HIDS 2016 – Our Speakers
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Mr. Tim Schellberg
Tim Schellberg is President of the Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs firm. The firm has offices in Washington DC, and Seattle/Tacoma in Washington State. Mr. Schellberg manages the daily operations of the firm and provides consultancy services primarily in the Washington DC and International divisions of the firm.
Mr. Schellberg received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University in 1988 and his law degree from Seattle University in 1991. Prior to joining his firm, Mr. Schellberg served as a lawyer and governmental affairs advisor to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police.
For the last fourteen years, Mr. Schellberg and his firm have become the world’s foremost experts on forensic DNA database legislation, public policy and law. In addition to representing clients in the DNA industry, Mr. Schellberg has advised many foreign and state governments on DNA database legislation, laws and policies. In this position, Mr. Schellberg collaborates with foreign public security ministries, parliaments, and other law enforcement/forensic organizations on a frequent basis.
Dr. Christopher Phillips
Christopher Phillips has been in forensic science since 1979, starting at The Metlab then moving to Barts Hospital, where he helped develop DNA analysis, then in its infancy. Since 2001, he has been a full-time researcher in the Forensic Genetics Unit, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. His research has focused primarily on SNP analysis; development of novel forensic markers, including new STRs, SNPs and Indels; forensic ancestry inference; accessing public genome-scale data for forensic purposes; and building open-access online population data resources for the genetics community, exemplified by SPSmart.
Dr. SallyAnn Harbison
Dr. SallyAnn Harbison is the Senior Science Leader and the DNA Technical Leader of the Forensic Biology Group of ESR at Mt Albert and actively engaged in forensic casework, appearing in court on numerous occasions. Since October 2012 she has also been a member of the ESR Science Strategy team. Before joining the forerunner to ESR in 1988, SallyAnn completed her PhD at University of Liverpool in the UK and was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Auckland. For 10 years SallyAnn undertook crime scene and evidence examination as well as DNA profiling, before specializing in DNA analysis in 1997. She has been an Honorary Lecturer on the Post-graduate Forensic Science Course at the University of Auckland since 1996 and supervises many research students. SallyAnn is currently the Chair of the Biology Special Advisory Group to SMANZFL (Senior Managers Australia and New Zealand Forensic Laboratories) and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence (EuroForGen). SallyAnn is a Technical Assessor for the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, Laboratory Accreditation Board and a member of the International Society for Forensic Genetics and the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society. In 1996, SallyAnn was awarded a Royal Society Science and Technology Medal (NZ) for work in the development of STR (short tandem repeat) systems in forensic science.
Current areas of research interest:
- Genomic analysis of short tandem repeats and SNPs of forensic relevance leading to the transformation of forensic DNA analysis to new generation sequencing approaches. This includes developing forensically robust alignment and sequence analysis workflows for repetitive DNA sequences and the inclusion of single nucleotide polymorphisms for routine applications
- The recovery and identification of biological evidence using RNA techniques incorporating DNA analysis including both autosomal and Y chromosome analysis. ESR was the first forensic laboratory in the world to implement a body fluid identification service by mRNA testing operationally
- Novel statistical methods required to interpret biological and genetic data from the unique New Zealand population, in particular that of low template DNA and DNA mixtures
- The development of plant material as forensic evidence including the rapid identification of cannabis strains, the identification of pollen communities in soil samples to assist in the linking of soil samples from suspects clothing to crime scenes and the usefulness of plant material as forensic evidence per se
Franck Jaffrédo is R&D project manager at IGNA (Nantes Atlantic Genetic Institute) in Nantes (France). He started working in forensic science since 1999 at the hospital of Nantes in the team of Professor Jean-Paul Moisan. He followed Professor Jean-Paul Moisan when IGNA was created in 2003. His role at the IGNA is to improve DNA analysis performance for casework and reference samples by the development of new procedures and kits. He has fully automated the institute with regards to casework samples and reference samples analysis for a better traceability of samples and to increase the analytical capabilities of the institute. He has participated to the transfer of forensic technologies, by IGNA, both within and outside of France.
