Dr Rebecca Kogios, will discuss the use of DNA in criminal investigations including identifying persons of interest through DNA profiles uploaded to internet genealogy websites and databases as occurred recently in California with the identification of the Golden State Killer.”
Australian Forensic DNA capabilities have evolved significantly over the past 2 decades; since the introduction of the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD system) in 2001 we’ve seen an exponential growth in the ability and swiftness of law enforcement to identify offenders. This has been accompanied by extensive ethical dialogue about how these capabilities can be applied to the benefit of community safety whilst also maintaining appropriate checks and balances on privacy. Those debates continue to occur today, as we further expand forensic DNA capabilities through exciting developments such as kinship matching, familial searching and massive parallel sequencing. This speech will provide an overview of current state and next generation developments in the world of forensic DNA and explore the complex debates that surround how we apply new capabilities.
Dr Rebecca Kogios PhD, GAICD is the Executive Director of the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department. Rebecca completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, holds Bachelor Degrees in both Science (Biochemistry) and Law and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s flagship Company Director’s Course. Rebecca has extensive experience as a forensic practitioner, having worked in public and private sectors, in Australia and the UK. When practising, Rebecca’s specialty was forensic biology, encompassing DNA analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, serology, hair and damage examination.
Rebecca’s commitment to service delivery, combined with her role as a key leader in the forensic science community, has seen her make a unique contribution community safety in Victoria. The first female Executive Director of the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, Rebecca oversees more than 500 staff to process more than 75,000 requests annually, making the Department one of the largest forensic science service providers in Australia. Rebecca is passionate about the capacity of forensic science to support robust investigative outcomes and contribute to a safer community for all Victorians.
Rebecca is currently a council member of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Academy of Forensic Science, and was formerly the Victorian Branch President of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society.