This presentation will cover the journey of “molecular fingerprinting” using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry based methods from its pioneering origins to date. The work intends to provide personal information about the owner of a fingermark both together and beyond the ridge pattern to assist with both investigations and judicial debates. Successes, stumbling blocks and work in progress will be discussed in the light of a research and networking strategic plan aiming to generate a real impact within the criminal justice system.
Simona Francese is Professor of Forensic and Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. She holds a degree in Chemistry a PhD in Chemical Sciences obtained from the University of Salerno, Italy. She is an expert in the development of MALDI MS Imaging applications and has pioneered its development for the analysis of latent fingermarks to profile offenders. Simona’s research has been partly funded by the Home Office, The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, UK, and she actively collaborates with West Yorkshire Police to test the technology at crime scenes. She is one of the 40 members of the International Fingermark Research Group, invited member of the European Network of Forensic Sciences and since March 2017, she is the Chair of the COST Action CA16101 MULTi-modal imaging of FOREnsic SciEnce Evidence (MULTI-FORESEE)- tools for Forensic Science’.