Saturday, October 14, 2017

November 4 - Familial DNA Searching

An investigative tool that increases public safety, Or an illegitimate practice of genetic surveillance?

Presented by Daniele Podini, PhD
Associate Professor of Forensic Molecular Biology and Biological Sciences
The George Washington University

Conventional forensic DNA analysis is an effective approach for human individual identification as long as the profile of the perpetrator is already available to the investigators, but fails if not. In such “suspect-less” cases familial DNA searching can be used as a tool identify potential suspects. In familial DNA searching a profile from the crime scene, likely belonging to the perpetrator, is searched against the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Partial hits are used by investigators to focus on close family members of the persons whose DNA profile is in CODIS. Familial DNA searching has been one of the most controversial aspects of DNA technology. It has been used in California and other states but was forbidden in Maryland and in the District of Columbia. Dr. Podini will be presenting two conflicting perspectives: is familial searching a tool that can be used to generate investigative leads and that can result in identifying the culprit or is it a practice with profound racial justice implications, that effectively puts under genetic surveillance innocent families and primarily certain minorities?

Prof. Podini is Associate Professor of Forensic Molecular Biology in the Department of Forensic Sciences at The George Washington University. He previously served as the Assistant Chief of the Biology Section of the Scientific Department of the Carabinieri - Italian military Armed Force. Later he created and directed the Forensic Section of Genoma, a private molecular biology laboratory in Rome. He consulted with laboratories in Italy, Turkey, Albania, Tunisia, and Algeria to aid in the establishment of Molecular Genetic Sections, and the development of specific forensic capabilities. The research conducted in his lab ranges from developing assays to infer biogeographic ancestry and physical traits, to working on high throughput detection of sperm cells from sexual assault evidence, and from obtaining DNA from fired cartridge cases to developing methods to enhance DNA mixture deconvolution with the most recent DNA sequencing technology available.

Saturday, November 4, 2017
1:30 pm

Argosy University
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 712
Arlington, VA

Near Rosslyn Metro. Parking garage accessible from N. Pierce Street.
There is controlled building access so please arrive on time.