Sponsored Workshops

Australian Federal Police Sponsored Seminar 1

The Pace of Change - Forensic Capabilities: Traditional, Emerging, Future

Workshop Presenter: Dr Simon Walsh PSM and colleagues
Workshop Date: Tuesday, 21 November
Workshop Time: 12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.4


For the last decade, technological advancements in forensic science have led to a rapid evolution of investigative techniques and capabilities.

This seminar will delve into the transformative journey of forensic science, exploring the interplay between traditional methods, emerging technologies, and the potential future trajectories of the field.

As the first of three “Pace of Change” seminars, this session will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss the continuum between conventional forensic practices and the innovative methodologies that are redefining investigative horizons. The seminar is transdisciplinary and will explore common themes and challenges that are relevant across our field.

Waters Corporation Sponsored Workshop

Innovations in Mass Spectrometry for the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory
Workshop Presenter: Christopher Buck, Senior Clinical Success Specialist, Waters Corporation.
Workshop Date: Tuesday, 21 November
Workshop Time: 12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.5

High Resolution MSE Toxicology Screening using the Waters Xevo G3 Qtof

High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) has gained importance for broad screening in forensic toxicology laboratories with the emergence and constant evolution of novel psychoactive substances.

The Xevo G3 QTof from Waters is the latest generation of high performance QTof technology and includes many enhancements that improve performance and system robustness. This presentation aims to highlight some of the developments and enhancements that have been made to the recently launched Xevo G3 QTof.

Analysis of carboxy-THC using UPLC-MS/MS

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component of cannabis and produces several metabolites including 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (cTHC). After a positive identification of THC in hair, cTHC can subsequently be analyzed to comply with the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) requirements. However, this analysis is very challenging, as cTHC is found at low pg/mg concentrations, with typically limited sample availability, thus high sensitivity analytical techniques are required. This presentation aims to consider a robust method developed for the analysis of cTHC in hair, that meets the routine guidelines for the confirmation cut-off concentrations recommended by the SoHT.

Sciex Sponsored Workshop

Choosing the right LC-MSMS platform for Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) screening
Workshop Presenter: Dr. Brad Patterson, Applications Support Manager (SCIEX Oceania)
Workshop Date: Wednesday, 22 November
Workshop Time: 07:00-08:00
Room Number: C4.5

The SCIEX workshop will provide an overview of the workflows, instruments, and scanning functions available for NPS screening and participants will be able to determine:

  • Considerations to take into account when deciding on an NPS screening method
  • The pros and cons of Triple Quad LC-MS/MS versus QqTOF LC-MS/MS systems
  • NPS Screening capabilities – New method updates!

Thermo Fisher Scientific Sponsored Workshop

Applications of Thermo Fisher Scientific Mass Spectrometry solutions in Forensic Toxicology.
Workshop Presenter: Dr. Edward Goucher, Senior Business Development Manager, Vertical Marketing (Clinical Research), Thermo Fisher Scientific
Workshop Date: Wednesday, 22 November
Workshop Time: 12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.4

Thermo Fisher Scientific is committed to the development of emerging workflows for open platform mass spectrometry (MS) products and associated workstreams in areas such as clinical & forensic toxicology, medical devices, targeted protein analysis and alternative sampling devices. In the past, the use of gold standard MS technology in the forensic labs have been limited because of manual, labor intensive sample preparation and analyte extraction protocols, and chromatographic separations.  With the desire for better sensitivity and selectivity, MS technology has increasingly become the analytical tool of choice in recent years. This has mainly been possible with the advancement of MS detection capabilities, targeting the needs of routine laboratories such as, high throughput and low maintenance mass spectrometers along with intuitive software interfaces that require minimal user expertise.

In this talk, we will be addressing some of our latest developments in Forensic Toxicology applications, tackling the requirements for quantitation, targeted screening, and unknown-unknown workstreams. This includes Tox Explorer Collection which is our all-in-one LC-MS/MS solution for forensic / post mortem toxicology, workplace / adherence monitoring, and sports anti-doping.

The talk will also feature the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap IQ-X Tribrid mass spectrometer that is designed to reveal complex chemical structures for compound identification and structure elucidation of small molecules. The Compound Discoverer software for toxicology enables the user to dig deeper into the unknowns of patient samples and identify any drugs of abuse, prescription, therapeutic, endogenous compounds as well as potentially identify completely new drugs based on compound class searching.

Lastly, we will be showcasing the VeriSpray™ PaperSpray ion source for mass spectrometry that provides direct sample analysis capability with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, eliminating the need for sample preparation and chromatographic based separation.

Metasystems Sponsored Workshop

Automation of Forensic Microscopy with Metafer SpermFinder DNN and Artificial Intelligence
Workshop Presenter: Arne Muller, Business Development Manager, Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd Microscopy Business Group
Workshop Date: Wednesday, 22 November
Workshop Time: 12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.5

Microscopy is an important method for detecting spermatozoa in traces obtained in the event of an alleged sexual assault. Unfortunately, manual microscopy is labor intensive and time consuming, and results are subject to high variability. The significant backlogs suffered by most forensic genetics laboratories around the world are due in significant part to this fact.

MetaSystems, a leader in automated microscope-based imaging software, has addressed this problem by integrating artificial intelligence with its renowned slide-scanning software, Metafer. The resulting workflow, installed with the Customization Package Sperm Detection, reliably detects spermatozoa with and without tails in standard preparations for forensic evaluation.

Metafer scans a slide unattended in a few minutes and generates a gallery of all spermatozoa recognized by the neural network. The workflow supports samples labeled with conventional Christmas Tree stain Baecchi stain, as well as H&E stain. Large laboratories benefit particularly from the high-throughput technology, which allows up to 800 preparations per search run and can also be operated in 24/7 mode.

In this workshop we will explain in detail the advantages of the Metafer workflow for sperm detection, which is already successfully in routine use in several institutes in Europe, the USA and ANZ. In this context, we will also address data security and, time permitting, briefly present our approach to condom use detection based on starch granule detection using artificial intelligence.

Australian Federal Police Sponsored Seminar 2

The Pace of Change - Expertise and Talent
Workshop Presenter: Dr Simon Walsh PSM and colleagues
Workshop Date: Thursday, 23 November
Workshop Time:12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.4

In an era characterised by rapid technological advancements and evolving professional landscapes, this seminar will delve into the critical challenge faced by forensic organisations in finding, nurturing, and retaining skilled experts who can drive innovation and adapt to the shifting demands of their fields.

As the second of our “Pace of Change” series, this seminar will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss the multifaceted aspects of expertise and talent management faced across the globe to gain insights into navigating the complexities of identifying, developing, and retaining top talent in an environment of constant change.

QIAGEN Sponsored Workshop

Solving Unidentified Remains and Serious Crime Cases – The Power of NGS and FIGG
Workshop Presenter:Nicola Oldroyd Clark, Senior Director, Commercial Operations HID & Forensics, QIAGEN
Workshop Date: Thursday, 23 November
Workshop Time: 12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.5

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) offers new hope for unsolved cases whether past or present. One of the many benefits afforded by NGS technology is the ability to analyze thousands of markers instead of tens of markers using short SNPs. Short SNPs are the amplicons ideally suited to recovering information from badly degraded samples. These new developments for missing persons projects will streamline comparisons between human remains and reference samples and reach more distant relatives than previously possible. In addition, Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy (FIGG) is uniquely enabled by NGS. This emerging application can provide leads for unsolved serious crime cases by reaching for missing persons beyond reference sample collections and beyond STRs.

Our workshop will explore the complete QIAGEN-Verogen workflow for missing persons and serious crime cases – from extracting high quality material from difficult bone samples to local and cloud-based computing platforms for identifying relatives of persons of interests. The workshop includes a mix of lectures and interactive demo sections and is an opportunity for debate, discussion, and exploration of the power of NGS and FIGG.

Australian Federal Police Sponsored Seminar 3

The Pace of Change - Law, Science, and Technology
Workshop Presenter:Dr Simon Walsh PSM and colleagues
Workshop Date: Friday, 24 November
Workshop Time:12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.5

The rapid technological advancements in forensic science contrast with the conservative traditions of the legal system. This seminar will delve into the complex interplay between legal frameworks and the rapid evolution of science and technology, exploring how the legal system is navigating these dynamic changes.

As the final “Pace of Change” seminar, we will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by technological advancements, as well as some critical issues such as admissibility of digital evidence, the ethical use of emerging technologies, and the role of multidisciplinary collaboration in ensuring justice is served.

QIAGEN Panel Discussion

FIGG Technology and Trajectory
Panel Discussion Presenters: Dr Jennifer Raymond , Lawrence Wein, Dr Sally-Ann Harbison ,Dr Nathan Scudder and Nicola Oldroyd-Clark
Panel Discussion Date: Friday, 24 November
Panel Discussion Time: 12:00-13:00
Room Number: C4.4