New Chairman of ICMP Steering Committee on Forensic Science

Article posted on October 3, 2007

Professor Dr (med) Guy Rutty from the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, University of Leicester, United Kingdom, has been elected as new chairman of the Steering Committee on Forensic Science Programs of the International Commission on Missing Persons. The Steering Committee assists ICMP in obtaining the best scientific advice available on matters related to forensic science programs and related work within ICMP. In addition, it evaluates and monitors relevant ICMP policies and working procedures.Dr. Rutty is a Home office registered forensic pathologist who qualified as a medical practitioner from the Royal Free School of Medicine, London in 1987. In 1996 he took a specialist position in forensic pathology at the University of Sheffield. He is now Professor of Forensic Pathology at the University of Leicester. He has twice served with the International Crime Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in Bosnia and Herzegovina on war crime investigations and has long standing practical, research and teaching experience in disaster victim identification including vehicle, conflict and environmental disasters such as the Asian Tsunami 2004. He is an advisor, trainer and researcher for the UK for contaminated incidents. He has published extensively in peer reviewed journals as well as having edited five books, and haven written 18 book chapters. He is the founder Editor-in-Chief of the International Forensic Journal, Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology.

The Steering Committee meets annually and has 15 members who are experts in one or more field of forensics, collectively covering these disciplines including: pathology, archaeology, anthropology, molecular biology (including DNA statistics, ancient DNA, general), odontology, scene of crime management, bioinformatics and bioethics.

ICMP has pioneered the application of integrated scientific and informatics systems to humanitarian missing persons identification, with remarkable, demonstrated success on a massive scale. Through its excavations and examinations programs, ICMP is predominantly involved in the detection and location of sites, the recovery and subsequent examination of mortal remains and the use of scientific methods to compare ante mortem and post mortem records to assist in identifications. The ICMP DNA laboratory is a key component of the pioneering “DNA-led” process ICMP has applied on a regional scale. The DNA laboratory has highly refined methods for recovery of trace quantities of DNA from degraded bones, and applies these on a steady-high-throughput rate that is not matched in any other laboratory in the world. The highly individualizing DNA profiles that are obtained from the remains are compared via genetic kinship analysis to DNA from family members with missing relatives. From early 2002 to date ICMP made over 13,000 DNA matches worldwide.