The Polish Speaking Working Group of the International Society for Forensic Genetics was officially established on 24th November 2017 at a meeting held in the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow. The officers listed below were selected.
The aims and plans of the working group are to concentrate on propagation of standards, quality assurance, sharing best practices and more effective collaboration of Polish forensic DNA laboratories at national and international levels.
The Polish Speaking Working Group has organized four teams working on relevant issues in the field of forensic genetics. These teams are:
  • Team for Standards and Assessment in Forensic Genetics lead by Natalia Rogalska-Niżnik
  • Team for Quality Assurance in Forensic Genetics led by Tomasz Kupiec
  • Team for Predictive DNA Analysis in Forensic Genetics led by Magdalena Spólnicka
  • Team for Kinship Analysis and Identification of Persons led by Andrzej Ossowski

Report on recent activities

During 2023, Polish-SWG met twice. The first one was held in Tarnowo Podgórne. And the second one was held online on November 17, 2023.
From the start, the activity of the Polish Speaking Working Group’s main goal is to improve the qualifications of experts performing reports in the field of forensic genetics. This goal was the foundation of the idea of organizing the Conference of Forensic Genetics, which took place in Zakopane at the Belvedere Resort & SPA Hotel on May 23-24, 2022. 50 people from various Polish genetic laboratories participated in the meeting.
This year's meeting had a training formula. First day was devoted to the genetic analysis of kinship and the use of R software for this purpose. The lecture and workshop was conducted by invited guest - Magnus D. Vigeland from the University of Oslo. During the conference, a meeting of the members of the Polish ISFG Working Group also took place. We discussed current issues and analyzed the results of the group's interlaboratory genetic paper test in the topic of identification and relationship analysis. On the second day, workshops and joint exercises on the use of the LRmix Studio program were held, as well as training in the use of GeneMapper software and its new possibilities.
Another important event for the group's activity was participation in the 6th Polish Congress of Genetics, which took place in Krakow on June 27-30, 2022. The forensic genetics subsection made its debut at this year's Congress with a lot of interest from the participants. During the conference, 2 sessions were devoted to genetic testing for the purposes of the judiciary system in Poland. Plenary lecture (Accuracy of Using the Skin Microbiome as a Forensic Tool) by Patrick K. H. Lee, as well as presentations of invited guests (Advances and perspectives in forensic DNA typing addressing crime and missing persons current challenges) by Magdalena Buś and (Population sequencing-based GWAS for height reveals major phenotype modifying variants and points on short stature selective pressure in Sardinia) by Magdalena Żołędziewska were of great interest and triggered numerous discussions. The Golden Paragraph award for the best poster in the Forensic Genetics category was awarded to Aleksandra Pisarek from MCB UJ for the thesis: Assessing the potential for sex determination from EPIC and GSA microarray data.
Representatives of the Polish-speaking ISFG Working Group participated on August 29 - September 2, 2022 in the 29th ISFG Congress, where the work of forensic geneticists from around the world was presented. The Polish speaking working group, ISFG-PL, was also represented, with two presentations at the plenary sessions and nine posters.
Summing up, the annual activity of ISFG-Pol was aimed at improving the qualifications of experts and the quality of reports, as well as tightening cooperation between laboratories and presenting scientific results.

Report on previous activities

Since its establishment in November 2017, the group has been very active and conducted its actions in many directions. In accordance with the set goals, which include promoting quality standards and strengthening national and international cooperation there have been various activities carried out.
The most important achievements of the group, so far, include best practice recommendation publications in the Archives of Legal Medicine and Criminology (analysis of mitochondrial DNA, the study of Y chromosome markers and the analysis of contact traces). Another publication containing recommendation on the methodology of preserving biological traces and conducting preliminary analysis is at its final stage.
Despite the ongoing pandemic and the related limitations, the Polish translation of the guidebook, which was created by the Euroforgen-NoE consortium entitled “Making Sense of Forensic Genetics, What can DNA tell you about crime” was completed. On November 24, 2020, online promotion of the publication took place, combined with a training in the field of genetic testing, taking into account such topics as the collecting biological traces, DNA profile determination, databases, haploid markers and phenotyping. The guide is very popular, as evidenced by the delivery of 500 printed copies to prosecutors, judges, and police officers.
From the very beginning of the group’s existence, one of the most important issues is improving the quality of genetic tests. An inter-laboratory comparison on DNA mixture interpretation has proved to be an excellent tool to achieve this goal. In 2019, the first paper challenge was organized, including the analysis of mixtures, in which over 11 laboratories participated. In the next edition, which took place in 2021, results from 45 experts were obtained. The outcome was summarized and discussed at the online meeting organized on November 10, 2021. The conclusion of discussions conducted by experts during the meeting is the need to develop and publish a universal database of allele frequencies for STR systems represented in new commercial amplification kits for the Polish population. According to the submitted ideas, next inter-laboratory comparison will be extended to separate issues related to the identification of remains and a questionnaire on the methodology of statistical analysis. Coordination of this activity will belong to the Team for the Analysis of Kinship and Identification of Persons.
Representatives of the ISFG-PL group had the opportunity to meet during the NEXTlab 2021 conference on September in Uniejów. During the meeting, the group’s current activities and plans for the future were summed up.
On November 10, 2021, a meeting of the Polish ISFG group took place via the zoom platform. The meeting had three parts: a summary of the group’s work for 2020-2021, a summary and discussion of the inter-laboratory test No. 2 in the field of mixture analysis and the election of the new group management. 44 members of the group took part in the vote. As a result of the elections, from among the proposed candidates, Tomasz Kupiec was elected the chairman of the group, Magdalena Spólnicka was chosen as the vice-chairman, and Maria Wróbel was chosen as the group’s secretary.
To sum up, despite the prevailing pandemic, the Polish Speaking Working Group is active in the implementation of the assumed goal of raising the quality standards of genetic tests and strengthening cooperation between genetic laboratories in Poland.

Upcoming activities or meetings

To be announced


dr Tomasz Kupiec
Instytut Ekspertyz Sądowych
im. Prof. dra Jana Sehna
Westerplatte 9
31-033 Kraków


dr hab. n. med. Magdalena Spólnicka
Centrum Nauk Sądowych UW
Centrum Nowych Technologii UW
ul. S. Banacha 2c
02-097 Warszawa


Maria Wróbel
Instytut Ekspertyz Sądowych
im. Prof. dra Jana Sehna
Westerplatte 9
31-033 Kraków

Last modified 6 months and 13 days ago by Dr. Lourdes Prieto Solla