Technology and Society Committee Luncheon Forum

The Rise of Forensic Genetics: Can You Hide from Genetic Detectives?

Tue Jan 8
Cafe Baklava Medeterrainian Grill
11:45 am to 1:00 pm
$16 - $22
Government, Police Departments, Technology, Databases


Rori Rohlfs

The Rise of Forensic Genetics: Can You Hide from Genetic Detectives?

Dr. Rohlfs is an Assistant Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, where she specializes in population genetics, evolution, statistical genetics, gene expression and forensic genetics. She gained her BS in Computer Science and Biology from Carnegie Mellon University and her PhD in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington.

The capture of the Golden State Killer last year highlighted the power of a technique known as long-range familial search to identify suspects by matching crime-scene DNA to genetic profiles posted by distant relatives (in 2018 more than a dozen cases were solved using this technique). Recent studies have found that once a genetic database covers about 2% of a population, nearly any person could be matched to at least a 3rd cousin level.

Dr. Rohlfs will give an overview of long-range familial search, summarize the latest research on DNA sample analysis and false positives, and comment on the scientific and social implications of forensic familial searching and the role of policymakers in limiting when and how law-enforcement agencies can use public databases.

More Info

RSVP to (650) 969-7215 (Box Office)



  1. Cafe Baklava Medeterrainian Grill
    341 Castro St, Mountain View, CA