Prof. Dr. Manfred Kayser
Manfred Kayser currently is Professor of Forensic Molecular Biology and founding chair of the Department of Genetic Identification (formerly known as Dept. of Forensic Molecular Biology) at Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam. He received his diploma in biology from University of Leipzig in 1994, his Ph.D. in biology/genetics from Humboldt University Berlin in 1998, and his habilitation in genetics from University of Leipzig in 2004. After postdoctoral research at the Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, he was at the Department for Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig, first as staff scientist and later as Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Council (DFG), before his professorship appointment at Erasmus University in 2004. His research interest is in various aspects of forensic genetics and anthropological genetics. In the forensic genetic world, he is well known for his contribution to the introduction and further development of forensic Y-chromosome analysis, and his pioneering work on establishing Forensic DNA Phenotyping as new subfield. He (co)authored >200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, books, and encyclopedias (H factor >50), serves as editor, editorial board member and ad hoc reviewer for several journal, and regularly accepts invitations to present at international conferences and institutes worldwide.
Prof. Dr. Peter M. Schneider
Peter M. Schneider is a full professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany, where he is head of the Division of Forensic Molecular Genetics. He is responsible for the education of students in medicine, biology, and law, and, at the same time, for carrying out routine DNA typing of criminal evidence material, identification cases, as well as relationship testing.
Professor Schneider studied biology at the University of Bonn, has spent 1 ½ years as a visiting research fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, obtained his Ph.D. in 1987 at the University of Mainz, where he worked for 18 years until 2004, when he accepted the faculty position in Cologne. Since 2012, he is coordinator of the multinational EU-funded 7th framework project "European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence – EUROFORGEN-NoE" establishing a European research infrastructure in forensic genetics. Furthermore, Professor Schneider is an active member of expert commissions dealing with issues related to genetic typing and forensic DNA analysis, such as the National Gene Diagnostics Commission of the German Federal Ministry of Health, and the European DNA Profiling (EDNAP) Group.
He is chairman of the German Forensic Stain Commission organizing the annual proficiency testing GEDNAP (www.gednap.org), President of the German Society for Parentage Testing, as well as former President and current Secretary General of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG).
Prof. Dr. Wojciech Branicki
Wojciech Branicki is now associate professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. His major area of interest is exploring the significance of DNA variation for phenotypic diversity observed in the human population. He also works on the practical application of DNA markers in forensic science and anthropology. Dr. Branicki received his PhD degree for medical biology in 2001 at the Medical Academy in Gdansk and post-doctoral degree for biology in 2010 at the Jagiellonian University. He is a forensic DNA specialist and a member of the International Society for Forensic Genetics and the Forensic Genetics Commission of the Polish Society of Legal Medicine and Criminology.
Prof. Dr. Franz Neuhuber
Prof. Franz Neuhuber has been working as a forensic molecular biologist since 1994. He currently heads the department of forensic molecular biology at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Salzburg, Austria.
Prof. Neuhuber is a publicly appointed, certified and sworn expert for forensic molecular biology. The department processes an average of 1,500 cases per year. The lab of Prof. Neuhuber received its ISO 17025 accreditation in 2008 and is one of four laboratories in Austria contracted by the Ministry of the Interior to provide DNA profiles for the Austrian national DNA database.
The Austrian database is one of the most successful DNA databases worldwide with a hit rate of approx. 40%.
Dr. Antonio Alonso
Antonio Alonso has been the Facultative (DNA expert) at the Biology Service of the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science in Madrid (Spain) since 1984 and Secretary of the Spanish Commission for the forensic use of DNA since 2008.
He is an active member of the following scientific societies: International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG), European Network of Forensic Science Institutes DNA Working Group, and International Society for Applied Biological Sciences- ISABS.
He has published over 100 publications in forensic science journals and books. Dr. Alonso has testified over 200 times as an expert witness in different Spanish Courts as well as in the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
He was the President of the GHEP-ISFG (Spanish and Portuguese Working Group of the ISFG) during the period 1996-2000. He has been secretary of the Spanish Commission for the forensic use of DNA since 2008.
He has recently coordinated DNA validation studies on 6-dye prototype STR kits as the project manager of the European project IDNADEX (Improving DNA Data Exchange) supported by a grant from the ISEC programme.
Francesca Fontana obtained a Degree in Biology and, after an internship at Institut Pasteur in Paris, focused on genetics in oncology, prenatal diagnosis and human identification.
Since 2007 she has worked at Silicon Biosystems where, in her role as Biology R&D manager, she has contributed to the development of different applications of DEPArray Technology and single cell analysis, in the areas of cancer, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and, more recently, forensics.
