View speakers full bio

Prof. Dr. Bruce Budowle

Human Identification Soultions conference (HIDs) speaker Bruce Budowle HID Conference

Dr. Bruce 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. Working under a National Cancer Institute fellowship, he carried out research predominately on genetic risk factors for such diseases as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, melanoma and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

In 1983, Dr. Budowle joined the research unit at the FBI Laboratory Division to carry out research, development and validation of methods for forensic biological analyses. The positions he has held at the FBI include: research chemist, program manager for DNA research, chief of the Forensic Science Research Unit and senior scientist for the Laboratory Division of the FBI. Dr. Budowle has contributed to the fundamental sciences as they apply to forensics in analytical development, population genetics, statistical interpretation of evidence and in quality assurance. Some of his technical efforts have been: 1) development of analytical assays for typing a myriad of protein genetic marker systems, 2) designing electrophoretic instrumentation, 3) developing molecular biology analytical systems to include RFLP typing of VNTR loci and PCR-based SNP assays, VNTR and STR assays, and direct sequencing methods for mitochondrial DNA, 4) new technologies; and 5) designing image analysis systems. 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 approximately 530 articles, made more than 650 presentations (many of which were as an invited speaker at national and international meetings) and testified in well over 250 criminal cases in the areas of molecular biology, population genetics, statistics, quality assurance and forensic biology. In addition, he has authored or co-authored books on molecular biology techniques, electrophoresis, protein detection, and microbial forensics. Dr. Budowle has been directly involved in developing quality assurance (QA) standards for the forensic DNA field. He has been a chair and member of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Methods, Chair of the DNA Commission of the International Society of Forensic Genetics 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.

Some of Dr. Budowle’s efforts over the last decade also are in counter terrorism, including identification of victims from mass disasters and in efforts involving microbial forensics and bioterrorism. Dr. Budowle was an advisor to New York State in the effort to identify the victims from the WTC attack. In the area of microbial forensics, Dr. Budowle has been the chair of the Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genetics and Forensics, whose mission was to set QA guidelines, develop criteria for biologic and user databases, set criteria for a National Repository, and develop forensic genomic applications. He also has served on the Steering Committee for the Colloquium on Microbial Forensics sponsored by the American Society of Microbiology, an organiser of four Microbial Forensics Meetings held at The Banbury Center in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and on steering committees for NAS sponsored meetings.

In 2009 Dr. Budowle became 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.

Return to speakers >

Dr. Christopher Phillips

Human Identification Soultions conference (HIDs) speaker Christopher Philips HID Conference

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.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Jack Ballantyne, Ph.D.

Human Identification Soultions conference (HIDs) speaker Jack Ballantyne HID Conference

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 Ph.D. 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 is the Chair of the New York State DNA Sub-committee, a regular visiting guest at the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) and a member of the DoD Quality Assurance Oversight Committee

His research interests can be classified as “getting blood from a stone: more and more probative information from less and less genetic material”.  Specifically his current projects include the efficient use of Y chromosome markers, RNA profiling for body fluid identification and single cell/low copy number analysis.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Dr. Lutz Roewer

Human Identification Soultions conference (HIDs) speaker Lutz Roewer HID Conference

Lutz Roewer studied biochemistry at the University of Leipzig (Germany) and received his Ph.D. degree for molecular biology at the Humboldt-University Berlin (Germany) in 1991. Dr. Roewer is presently associate professor for forensic genetics at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Humboldt-University Berlin (Germany) and director of the Department of Forensic Genetics. He worked as guest researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatrics in Munich and the Kitasato University in Tokyo.

Dr. Roewer has worked as a forensic expert since 1987. His scientific background comprises molecular genetic studies on hypervariable sequences in human and non-human DNA, forensic and kinship analysis, population genetics and bioinformatics. He is specialised in the field of Y-Chromosome genetics and its forensic, genealogical and anthropological applications. He is currently curator of the Y Chromosome Haplotype Reference Database (YHRD).

Dr. Roewer is a member of the International Society of Forensic Genetics and in 1999 received the ISFG Biennial Award for his work on the forensic application of Y-chromosomal DNA polymorphisms. He is a member of the editorial board of International Journal of Legal Medicine and Forensic Science International: Genetics. Since 2014 he is a member of the SWGDAM Y-STR committee.

