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Acting Chief Science Officer Dr Gemma Payne attends 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences

“Being able to spend time with other forensic scientists and discussing the developments in science is incredibly important to ensuring we’re continually staying ahead of the game,” according to Acting Chief Science Officer Dr Gemma Payne.

This week Dr Payne attended the 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS), in conjunction with the 26th Symposium of the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society in Sydney, where she chaired a session and participated in panel discussion.

"Understanding the science of doping, the analytical procedures used to test samples, and being at the forefront of wider developments in forensic science is an essential part of deterring, disrupting and detecting doping in sport,” Dr Payne said.

She specialises in forensics, with a Forensic Chemistry degree and a PhD which was based at the Australian Federal Police (AFP) forensic labs where she was employed as an AFP forensic chemist. Having analysed gunshot residue in murder cases, presented crime scene management training in Kenya, and assisting in the Bali bombings, her focus is now on keeping sport clean and fair.

​   ​International Testing Agency Science & Medical Officer Ana Moraleda and Acting Chief Science Officer Dr Gemma Payne
International Testing Agency Science & Medical Officer Ana Moraleda and Acting Chief Science Officer Dr Gemma Payne (right).

Dr Payne said the detection of doping in sport is an important part of ensuring a fair, competitive environment for athletes, and advancements to detect new substances and commonly used substances is essential to creating a doping free environment.

Since 1957, the IAFS has delivered an international meeting every three years to allow the forensic community to meet and exchange ideas. 

This year’s symposium included a packed program with workshops to allow participants to engage in everything from forensic DNA interpretation to the art and science of data hiding, forensic genetic genealogy, medicolegal investigations into drug overdose deaths, and practical aspects of health care of problematic suspects and complainants.

The program also included biological criminalistics, digital forensic science and electronic evidence, forensic pathology, toxicology, pharmacology, and forensic intelligence.

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