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Laura Wilson Presents at ISHI 2015

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From October 12 – 15, I attended the 25th International Symposium on Human Identification in Grapevine, TX.  On the first day, I attended the “Forensic Mixture InterpretationISHI 2015” workshop.  During this workshop, we looked at DNA mixtures that were difficult to analyze and deconvolute, and people gave input as to how they would interpret it according to the protocols in their lab.  It was interesting to hear how different crime labs across the country and around the world handle DNA mixtures.

Over the next three days, I attended presentations about current work being done around the world to overcome challenges seen in the field.  Not only was I given the Texas 2015opportunity to listen to interesting presentations, I was also able to present my own research findings through a poster presentation.  My poster presentation was titled “Optimization of First Round PCR Amplification for mtDNA D-loop Sequencing on the MiSeq”.  I answered a lot of good questions and was given ideas on ways to improve my project to make it the best it can be.

On the second to last day,  ISHI had a reception near the conference center at a place called The Glass Cactus.  This was a fun time to socialize with friends in the field.  The Glass Cactus served delicious food, and the night ended with a lot of dancing!  It also came with a great view of the sunset!

While this was the second conference I’ve attended, this conference was more specific to DNA-related issues, as opposed to a range of forensic science topicGirls at ISHI 2015s.  I liked this aspect, because it allowed me to interact and network with people in the field who are doing similar things as what I want to do once I graduate from Penn State.  A lot of people who work as DNA analysts were also willing to give advice to students about jobs.  I really enjoyed the conference, and I am very grateful for the Forensic Science Program for the opportunity to attend!

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