The ISHI Report

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the summer issue of the ISHI Report! As the July issue heads to press, the team behind the International Symposium on Human Identification is busy finalizing details for the 30th symposium in Palm Springs, California. The general session program is now available on the conference website. This year's keynote presenation will be delivered by Paul Holes on how the Golden State Killer was identified and brought to justice.

Other presentations include updates on CODIS, NDIS, and the ICMP. We'll also learn more about using forensics to stop human trafficking, integrating Rapid DNA into your laboratory and how to utilize it during a disaster scenario, deconvoluting mixture profiles, and incorporating massively parallel sequencing (MPS) into your workflow. The agenda also features numerous interesting case presentations featuring the DNA Doe Project's successes, cold cases, the case of Angie Dodge, and more.

The July ISHI Report features articles contributed by several of the workshop and general session speakers. Charlotte Word addresses a topic that strikes dread in the heart of many a DNA analyst: identifying DNA contamination events and how to manage them. Sacramento Coroner Kimberly Gin and Richard Selden, Chief Science Officer of ANDE, explain how Rapid DNA was used to speed the identification of remains recovered from the devasting Paradise Camp Fire in California last year.

Investigative genealogy has closed numerous cold cases in the past year and a half, and continues to prove invaulable to law enforcement. Yet, the recent change in the GEDmatch database limits the number of profiles accessible for future searches. What does the future of investigative genealogy look like? We asked experts in the field to help clarify.

Amanda (Mandy) Sozer gives her perspective as a business owner on the intersection between DNA forensics and government including use of Rapid DNA at the border, as well as her company’s contributions during mass disasters such as the World Trade Center 9/11 disaster and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Mandy and other HITA affiliates will be offering a free workshop at ISHI on Sunday, September 22 providing guidance on best practices for dealing with mass disaster events using ASCLD response tools.

Also, in this issue, Ken Doyle from Promega will give an overview on the history of Innocence Projects in the United States and Karen Ehlers from University of Free State in South Africa contributes a case study where touch DNA was identified from the carcass of a poached rhinoceros.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the International Symposium on Human Identification, this year's panel explores new methods and technologies that will soon be available to forensic scientists. Athina Vidaki of Erasmus University Medical Center leads the panel and provides a glimpse into what will be discussed.

Finally, we introduce you to the team who organizes the International Symposium on Human Identification. If you’ve ever wondered what our staff does for fun outside of work, these interviews will prove revealing.

We hope to see you at the upcoming symposium this September. We have a number of special activities planned to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of ISHI!

Warm Wishes,

The Editorial Board

Have you ever wondered how abstracts are chosen for presentation at ISHI?

All abstracts received are collated by the ISHI staff in the order that they were submitted.

They are then made anonymous (to minimize bias and ensure talks are selected based on merit) before being sent to an outside panel of international experts.

The panel then selects presentations based on timeliness and interest to the forensic community.

The committee thanks all those who contributed an abstract for consideration. As always, more abstracts were submitted than can be presented during the conference.

Enthusiastic community involvement in ISHI helps to keep the topics addressed during the meeting current and valuable for the forensic community.