Recapping 2018’s top HID stories

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At QIAGEN, we are always fine-tuning our strategies and improving solutions, scaling our applications to keep pace with emerging technologies, and partnering with you to advance forensic science and expand our service to the community.

With winter in full swing and 2019 just kicking off, we wanted you to take a moment to grab a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up by the fireplace and allow yourself to catch up on what you may have missed in 2018. Sit back and relax while you take a look at some of our highlights from the past year!

2018 Investigator Forums:

2018 was an exciting year for our very own Investigator Forums, as we held three events across the globe – Lisbon, San Antonio and Johannesburg! The aim of these events was to bring renowned international forensic scientists together in a relaxed setting where they could exchange ideas about the latest technologies, scientific advances and solutions for the forensic laboratory, share experiences and network with their peers. In addition, we had the opportunity to showcase our recent developments in NGS and Pyrosequencing technologies.

Check out the highlights from Lisbon and San Antonio or view the presentations you may have missed! Catch a glimpse of our Johannesburg event here. Keep an eye on our website for updates and more details about our future events.

2018 webinar and publication roundup:

Did you miss any of the live sessions? Don’t worry – we’re now offering them on-demand and you can watch at your leisure! If you have any burning questions, message us at!

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Listen to Dr. Tomasz Kupiec as he assesses Y chromosome degradation level using the Investigator Quantiplex Pro RGQ Kit, relevant to sexual assault casework. He also describes the application of the kit to the analysis of casework samples extracted from bone, prior to STR and Y-STR analysis. You can view his presentation and read an application note to discover how you can improve your casework outcomes and gain more confidence in your evidence!

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 Watch our webinar titled “Using methylation patterns to determine origin of biological material and age,” featuring guest speakers Dr. Bruce McCord, Dr. Ruth Kläver, Ms. Amy S. Lee and Mr. Peter St. Andre. Together the San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab and Florida International University (FIU) have been investigating the potential of epigenetic methylation as a procedure for the identification of body fluids and estimating age from DNA left at crime scenes. You can access the slides here.

And there’s more! Read an exclusive work by the same team of experts, wherein they have successfully used a Pyrosequencing method for tissue source identification by examining DNA methylation patterns. In this study, experts have identified a number of tissue-specific epigenetic markers including those that are specific for blood, sperm, saliva and vaginal epithelia. The application note demonstrates how the PyroMark Q48 Autoprep System and associated QIAGEN automation solutions can be used to decipher the hidden details in virtually any forensic sample.

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Check out our year-end webinar featuring Dr. Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Dr. Rachel Houston and Ms. Carrie Mayes “Application of QIAGEN Workflow with Quality Sensors and Interpretation: Database and Casework Samples.” This webinar focused on assessing the effectiveness of the QIAGEN Investigator Quality Sensor (QS) system when STR typing both database reference samples and forensic casework evidence. The degree of consistency and reproducibility between the quality flags in the Investigator Quantiplex Pro RGQ Kit during DNA quantification and the Quality Sensor in the Investigator 24plex kits, as well as the quality of the STR profile itself, were discussed. View slide deck and read an application note comparing the performance of four commercial qPCR kits for analyzing inhibited and degraded forensic samples. Learn how you can reliably quantify your samples before STR amplification and increase the first-pass success rate!

Check out more HID webinars here!


Investigator blog series:

Last year we launched our successful Investigator blog series to showcase and applaud the efforts of extraordinary forensic scientists and graduate students worldwide. These scientists shared their stories and research accomplishments, as well as highlighted the impact of their work on our community. Take a moment to explore previous Investigator stories and allow them to inspire you! You could be next!

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Amy Holmes recently graduated from the Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, where she received her Ph.D. Her research focused on exploring solutions to the problem of sub-optimal disaster victim identification (DVI) methods for processing large numbers of decomposing human remains for DNA typing. In addition, her research involved optimizing protocols for in-field sample collection, room-temperature storage, and faster processing of DNA samples from decomposing human tissues.

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Michelle Peck is a DNA Validation and Development Coordinator at the International Commission on Missing Persons, The Hague, Netherlands. Her research focuses on Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) methods for missing persons identification.


Lisa Dierig is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Ulm, Germany. Her research focuses on optimizing collection and analysis of ‘touch DNA’ samples for better success rate and deconvolution of admixed samples.

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Jan Fleckhaus is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Cologne, Germany. His research focuses on DNA methylation-based age prediction and optimization of the Pyrosequencing technology for its application in routine forensic work.

We are very pleased to have ended 2018 on a remarkably high note with our solutions primed and customers empowered to take on even tougher challenges than ever before!

That’s a wrap on 2018! Looking forward to new adventures in 2019!


Upcoming 2019 events:

Kicking off the year at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), we will be announcing more details on our Young Investigator Awards! Don’t miss out on the details, as  applications are opening soon!

February 18–23 – AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting – Baltimore, Maryland

February 21–23 – Spurenworkshop – Jena, Germany

April 23–26 – Bode – Phoenix, Arizona

May 8–10 – ENFSI meeting – Madrid, Spain

May 19–23 – ASCLD Symposium – St. Louis, Missouri

August 1–2 – AFDAA – Houston, Texas

September 9–14 – ISFG – Prague, Czech Republic

September 23–26 – ISHI – Palm Springs, California


Angela Cacioppo, MPS

Global Market Manager, Demand Generation

Angela joined QIAGEN in 2017. She received her Master's Degree in Forensic Science (biology track) from Pennsylvania State University. Before joining QIAGEN, Angela worked at The Bode Technology Group (a.k.a Bode Cellmark Forensics) as a DNA analyst, where she processed thousands of DNA samples and traveled the United States to testify as an expert witness. Afterwards, she joined LGC, where she was involved in the rollout and deployment of new and innovated technology, ParaDNA Systems, that facilitates the screening and triage of DNA samples.

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