Walther Parson

Dr. Walther Parson
Associate Professor

Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria

Müllerstrasse 44, 6020 Innsbruck

T: +43 512 9003 70651, F: +43 512 9003 73640
walther.parson@i-med.ac.at, W: http://gerichtsmedizin.at/walther_parson.html


Adjunct Professor

Forensic Science Program, The Pennsylvania State University

13 Thomas Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA



Main areas of research:

Dr. Walther Parson received his doctorate in forensic molecular biology in 1999 and set up the Austrian National DNA Database Laboratory in Innsbruck. He is a trained zoologist and his main areas of research are forensic genetics, population genetics and medical genetics. Dr. Parson has authored more than 330 peer-reviewed articles (H-index of 56) and received international scientific prizes. The Medical University of Innsbruck - mostly because of Parson’s group, is number six in the world’s most productive institutions in the field of Legal Medicine and Forensic Science (http://sciencewatch.com/ana/fea/11julaugFea), and personally, Dr. Parson appears on position 22 in the list of most-cited scientist worldwide in this field. The internationally recognized forensic databases EMPOP and STRidER were developed under his administrative and scientific supervision and he currently acts as responsible curator. He supervises an active group of scientists that investigate technological aspects of DNA quantitation and analysis, DNA sequencing on traditional and NGS platforms as well as collaborative studies and exercises on predictive DNA analyses for appearance, ancestry and age.

He is an Austrian representative in the European DNA Profiling (EDNAP) group as well as the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) DNA Working Group (current co-chairman of the sub-working group on DNA analysis and interpretation methods). Dr. Parson serves as advisor on international boards and steering committees including the ENFSI DNA Working Group, the European Academy of Forensic Sciences (EAFS), the Steering Committee of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) as well as numerous editorial boards of scientific journals.


Academic qualifications

1993               Master of Science, Biology, University of Innsbruck

1999               Doctorate, Biology, University of Innsbruck

2001               Habilitation/Venia docendi, Legal Medicine, University of Innsbruck

Since 2002     Associate Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of                                   Innsbruck, since 2004 Medical University of Innsbruck

Since 2016     Adjunct Professor at the Forensic Science Program, Pennsylvania State                            University, PA, USA (Associate Professor since 2012).


Invitations to present at conferences  (5 max)

2016-03-14   Parson, W. (key lecture) Advancing Forensic Mitochondrial DNA                                       Sequencing, Genetics in Forensics Congress, London, UK

2016-02-23   Parson, W. (invited presentation) NGS in Forensics: Why, When and                                             Where? AAFS 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

2016-09-29   Parson, W. (invited presentation) Genetic Identification of highly degraded                                  DNA by capture-based massively parallel next generation sequencing. International Symposium on Human Identification, Minneapolis MN, USA

2015-06-24   Parson, W. (key lecture) Celebrity genetics: DNA identification of famous persons. 9th ISABS Congress, Brac, Croatia

 2013-09-04  Parson, W. (main presentation) Next Generation mtGenome Sequencing of                                  Forensic samples, 25th ISFG World Congress, Melbourne, Australia


Academic prizes/recognitions (5 max)

2016       President of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG)

2012       Member of the executive board of the International Society of Forensic   Genetics (ISFG)

2009       Elected member to the “National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina”

2005       Scientific award of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG)

2004       Scientific award of the German Society of Legal Medicine, ‚Wissenschaftspreis    der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Rechtsmedizin’ (DGRM)


Editorships  (5 max)

Since 2016     Editorial Board member of the “Journal of Forensic Sciences Research”

Since 2008     Editorial Board member of the “International Journal of Legal Medicine”

Since 2007     Editorial Board member of the “Open Forensic Science Journal”

Since 2007     Editorial Board member of the journal “Problems of Forensic Sciences”

Since 2007     Editorial Board member of the “Forensic Science International Genetics”


Projects  (5 max)

European project: DNASEQEX - DNA-STR Massive Sequencing & International Information Exchange, funded by the European Commission, No. HOME/2014/ISFP/AG/LAWX/ 4000007135, 2016-2018.

European project: EUROFORGEN: No-E - European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence, funded by the European Commission FP7 Program, No. FP7-SEC-2011-285487, 2012-2016.

International project: Maximizing mtDNA Testing Potential with the Generation of High-Quality mtGenome Reference Data, funded by the National Institute of Justice (USA), No. 2011-MU-MU-K402, 2011-2014.

European project: MIDAS - The development and validation of a rapid millifluidic DNA analysis system for forensic casework samples, funded by the European Commission FP7 Program, No. 242345, 2010-2013.

European project: SNPforID - Single nucleotide polymorphisms for the forensic identification of persons, funded by the European Commission FP5 Program, No. G6RD-CT-2002-00844, 2002-2005.


Publications  see Research Gate at www.researchgate.net/profile/Walther_Parson/publications

Walther Parson

Walther Parson

Legal Medicine

Forensic Genomics, Population Genetics, Human Identification, Species Identification

Tel.: +43 512 9003 70651


E-Mail: walther.parson@i-med.ac.at