Description:  Familial testing has become more common as DNA testing methods have increased in power.  Testing for siblingship and half-siblingship are now accepted by the USCIS to establish a biological relationship.  Familial searches of DNA databases have been used to find relatives, which have proven useful in solving crimes.  The Workshop will focus on familial searches, both the methods used to establish a biological relationship as well as reasonable thresholds to utilize.

Objectives:  After attending the HITA Workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand how DNA testing can be used to evaluate biological relationships
  • Understand statistical methods available to conduct siblingship analysis
  • Understand challenges in evaluating biological relationships like siblingship


Time Topic Speaker
1:00 – 1:05 Welcome and Introductions Dr. Michael Baird,DNA Diagnostics Center
1:05 – 1:40 Relationship Inference with Familias and R Dr. Thore Egeland,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
1:40 – 2:15 Examples of siblingship analysis Dr. Mike Coble,NIST
2:15 – 2:50 Statistical caveats with siblingship analysis Dr. Bruce Weir, University of Washington
2:50 – 3:10 Break
3:10 – 3:45 Familial searching concepts and trials Dr. Charles Brenner
3:45 – 4:20 Siblingship Study Brandi Iorio,George Washington University
4:20 – 5:00 Panel Discussion Dr. Amanda Sozer,SNA International