Walther Parson received his PhD in forensic molecular biology in 1999 and holds an associate professorship since his habilitation in 2001 at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University. WP was primarily responsible for research which resulted in the set up of the National DNA Database Laboratory of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior in Innsbruck between 1994 and 1996, which he is currently heading. WP is a member of international forensic working groups including the ENFSI DNA Working Group (European Network of Forensic Science Institutes), EDNAP (European DNA Profiling Group), ISFG (International Society of Forensic Genetics) and others and works as advisor on international boards and steering committees such as the EAFS (European Academy of Forensic Science) and the ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons).
WP leads a very active group of scientists that published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in the forensic and medical genetic field within the past 5 years. This group received more than ten national and international scientific prizes in the same time frame. WP was awarded the bi-annual scientific price of the German Society of Legal Medicine in 2004 for closing the ranks between forensic and medical genetics and he received the scientific prize of the International Society of Forensic Genetics in 2005 for his work in the field of forensic mtDNA research. WP is member of the advisory board of the journals "International Journal of Legal Medicine" and "Forensic Science international Genetics". In 2009 he was elected active member of the "National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina".
WP was repeatedly consigned to handle international requests on DNA fingerprinting such as the DNA identification of the Asian Tsunami-victims from Sri Lanka, the DNA identification of the remains of the two missing children of the Russian Tsar family or historical cases including the investigations on the putative Mozart skull and the Friedrich v. Schiller Code.
WP has focused part of his research on the development and curation of Internet-accessible forensic resources such as the ENFSI DNA WG STR-BASE and EMPOP (EDNAP mtDNA Population database), a global mtDNA databank that has refined forensic mtDNA quality standards by development and dissemination of new research protocols, guidelines and software that aid the processes of mtDNA data generation and evaluation.
Since 2001 -- Quality Assurance Auditor (ISO EN 17025)
Since 2004 -- Curator of the ENFSI DNA WG STR frequency database (www.strbase.org)
Since 2006 -- Scientific developer and curator of the mtDNA database EMPOP (www.empop.org)
Since 2006 -- Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal
“Forensic Science International:Genetics”
Since 2007 -- Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal “Problems of Forensic Sciences”
Since 2007 -- Member of the Editorial Board of the “Open Forensic Science Journal”
Since 2008 -- Member of the Editorial Board of the “International Journal of Legal Medicine”
Since 2004 -- Associate Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University
Head Forensic Molecular Biology
Head High Through-Put DNA Databasing Unit
2001 – 2004 -- Associate Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Innsbruck
1997 – 2001 -- Assistant Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Innsbruck
1996 – 1997 -- Contractional employee at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Innsbruck
1994 – 1995 -- Temporary contract at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Innsbruck
1998 -- Austrian member of the European DNA Profiling Group (EDNAP)
1999 -- Austrian member of the DNA Working Group of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI DNA WG)
2000 -- Member of the ‘Scientific Advisory Board’ of the ‘International Commission on Missing Persons’ (ICMP), since 2004 Steering Committee of ICMP
2001 -- Member of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG)
2001 -- Member of the Austrian Society of Legal Medicine, ‚Österreichische Gesellschaft für Gerichtliche Medizin’ (ÖGGM)
2001 -- Member of the German Society of Legal Medicine, ‚Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rechtsmedizin’ (DGRM)
2007 -- Associate member of the European Academy of Forensic Sciences (EAFS)
2009 -- Elected active member to the “Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina”
2012 -- Member of the executive board of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG)