Take your FIGG knowledge to the next level with this six-part series. 

This has been a banner year for forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG). It seems that every week, investigators are using FIGG to close cases that appeared otherwise impossible to resolve. As the FIGG technology developer and the steward of GEDmatch and GEDmatch PRO, Verogen is dedicated to bringing quality training to law enforcement professionals who wish to solidify their knowledge in FIGG. This six-part webinar series is designed for law enforcement professionals who already have the foundational understanding of how FIGG works and it will take your knowledge to the next level.

In this six-part series attendees will learn:

  • How to choose and evaluate which lab to work with, including both public and private options
  • How to make sure your case remains prosecutable and advice from attorneys experienced with FIGG
  • How to navigate the public’s concern with privacy issues
  • The future of FIGG according to leading FIGG experts
  • The application of FIGG in long-term missing or unidentified persons and unresolved murder investigations
  • How to build a successful FIGG unit, minimize the risks and maximize the success in using FIGG to investigate crimes 


Episode 1: How to Choose a Lab Partner - Public and Private

Friday, September 30th, 2022 |10:00 am PST / 1:00 pm EST

  • The FIGG process starts with your local crime lab
  • Finding a partner in the crime lab
  • The business case for utilizing FIGG
  • How a private lab can be a great resource
  • Why you should choose an accredited lab
Speaker Biography

Rachel Oefelein

Chief Scientific Officer, DNA Labs International

Rachel Oefelein is currently the Cief Scientific Officer t at DNA Labs International (DLI). Additionally, Rachel is a PhD candidate with Griffith University located in Brisbane, Australia. She received her MSc in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde, and her BS in Criminal Justice, with a Forensic Science Minor, from Loyola University of New Orleans. Rachel worked at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) for nearly five years and previously interned at the Instytut Ekspertyz Sądowych, the Forensic Laboratory in Krakow, Poland.  Since joining DNA Labs International in 2014, Rachel has testified in thirteen Florida counties, six states and U.S. Territories, and five countries as an expert witness for both the prosecution and the defense in misdemeanor and felony trials, as well as Williams, Daubert, and Arthur hearings.

  1. Ray Wickenheiser 9Jul21

Dr. Ray Wickenheiser

Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System


Dr. Ray Wickenheiser is currently the Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System, headquartered in Albany, New York.  He is also a Past President of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) and the 2022 Briggs J. White Ward recipient .  Ray has over 38 years of forensic science experience, with 21 of those as a Crime Lab Director in local and State Crime Laboratories.  His areas of expertise include crime lab administration, quality management, conflict resolution, forensic DNA, serology, hair and fiber trace evidence, physical matching and comparison, glass fracture analysis, forensic grain comparison and genetic genealogy.  Ray is currently the Chair of the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science.

In New York, Ray is a member of the New York Crime Lab Advisory Committee (NYCLAC).  Ray is a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS), and has been an invited guest to the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) since 2013.  He was a member of the Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Working Group publishing the “National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kit: A Multidisciplinary Approach”.

Ray is a qualified ISO Auditor, conducting audits in 10 states as an auditor and DNA lead auditor.  He has testified as an expert witness over 90 times, published numerous scientific articles, a book chapter, and is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences.  Ray has served as a peer-reviewer for a number of journals and advisor to several university forensic programs.  Ray has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching criminalistics at Montgomery College, Maryland.  Ray holds a Bachelor of Science Honours degree from the University of Regina, Canada, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, Health Ethics and Policy from Albany Medical College, and a certificate in Genetic Genealogy from Boston University. Ray’s interests include Investigative Genealogy, touch DNA, conflict resolution and playing ice hockey.


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    This six-part webinar series is brought to you by Verogen, the steward of GEDmatch and GEDmatch PRO, and the only company committed exclusively to the innovation, development, and commercialization of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology for forensic and human identification applications.

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By filling out the registration form below, you are signing up for the entire series and will be notified one week before each episode airs.