27th International Symposium on Human Identification

September 26-29, 2016, Minneapolis, MN



Monday, September 26
5:00-7:15pm Welcome Reception Loring Greenway


Tuesday, September 27
7:30-9:00am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
9:00-9:15am Welcome and Opening Remarks

Richard Stanek, Hennepin County Sheriff

William Linton, Promega Corporation

9:15-10:00am Argentina, DNA, Truth and Privacy

David O’Shea, Keynote

10:00-10:30am Break with Exhibitors
10:30-10:50am DNA Weight and the Legal Rules of Relevance

Ted Hunt, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Jackson County Missouri

10:50-11:10am The Hitchhikers Guide to Wisconsin Act 20: Unanticipated Effects and Consequences of Misdemeanor and Arrest Sample Collections

Zachary Lee, Wisconsin State Crime Lab

11:10-11:30am SmartRank: An Open-Source Likelihood Ratio Software for Searching National DNA Databases with Complex DNA Profiles

Corina Benschop, Netherlands Forensic Institute

11:30-11:50am The Development and Release of a Collection of Computational Tools and a Large-Scale Empirical Data Set for Validation: The PROVEDIt Initiative

Catherine Grgicak, Boston University School of Medicine

11:50-12:10pm Johnny’s Got a Gun, or Is It Tom, or Maybe Bill: Combating Complex DNA Mixtures Obtained from Gun Swabs Utilizing the Probabilistic Genotyping Software STRMIX™

Rachel Oefelein, DNA Labs International

12:10-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-1:50pm Blind Testing and Evaluation of a Comprehensive DNA Phenotyping System

Rachel Wiley, University of North Texas Health Science Center

1:50-2:10pm Molecular Estimation of Time and Forensic Relevance

Manfred Kayser, Erasmus University Medical Center

2:10-3:30pm Reducing the Sexual Assault Backlog – Panel Discussion

Cecelia Crouse, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office – Moderator


  • Jeffrey Nye, Michigan State Police
  • Norman Gahn, Assistant District Attorney for Milwaukee County, WI (retired)
  • Julie Weil, Rape Survivor, Not Just Me Foundation

3:30-5:30pm Posters and Exhibits
5:30-7:30pm Vendor Showcases

  • Copan Flock Technologies
  • Illumina
  • Menarini Silicon Biosystems
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific



Wednesday, September 28
7:00-9:00am Vendor Showcases

  • Battelle
  • GE Healthcare Life Sciences
7:30-9:00am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
9:00-9:20am CODIS and NDIS Update

Douglas Hares, Federal Bureau of Investigation

9:20-9:40am From Genetics to Genomics – European Perspectives for an Integrated Approach to the Use of Genetic Evidence in Criminal Investigations

Peter Schneider, Institute of Legal Medicine Cologne

9:40-10:00am Re-thinking International Missing Persons DNA Databases

Sara Katsanis, Duke University

10:00-10:20am INTERPOL’s DNA Unit: Tools and Services for International DNA Data Exchange

Andrea Fischer, INTERPOL

10:20-10:40am Tackling the SAEK Backlog: The New Mexican Way

Samantha Rynas, New Mexico Department of Public Safety Northern Forensic Laboratory 

10:40-11:10am Break with Exhibitors
11:10-11:30am Developmental Validation of the DNAscan™ Rapid DNA Analysis™ Instrument and Expert System: Reference Sample Processing for Upload to the National DNA Index System

Julie French, GE Healthcare

11:30-11:50am The Use of Rapid DNA in the Department of Homeland Security

Alice Chung, SNA International

11:50-12:10pm The Lone Star Mix: Identifying and Correcting DNA Mixture Cases as a Matter of Shared Ethical Duty

Lynn Robitaille Garcia, Texas Forensic Science Commission

12:10-1:20pm Lunch
1:20-1:40pm Planted Evidence? EDTA Testing: The OJ Simpson/Steven Avery Connection

Rockne Harmon, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (retired)

1:40-2:00pm Identification of 18 Year Old Bones Through DNA Relationship Testing Using Freezer Mill with Liquid Nitrogen for DNA Extraction

Hristina Lekova, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office

2:00-2:30pm Identification of Human Remains Buried at the Dozier School for Boys

Kendra Felipe-Ortega, University of North Texas Health Science Center

2:30-3:00pm A Cold Case Review in the Mind of Serial Killer Joseph Naso

Dawn Romano, Contra Costa County Crime Lab

3:00-3:30pm Keeping it “All in the Family” – How a Son and a Piece of Pizza Unmasked the Grim Sleeper Serial Killer

Marguerite Rizzo, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

3:30-5:30pm Posters and Exhibits
6:15-11:00pm Off-Site Event: Nicollet Island Pavilion


Thursday, September 29
7:30-9:00am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
9:00-9:20am Genetic Identification of Highly Degraded DNA by Capture-Based Massively Parallel Next Generation Sequencing

Walther Parson, University of Innsbruck

9:20-9:40am Forensic DNA Policy and Funding Update: Emerging Trends in the US and Abroad

Lisa Hurst, Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs

9:40-10:00am OSAC Biology/DNA Scientific Area Committee Status Report

George Herrin, Jr., Georgia Bureau of Investigation

10:00-10:20am Identifying Individuals through Proteomic Analysis

Tatiana Perez, NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner

10:20-10:50am Break with Exhibitors

Next Generation Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing at the FBI Laboratory

Michael Brandhagen, Federal Bureau of Investigatio

11:10-11:30am What’s Hiding Between the Primers? Using Massively Parallel Sequencing to Capture STR Repeat Region and Flanking Region Sequence Variation

Nicole Novroski, University of North Texas Health Science Center

11:30-11:50am Best Practices for Reporting mtDNA Heteroplasmy in Forensic Casework when Using a Massively Parallel Sequencing Approach and Considering Rates, DNA Damage & Drift

Mitchell Holland, Penn State University

11:50-12:10pm Closing Remarks, Conference Concludes