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2014 International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) Celebrates 25 Years of Forensic Advances

Companies mentioned in this article: Promega Corporation

MADISON, Wis. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Twenty-five years ago, forensics was a very different field. Blood types were widely used as screening tools and DNA fingerprinting was in its infancy. Today, DNA forensics is part of the popular culture, with the expectation that crime can be solved by analyzing the smallest trace of genetic material.

Beginning as a small forum for the nascent field of forensic science, the International Symposium on Human Identification has grown into the largest conference on DNA analysis for human identification. The 25th International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) 2014 will be held September 29–October 2 at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona. Over 50 experts representing the fields of forensic DNA analysis, medical molecular diagnostics, genomics, law enforcement and more will speak to emerging forensic DNA practices and technological advances over the last 25 years, including:

  • Jeff Ashton and Michael L. Baird, PhD: Ashton, Orange and Osceola County’s Ninth Circuit State Attorney, and Baird, Chief Science Officer at DNA Diagnostics Center, will examine the first-ever DNA conviction in the 1988 Tommie Lee Andrews case, illustrating the fortuitous coincidences that led to that event and the advances in technology that have catapulted the field forward.
  • John Butler, PhD: Butler, Special Assistant to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director for Forensic Science, will share updates on the ground-breaking National Commission on Forensic Science—the recently formed organization whose chartered goals include providing recommendations and advice to the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding national methods and strategies for strengthening the validity and reliability of the forensic sciences.
  • Walther Parson, PhD: Parson, Associate Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University, will present “The Schiller Code,” which solved the mystery surrounding the remains of Friedrich von Schiller, the famous German poet, philosopher, historian and playwright who died in 1805.
  • Erin Sweeney and Jed Henry: Sweeney, Director of Human Identification and Databasing at Bode Technology, and Henry, an Emmy award winning photojournalist, will tell the story of PFC Lawrence S. Gordon, a Canadian citizen fighting with the U.S. Army during World War II, who was identified in a German cemetery in France.

Experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), including the CODIS Unit, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, top national and international research universities, public and private forensic labs, various state forensic science bureaus, police departments and state attorneys’ offices, and expert DNA witnesses will be represented.

A full agenda, speaker biographies and continuing program updates are available at the symposium website:

This symposium for forensic experts and suppliers is offered through Promega Corporation, a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. Promega Corporation has provided products for DNA-based human identification for over 20 years. The company’s 3,000 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, drug discovery and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA, with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information about Promega, visit

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Promega Corporation
Penny Patterson
Sr. Director, Communications
(608) 274-4330