William Frank began his career as a Forensic Scientist with the Illinois State Police in 1984. In 1991 the Illinois State Police established an R&D Laboratory to develop a DNA analysis program. Mr. Frank accepted a position as DNA Research Coordinator and his been a part of the ISP R&D Laboratory to date. His validation work on both autosomal STR and Y-STR analysis has been accepted by NDIS to qualify results from DNA assays for inclusion into the national database. Mr Frank has publications which include the Journal of Forensic Sciences, FSI-Genetics, the American Journal of Human Genetics and Genetics in Medicine.
Prof. Niels Morling, MD DMSc
Niels Morling is professor of forensic genetics and director and chairman of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His main research areas are new DNA methods such as next generation sequencing and SNP typing in forensic genetics, population genetics, genetics of physical traits, molecular pathology in forensic medicine and forensic statistics. Niels Morling is past president of the International Society for Forensic Genetics.
Prof. Dr. Bruce Budowle
Dr. Bruce Budowle, PhD, is Executive Director of the Institute of Applied Genetics, and Professor in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics, at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas. His current efforts focus on the areas of human forensic identification, microbial forensics, and emerging infectious disease.
Dr. Budowle received a Ph.D. in Genetics in 1979 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From 1979-1982, Dr. Budowle was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. From 1983-2009, Dr. Budowle was employed at the FBI Laboratory Division and carried out research, development, and validation of methods for forensic biological analyses. He has contributed to the fundamental sciences as they apply to forensics in analytical development, population genetics, statistical interpretation of evidence, and in quality assurance. Dr. Budowle has worked on laying some of the foundations for the current statistical analyses in forensic biology and defining the parameters of relevant population groups.
He has published more than 485 articles, made more than 550 presentations, and testified in well over 200 criminal cases in the areas of molecular biology, population genetics, statistics, quality assurance, and forensic biology. He has been a chair and member of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Methods, Chair of the DNA Commission of the ISFG, and a member of the DNA Advisory Board. He was one of the architects of the CODIS National DNA database, which maintains DNA profiles from convicted felons, from evidence in unsolved cases, and from missing persons.
Le Wang is an investigator in forensic genetics at the Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Public Security of China (IFSC). He studied biomacromolecule structures and functions during his doctoral studies and received a Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University in 2011. Since then, he has worked at the IFSC on forensic science.
He participated in the development of the DNATyper™ serial forensic DNA kits and led a team who carried out excellent work on STR allele cloning and allelic ladder preparation. He developed an integrated amplification system of ABO, autosomal STR and Y-STR genotyping in a single reaction, which has been utilized in criminal investigations and the DNA database. Most recently he has been interested in applying NGS-based full resolution STR genotyping into forensic casework.
Prof. Jack Ballantyne, Ph.D.
Jack Ballantyne is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and an Associate Director of the National Center for Forensic Science in Orlando, Florida. He possesses a B.Sc. (with Honours) in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, a M.Sc. in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and a PhD in Genetics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY. His current duties include teaching and conducting research in forensic molecular genetics.
Prior to entering academia, he was a casework forensic scientist in Scotland, Hong Kong and New York where he proffered expert testimony in the criminal courts of these jurisdictions. He was the full time DNA technical leader in Suffolk County, New York and then served as a part-time consultant DNA technical leader for the States of Mississippi and Delaware, the City of Dallas and Sedgwick County, Kansas. He was the Chair of the New York State DNA Sub-committee for eighteen years, is a regular visiting guest at the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) and is a member of the DoD Quality Assurance Oversight Committee
His research interests can be classified as “getting probative information from less genetic material or sometimes less is more”. Specifically his current projects include the efficient use of Y chromosome markers for sexual assault cases, RNA profiling for body fluid identification, single cell/low copy number analysis and NGS applications in forensic genomics.
Rodrigo Moura Neto, Ph.D.
Rodrigo Moura Neto holds a PhD in Biological Sciences (Biophysics) from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ. He is an Associate Professor at the Biology Institute at UFRJ, Collaborator Researcher and Head of the Forensic Metrology Program at the Metrology Division -Applied to the Science of Life of the Brazilian Institute of Metrology, Inmetro,
He implemented, trained and coordinated the DNA Laboratory of the Civil Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro. He has experience in genetics, with an emphasis on human molecular genetics in the following areas: Forensic genetics and molecular markers for polymorphic population studies.
