Forensic Genetic Genealogy – An Emerging Game Changer for Cold Case Resolution

Life Sciences, Emerging Market, Fundamental Research,
  • Thursday, March 26, 2020

This free webinar will provide an overview of what Genealogy is and how it’s used in the forensic context to solve cold cases. It will also offer insight into the implications of Verogen now owning GEDmatch and how that relates to privacy concerns and beyond. It will also discuss what happens to the data on GEDmatch and details around what data is used to make the matches.

The webinar will also provide real-world insights regarding the impact of genetic genealogy from the complementary viewpoints of forensic scientists and law enforcement.

Attendees will hear from Andreas Tillmar, PhD, a scientist whose academic interests include Forensic Science, Clinical Pharmacology and Oncology in the Department of Medical and Health Sciences (IMH), at Linköping University in Sweden. His recent work helped provide investigative leads using whole exome sequencing on DNA extracted from bone samples. Genetic profiles from those bone samples were entered into the GEDmatch database in order to identify the remains of an unknown male (“the Ekeby man”) that was found murdered in the south of Sweden in 2003.


Cydne Holt, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Verogen

After earning her PhD from Baylor College of Medicine, Cydne worked as a Criminalist at the Santa Clara District Attorney Criminalistics Laboratory, and then was part of the original R&D team at Applied Biosystems that developed the first PCR amplification kits for forensic/human identification applications using capillary electrophoresis instrumentation. She later became the DNA Technical Leader and Forensic Science Division Director for the City and County of San Francisco where she worked for 10 years before joining Illumina to lead their forensic genomics business. She currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer at Verogen, where she is focused on advancing massively parallel sequencing and other powerful tools to improve public safety and global justice.

Message Presenter

Andreas Tillmar, Associate Professor and Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Forensic Genetics, at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden

Andreas Tillmar, PhD, works as a forensic geneticist at the Nation Board of Forensic Medicine, Sweden (80%) and as a senior lecturer and associated professor of forensic genetics at Linköping University, Sweden (20%). He is well experienced from working over 15 years in the field. During these years he has, as a reporting officer, signed more than 10,000 reports on DNA-based paternity, kinship and missing person investigations. His current tasks include technical leadership mixed with R&D. His research is focused on various topics of forensic genetics such as applying new genetic polymorphisms for complex kinship testing, population genetics, applied biostatistics and most recently forensic DNA genealogy. He is the main, senior or co-author of more than 40 peer-reviewed articles. He is the chairman of the English Speaking Working Group (ESWG) of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG).

Message Presenter

Lori Napolitano, Chief of Forensic Services, Genetic Genealogy Investigations, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Orlando

Lori Napolitano is a Chief of Forensic Services for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE ). Currently, she is overseeing FDLE’s Statewide Genetic Genealogy Program and manages the Genetic Genealogy Investigations Team. Ten cases have been solved as part of the program and over a dozen more are in progress. She has been with FDLE for 30 years. In addition to working in Forensics, Lori worked in Investigations for several years as the supervisor of the investigative analysis unit. Her genetic genealogy experience began 3 years ago with her own family’s adoption issue. Now that genetic genealogy has intersected with law enforcement she is able to apply her to skills help investigators solve crime. Lori has a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Jacksonville University. She is a certified Florida Law Enforcement Analyst and has been a CJSTC Instructor and certified educator.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This webinar is for professionals who are involved in:

  • Government forensic lab
  • Commercial/private testing forensic lab
  • Academic who does research in related disciplines (forensic science, DNA sequencing)
  • Law Enforcement professional
  • Legal professional
  • Genealogist

What You Will Learn

  • Overview of genetic genealogy and how it can be used to solve cold cases
  • Real-world views from those who use forensic genetic genealogy to solve cold cases from that of a practicing forensic scientist and an attorney representing dimensions of the law enforcement community
  • Preview of a fit-for-purpose forensic genetic genealogy solution to generate more investigative leads and human identification

Xtalks Partner


Verogen serves those who pursue the truth using genetic tools. Powered by Illumina’s gold standard sequencing technology and working in partnership with forensic laboratories, we are advancing next generation sequencing to help unlock the true potential of genetic identification.

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