Dr. Roewer has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, and regularly publishes reviews and chapters in text books.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Dr. Manfred Kayser

Human Identification Soultions conference (HIDs) speaker Manfred Kayser

Manfred Kayser studied Biology and received his Diploma magna cum laude from the University of Leipzig in 1994. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biology (Genetics) summa cum laude from Humboldt-University Berlin in 1998. In his doctoral work he investigated Y-chromosome polymorphisms and their applications in forensics and anthropology. Part of this work led to the introduction of Y-chromosomal DNA-analysis in forensic practice for which he received the Konrad-Händel Research Award from the German Society of Legal Medicine in 1998. He performed post-doctoral research at the Department of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University (USA) on the genetic history of human populations. He continued this work at the Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (MPI-EVA), in Germany, where he was a staff scientist from 1999 till 2003, and demonstrated that Polynesian genetic ancestry is partly Asian and partly Melanesian correcting the previous hypothesis of a purely Asian origin of Pacific Islanders. In 2004, he received his formal recognition as a university teacher in Genetics from the University of Leipzig and continued as a Heisenberg Fellow with his own research group at the MPI-EVA.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Niels Morling, MD DMSc

Niels Morling speaker at the Human Identification Soultions conference (HIDs)

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.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Dr. Christine Keyser

file

Christine Keyser is a Professor at the University of Strasbourg (France). She works as a forensic DNA expert for the French Ministry of Justice. She has both teaching and research duties, mainly in the fields of population genetics, forensic genetics, and molecular anthropology. Her research area covers many aspects of ancient DNA work such as the study of the kinship relations within a necropolis, the phenotypic traits and bio-geographic ancestry of ancient individuals, the migration patterns as well as the disease of past human populations. Her research projects are mainly conducted in four regions: Mongolia, Siberia, Southern America and Europe.

Return to speakers >

Dr. Antonio Alonso

file

Antonio Alonso is 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 is 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.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Dr. Peter M. Schneider

file

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 has studied biology at the University of Bonn, has spent 1 ½ years as visiting research fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and 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).

Return to speakers >

Prof. Walther Parson, PhD.

file

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.

Return to speakers >

Dr. Thomas Parsons

file

In early 2006, Thomas J. Parsons joined the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina as Director of Forensic Sciences. At the ICMP he supervises ~70 forensic science staff in a multidisciplinary approach to identification of the missing through forensic archaeology, anthropology, pathology, bioinformatics and high throughput DNA analysis. Under his supervision, the ICMP software development team has established a powerful, integrated database package for all aspects of missing persons and related forensic science documentation. The ICMP’s primary focus has been on the missing from the 1990’s conflicts in the Western Balkans, but has also worked in victim identification from the 2004 SE Asian Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, aircraft incidents, the Philippine Typhoon Frank, and has assisted the governments of South Africa, Chile and Colombia in their search for missing persons from human rights violations. ICMP now provides assistance to governments and institutions globally, with recent large projects in Iraq and Libya. ICMP’s Forensic Science Division has provided extensive training in DNA analysis, archaeology, anthropology and crime scene management to numerous individuals, governments and institutions.

Dr. Parsons has coordinated provision of extensive DNA, forensic anthropology and archaeology evidence to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Bosnian State Court in war crimes trials, and testified on multiple occasions for the ICTY in The Hague, and in the S. African high court. Dr. Parsons has served on a Presidential Panel to the Government of Chile in support of their forensic investigations of missing from human rights violations. He represents the ICMP as a permanent Board Member of the US Scientific Working Group on Disaster Victim Identification, and the INTERPOL Steering Group on Disaster Victim Identification.

Prior to joining the ICMP, Dr. Parsons worked at the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) from August of 1994, where he held the position of AFDIL Chief Scientist from 2000. His principle role was in leading the dynamic team at the AFDIL Research Section in projects focusing on projects such as mtDNA genome databasing, population genetics and statistical interpretation, ancient DNA extraction methods and LCN STR analysis from bone. At AFDIL he was part of the team that finalized the identification of Tsar Nicholas II, and for two years after the 9/11 attacks served on a National Institute of Justice advisory panel for the World Trade Center DNA identification efforts. His undergraduate degree was in Physics from the University of Chicago, and he received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1989. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, he focused on ancient DNA, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, as well as mtDNA biogeography and avian speciation.

