Verogen, Inc. has been acquired by QIAGEN, the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions for molecular testing. Learn More
February 13, 2023

American Academy of Forensic Sciences 75th Anniversary Conference

February 13 – 18 | Orlando, Florida

Back to Events

Forensic laboratories are changing the future of DNA testing. Learn how you can also be a leader with next-generation sequencing and forensic investigative genetic genealogy — come visit us at booths 209 and 110.

The forensic community is doing amazing things with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG). We’ve highlighted some of the impressive work presented by laboratories just like you who are finding innovative ways to bring closure to more investigations. Visit the NGS hub to talk with experts from Verogen and QIAGEN on how to take more of your samples from crime scene to closure. 

  • Register for the workshop on Implementing FIGG for a chance to hear from experts using FIGG in their casework 
  • Join us for cocktails and conversation on Wednesday at 6pm for a sneak peek at upcoming NGS and FIGG tools 
  • Stop by the exhibit hall at 11am on Thursday for the Verogen Showcase
  • Enter our t-shirt design contest to uncover your HIDden talent and win prizes


Featured Workshop

Space is limited and running out, sign up for this comprehensive workshop on practical implementation guidance!

W21 Implementing FIGG: How to put forensic investigative genetic genealogy into practice (without messing it up for everyone else)

  • Standards and Policy for FIGG from the National Technology Validation and Implementation Collaborative (NTVIC) - Ray Wickenheiser, PhD
  • FIGG Technology Comparisons: A breakdown of all the options, and when to use what - Connie Bormans, PhD, Swathi A Kumar, PhD
  • Preparing for Implementation:  What to think about and how to bring FIGG into your laboratory - Mandi S. Van Buren, MPharm
  • Learning FIGG: Advice from law enforcement on how to learn investigative genetic genealogy  - Det. Steven Smugereski, BA
  • Automating FIGG: Using AI to minimize manual genealogical investigation - Steve Kramer, JD
  • Legal Implications for FIGG: Identity discovery vs identity verification - Anne Marie Schubert, JD



10:00 AM – 10:15 AM
B41 When and “Y” to Screen With QIAGEN® Investigator® Casework GO!
Julia Wang, MS; Grace Rutledge, MS; Rachel Houston, PhD; Sheree Hughes, PhD


11:30 AM – 1:00 PM 
B98 The Generation of High-Quality Libraries for the Prediction of External Visible Characteristics and Biogeographical Ancestry Using a Low-Cost Automation Platform 
Riya Thekdi, MFS; Juan Carlos Perez, BS; Richelle Barta, BS; Erin McCarthy, BS; Elmira Forouzmand, PhD; Samantha Dowles, BS; Gothami Padmabandu, MS; Kathryn Stephens, PhD 

B105 A Snapshot of Current Opinions on Sequencing Technology in Forensics 
Megan Foley, MSFS; Fabio Oldoni, PhD 


1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
G8 Forensic Genetic Genealogy: A Primer for Legal Professionals 
Michael Coble, MFS, PhD 

1:45 PM – 2:15 PM
G9 Beyond the OMG Era: The Assessment of Forensic Genetic Genealogy as a Practical Investigative Tool 
Colleen Fitzpatrick, MS, PhD 

Events and Receptions

Verogen Showcase 
11:00 AM – 11:20 AM 
A quick look at the latest information about next-generation sequencing (NGS) and forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG) capabilities.

The NGS User Reception
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM 
Join us for an evening of cocktails, canapes, and conversation about all things next-generation sequencing and forensic investigative genetic genealogy. We’ll give an update on the latest updates and upcoming tools coming for NGS and FIGG.



9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
B126 One Laboratory’s Experience With Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Using the Verogen MiSeq® FGx System and Signature Prep Kit: The Decision, the Validation, and the Implementation 
Mandi Van Buren, MPharm; Brooke Ramirez, BS 

9:15 AM – 9:30 AM
B127 The Internal Validation of Verogen ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep Kit Primer Set B Using the Hamilton Nimbus HD and MiSeq® FGx 
Mandi Van Buren, MPharm; Brooke Ramirez, BS 

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM
B128 The Evaluation of the ForenSeq™ MainstAY Kit for Mixed Forensic DNA Samples 
Damani Johnson, BS; Lucio Avellaneda, BS; Rachel Houston, PhD; Tim Kalafut, PhD 

11:15 AM – 11:30 AM
B134 Solving More Cases Using Search Keys and Expanded DNA Indirect Matching (EDIM) 
Ray Wickenheiser, DPS, MBA 

The Impact of Manually Degraded Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Microarray Data on GEDmatch Top Genetic Matches for Forensic Genetic Genealogy Purposes 
Justin Rivera, BS; Claire Glynn, PhD 

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM
B147 Investigator® 24plex QS Amplification Kit Validation and Evaluation of New Formulation 
Samantha Wandzek, MS; Jamie Haas, MS; Sapana Prajapati, BS; Alicia Cadenas, MS 

Engineering and Applied Sciences

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
D32 Rapid Isolation of Sperm From Sexual Assault Case-Type Samples Utilizing a Microfluidic Device 
Kathryn Stephens, PhD; Adam Bisogni, PhD; Gothami Padmabandu, MS; Joana Antunes, PhD; Harvey Tian, PhD; Richelle Barta, BS