As the year draws to a close, we would like to express our appreciation to those of you who attended ISHI 32 in Orlando and those who participated by watching the talks on demand. We are grateful for your patience as we worked through the continuously evolving circumstances affecting the logistics for the symposium. As of today, we are optimistic that ISHI 33 next fall will offer the opportunity to gather in Washington DC with many fewer restrictions.
Each year, focused topic workshops are a highlight of the International Symposium on Human Identification. If you have a topic that you would like to share with the community, we would like to hear from you! Workshop proposals are being solicited now with the deadline of January 17. Workshop chairs and speakers will receive support to attend the symposium. Find complete details including the workshop proposal form on the official symposium website, www.ishinews.com.
Look for ISHI registration to open in February. To accommodate those unable to travel to DC, we will once again offer an option to participate in a virtual fashion.
In this issue of the ISHI Report, Ken Doyle provides a recap of the topics covered at the symposium in Orlando. In addition, he interviews several up-and-coming forensic scientists with an interest in exploring the emerging field of MPS as a tool to provide useful data related to ancestry, the microbiome and ancient DNA.
Guest authors in this issue include Ellen McRae Greytak from Parabon Nanolabs who provides background on how Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) is being used to solve an increasing number of cold cases. François-Xavier Laurent and Susan Hitchins of INTERPOL introduce I-Familia, a program to identify remains across borders through the use of DNA kinship matching and Regina Wells, from Kentucky State Police Central Lab explains how rapid DNA is being used at her agency to process sexual assault kits.
Finally, this year’s team of student ambassadors describe their experiences attending ISHI 32. We will begin recruiting for a new group of students studying forensic science to attend next year’s symposium in National Harbor, Maryland just outside of Washington DC in the spring of 2022. Find details on the perks of being a student ambassador and guidelines for applications on the symposium website.
We hope you enjoy the November issue. As always, we welcome your ideas and written contributions to our publication.