Prof. Walther Parson, PhD.
Walther Parson holds an associate professorship at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck, Austria. As well as setting up the National DNA Database Lab and currently overseeing research in forensic molecular biology and the high through-put DNA database lab in Innsbruck, he has received several international scientific prizes and serves on various international boards.
Prof. Parson has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed original articles and has been repeatedly requested to handle international requests on DNA fingerprinting of historic persons, such as the Russian Tsar family. His current research focuses on NGS techniques.
Dr. Zheng Wang, Ph.D.
Dr. Zheng Wang received his PhD degree in forensic medicine from Sichuan University (West China University of Medical Sciences), China. In his doctoral work he investigated tissue-specific microRNAs and their potential applications in forensic body fluid identification.
In 2016, he obtained a post-doctoral degree in biology at the Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice (China). He is now a member of Professor Yiping Hou’s research group. His main research areas are body fluid identification, population genetics and genetic differences between monozygotic twins.
Fiona Douglas has worked in Forensic Science in the United Kingdom since 1998 in a variety of scientific and leadership roles. Specialising in DNA analysis Fiona initially stated working for the Forensic Science Service in the Huntingdon Laboratory within the DNA intelligence unit supporting enhancements in DNA profiling for nearly ten years. In 2007 Fiona moved to the Chepstow laboratory to manage the delivery of multi-disciplinary forensic techniques delivered on that site, across the range of serious, sexual and volume crime cases.
In 2010 Fiona took on the role of Head of Biology for the Scottish Police Authority (previously the Scottish Police Services Authority). The Scottish Police Authority provides Crime Scene to Court Forensic Services to Police Scotland and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). Fiona’s role encompasses all Biology and DNA casework delivered across Scotland from the four laboratory sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. This includes all aspects of Biology casework including Blood Pattern Analysis, Damage Interpretation, Searching and Identification of Body fluids, Hair/Fibre recovery and DNA profiling amongst many other techniques and processes. In addition the Scottish Police Authority manages the Scottish DNA Database (in conjunction with Police Scotland) and manages the movement of profile information across the Scottish and National DNA Databases in accordance with legislative requirements. Since 2010 Fiona has led the Biology function through significant organizational change, implementation of new technology and techniques and latterly the migration of the Glasgow Biology Teams to the new Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh.
The Scottish Crime Campus is a purpose built specialist facility which is leading in the fight against Serious Organised Crime in Scotland. One wing of the building houses the Forensic Laboratories which are purpose built state of the art facilities for the delivery of forensic science. In addition to the facility, significant investment has been made in new instrumentation which has enabled the implementation of the Globalfiler™ DNA multiplex for use for all casework. Fiona is now, with the support of her team, leading the national implementation of the new processes across the rest of Scotland and further enhancements in the field of DNA and Biology services.
Adam Poy completed his Bachelor of Biological Sciences (Honours) at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He has over 15 years experience working in the DNA Operational Team of the Victorian Police Forensic Services Centre (VPFSC), where he is currently Senior Scientist. This role is predominantely focused on research and innovation related to casework analysis.
However, he remains an active participant in casework ranging from routine offences to disaster victim identification (including 2002 Bali attacks, 2009 Victorian bushfires). He has been lead scientist on many recent validation programs including automation platforms, chemistry based assays, genetic analysers and post analysis software. Adam has also been co-author of several peer reviewed papers ranging from trace DNA transfer and persistence to STR multiplex kits.
Dr. Runa Daniel
Dr. Runa Daniel obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Technology Sydney in the development of DNA-based ancestry informative intelligence tools. In 2008, she was employed as a research/quality management scientist in the Forensic Services Department (FSD) at Victoria Police. In 2012, Dr. Daniel became a member of the Office of the Chief Forensic Scientist within FSD, a dedicated research, development and innovation group that maintains the scientific health of the organization. Her primary research focus is the development of Forensic DNA Intelligence capabilities and emerging technologies. Dr. Daniel's research group has been engaged in Massively Parallel Sequencing applications in Forensic DNA analysis since 2012. Dr. Daniel is the co-chair of the Australia/New Zealand Massively Parallel Sequencing Working Group consisting of 17 member laboratories. In addition to substantial involvement in academic collaborations and supervision of postgraduate students, Dr. Daniel is an invited international speaker, examiner and reviewer for international journals.