the Emerging Technologies and Past Accounting sections. She has contributed to casework as well as numerous research and validation projects. Currently, her focus is on the use of next generation sequencing for human identification.

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Manfred Kayser

Professor of Forensic Molecular Biology and Head of the Department of Genetic Identification, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam

Dr. Manfred Kaysers's research interests include various areas of molecular genetics and molecular biology that allow addressing currently unsolvable problems in forensic practice and developing scientific and technical solutions.

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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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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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Andreas Tillmar

Forensic Geneticist, Department of Forensic Genetics, National Board of Forensic Medicine, Linköping, Sweden

Andreas Tillmar, PhD, works as a forensic geneticist at the Nation Board of Forensic Medicine, Sweden (80%) and as a senior lecturer and associated professor of forensic genetics at Linköping University, Sweden (20%). His research is focused on various topics of forensic genetics such as applying new genetic polymorphisms for complex kinship testing, population genetics, applied biostatistics and most recently forensic DNA genealogy.

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Athina Vidaki

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Erasmus MC

Athina Vidaki recently completed her PhD in Forensic Epigenetics at King’s College London (2015) and she is currently continuing her career as a post-doctoral research scientist at the Department of Genetic Identification at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.

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Susan Walsh

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Forensic and Investigative Sciences, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Dr. Susan Walsh is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology and Forensic and Investigative Sciences at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Walsh completed her PhD in Forensic Genetics at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. She went on to complete post-doctorate work at Yale University before joining IUPUI in 2014. 

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