team

Helena Machado
Principal investigator

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Helena Machado specializes in the ethical and sociological challenges emerging from the uses of genetics in contemporary modes of governance of criminality. She is the author (with Barbara Prainsack) of Tracing Technologies: Prisoners’ Views in the Era of CSI (Ashgate, 2012), a work that discusses how convicted offenders understand crime scene technologies and large police databases. She has also written extensively about public attitudes toward forensic genetic technologies. Her current research critically engages STS, bioethics, sociological and criminological perspectives to explore the collective identities and geopolitics emerging from the transnational sharing of DNA data in the EU.

Rafaela Granja
Post-doctoral researcher

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Rafaela Granja’s current research explores the interconnections between family, genetics, technology and crime. Her research goal is to understand how familial searching is being framed in different EU countries. In particular, she seeks to analyse the biosocial implications of integrating biological traces in a socio-technical network that materialises genetic associations between individuals. Issues such as the ‘geneticisation’ of social bonds, the consolidation of links between family and criminality and the exacerbation of social inequalities are her main focus.

Filipe Santos
Post-doctoral researcher

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Filipe Santos has been involved in sociological studies about forensic DNA profiling and databasing. His research has explored the construction and uses of DNA evidence in high-profile criminal cases, privileging the situated perspectives from the media, the police, forensic geneticists, and the courts. Filipe’s current research focuses on the integration and assimilation of DNA technologies by criminal justice systems, emphasising the different techno-scientific, political, and legal constellations shaping forensic genetics in the European Union.

Susana Costa
Research associate

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Susana Costa’s research is in the field of the intersections between the judicial system and forensic genetics. Her present work explores the impacts of DNA evidence in courts’ decisions and the views and literacy of judges about forensic genetics. Previously, she conducted research about practices of collecting DNA traces in crime scenes; and how forensic laboratories mediate the work of criminal investigators and the practices of the courts. Susana’s work compares Portugal with the UK and Brazil.

Nina Amelung
Junior researcher

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Nina Amelung’s current research investigates the democratic challenges of cross-border biometric data-exchange. Her interest lies in public controversies and public involvement related to forensic DNA technologies across the European Union. In particular, she focuses on how controversies evolve and are shaped in different countries. Furthermore, she explores the making of ‘silenced publics’ in European crime and border control regimes which use DNA or fingerprint data.

Filipa Queirós
Junior researcher

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Filipa Queirós is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University of Coimbra. Her work explores the conceptions of the body that emerge from the development of recent forensic DNA technologies. In particular, she investigates phenotypical inference and its developments and impact in the forensic field, not only within the context of cross-border criminal investigation, but also with regards to new forms of human identity related to suspect population and, broadly, to transnational suspects.

Marta Martins
Junior researcher

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Marta Martins is a Ph.D. student in the PhD program “Governance, Knowledge and Innovation” (Faculty of Economics and Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra). Her research focuses the narratives about the use of DNA technologies in the investigation of transnational criminal cases. She explores the circulation of these narratives in the media and in the community of forensic experts dealing with crime control. 

Sara Matos
Junior researcher

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Sara Matos is currently enrolled in the doctoral programme “Governance, knowledge and innovation” of the University of Coimbra. Her research explores issues related to the protection of genetic data in the cross-border exchange of DNA profiles. In particular, she maps the regulatory regime for data protection in the EU with a specific comparative focus at the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the UK.

scientific
advisory
committee

EXCHANGE benefits from the support of a Scientific Advisory Committee of internationally renowned forensic experts and social scientists, who provide advice to the team at various stages of the project.


Professor of Anthropology of Science at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. She is the founding chair of the European Network for the Social Studies of Forensics (EUnetSSF). In December 2013, she was awarded an ERC consolidator grant for her most recent research project “Race Matter: On the Absent Presence of Race in Forensic Identification” (RaceFaceID).

Political scientist and Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Science, Health, and Medicine at King’s College London. She is a member of the UK National DNA Database Ethics Group and of the Austrian National Bioethics Council. She is also Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at St Thomas’ Hospital, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Full Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine of the University of Cologne, where he is Head of the Division of Forensic Molecular Genetics. Since 2012, he is coordinator of the EU-funded 7th framework project “European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence – EUROFORGEN-NoE”, which aims at establishing a European research infrastructure in forensic genetics.

Custodian of the Dutch DNA database and the Netherlands’ National Contact Point for the exchange of DNA profiles based on the EU-Prüm Council Decisions. He is also the leading scientist for DNA of the EU-Prüm implementation working group (DAPIX).

Professor of Forensic Science Studies in the Centre for Forensic Science at Northumbria University, Professor Emeritus in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, and a Visiting Professor in the Policy Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre at Newcastle University. He is the Northumbria University lead investigator in the FP7 funded EUROFORGEN-NoE.