Return to speakers >

Dr. SallyAnn Harbison

file

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.

Return to speakers >

Dr. Catherine Hitchcock

file

Dr Catherine Hitchcock completed her Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. For the past 6 years Catherine has been a key scientist in the Forensic DNA laboratory at the NSW Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS), a network of NSW Health Pathology. As the Robotics Project Team Leader, Catherine developed operational protocols for integrated Tecan, Hamilton and Applied Biosystems robotic platforms. Catherine had prime responsibility for the validation and implementation of these systems, which resulted in total automation of the DNA analytical process in early 2014 following validation of the Hamilton Microlab® AutoLys STAR robots for automated lysis. Catherine’s work has contributed significantly to the recognition of NSW FASS as a leader in automated, high throughput forensic DNA analysis in the Australasian region. Catherine is actively involved in research and innovation across NSW Health Pathology and has recently been appointed the Research and Development Scientist for the Forensic DNA Laboratory. In this role Catherine will focus on evaluation of innovative technology in order to provide the most advanced technology and specialist investigative tools to NSW Police. Catherine’s current research interests include the application of rapid DNA technology and massively parallel sequencing to forensic casework.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Angela Gallop

file

Angela Gallop has been a practising forensic scientist for the past 40 years. Originally a senior scientist with the Home Office Forensic Science Service, in 1986 she established the independent consultancy, Forensic Access, primarily to advise lawyers representing people accused of crime involving forensic evidence for a better balance at court.

Then in 1997 Angela co-founded Forensic Alliance – the first alternative source of comprehensive forensic services for police and other investigators, and in 2005 she facilitated the acquisition of Forensic Alliance by LGC (The Laboratory of The Government Chemist) to connect forensic science with the wider scientific community. LGC Forensics is now the largest supplier of forensic science services in the UK and the largest independent supplier in Europe.

In addition to setting up and running forensic science laboratories, Angela has specialised in the investigation of complex cases, establishing what became the cold case team in LGC Forensics and personally overseeing the majority of the more complex cases herself including most recently the Coastal Path, and Stephen Lawrence murders.

Angela is currently Chief Executive of Axiom International – a forensic science training and infrastructure development company, a visiting professor and member of the Governing Board of the Centre for Forensic Science at Northumbria University, and a Commissioner on the recent Independent Police Commission chaired by Lord John Stevens.

Return to speakers >

Prof. Dr. Cindy Harper

file

Cindy Harper is the Director of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She qualified as a veterinarian in 1993 and joined the laboratory in 2000 assisting with the transition from blood typing technology to DNA technology. The laboratory is responsible for the DNA profiling and parentage verification of various animal species for breed registries in South Africa. Dr Harper was instrumental in introducing the DNA testing of several African wildlife species to the laboratory and developing DNA databases of species such as cheetah, lion, elephant, buffalo and various antelope, with the most important being the rhinoceros. Her main research interests are in the application of new technology to DNA testing of animal species and particularly African wildlife with a specific focus on forensic applications. The RhODIS® (Rhino DNA Index System) database and forensic DNA sampling methods for the African rhinoceros are tools developed by the laboratory to assist with the investigation of rhinoceros poaching and trafficking on a national and international level.

Return to speakers >

Mr. Tim Schellberg

file

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.

Return to speakers >

Fiona Douglas

file

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 organisational 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.

Return to speakers >

Runa Daniel, Ph.D.

file

Dr. Runa Daniel completed her Ph.D. from the University of Technology Sydney in the development of DNA based ancestry informative intelligence tools. Since 2008, she had been employed as a research scientist in the Forensic Services Department at Victoria Police. Her primary research focus is the development of Forensic DNA Intelligence capabilities. Since 2012, Dr Daniel's research group has also been assessing Massively Parallel Sequencing applications in Forensic DNA analysis. Dr. Daniel is the co-chair of the Australia/NZ Massively Parallel Sequencing Working Group.

Return to speakers >