Helena Machado

Principal investigator

Full Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Minho. Her current research critically engages Social Studies of Science and Technology, ethics, and criminological perspectives to explore the challenges emerging from the uses of genetics in contemporary modes of governance of criminality. She has written extensively about societal and ethical implications of criminal DNA databases, media discourses about DNA technologies, and public views on these topics. Helena’s current research has a focus on the transnational genetic surveillance of criminalized populations through police and judiciary cooperation in the EU.

Rafaela Granja

Post-doctoral researcher

Rafaela Granja’s current research explores the controversies associated with scientific and technological innovations in the forensic field. Her current research explores technologies such as familial searching and forensic DNA phenotyping. Issues such as the ‘geneticisation’ of social bonds, the materialization of criminal bodies, and the exacerbation of social inequalities are her main focus. Furthermore, she also critically explores the transnational exchange of DNA data in European Union.

Nina Amelung

Post-doctoral researcher

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.

Sheila Khan

Post-doctoral researcher

Sheila Khan is a sociologist who has published on colonial and postcolonial political, historical and social narratives between Portugal and Mozambique from an interdisciplinary approach. Her current research focus is inspired by the following motifs: to understand how the transnational sharing of DNA data and forensic genetic technologies may interfere with the social and political construction of citizenship, democracy and security regarding the presence of the Other as the post-colonial immigrant and as the illegal immigrant; and to critically explore if collective memory of former colonial countries (The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Portugal) may influence the debates on civic consciousness and human rights with regard to the use of DNA data for social control and surveillance.

Filipa Queirós

Junior researcher

Filipa Queirós is a junior researcher at the Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), University of Minho, and PhD student in Sociology at the University of Coimbra. Her work explores the controversies and conceptions of the body emerging from forensic DNA phenotyping technologies (FDP). In addition, she focuses on FDP’s technic developments and its wider impacts in the particular field of the criminal investigation.

Marta Martins

Junior researcher

Marta Martins is a junior researcher at the Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS) at the University of Minho. Her PhD research focuses on the media narratives about the application of DNA technologies in transnational criminal cases. She explores the circulation of such media narratives in the community of forensic experts and other professionals dealing with crime control activities.

Sara Matos

Junior researcher

Sara Matos is a junior researcher at the Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), University of Minho. Her PhD research explores the topics of data protection issues related to criminal genetic databases in the context of transnational police and judiciary cooperation for fighting crime in the EU. Her work also focuses on views about privacy and data protection challenges from the part of different stakeholders in two national contexts – Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Laura Neiva

Junior Researcher

Laura Neiva is a junior researcher at the Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), University of Minho. She holds a degree in Criminology (Faculty of Law of the University of Porto), and a Master degree in Crime, Difference and Inequality (Department of Sociology, University of Minho). Her research explores the expectations towards Big Data applied to transnational policing and criminal investigation. She explores in particular the views about Big Data from the point of view of different stakeholders, and the media narratives. Laura’s work aims to understand how expectations about Big Data might impact on the criminal justice, police and law enforcement.

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 in various phases of the project, and meet annually to discuss findings and advancements of the research.

Amade M’charek

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).

Barbara Prainsack

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.

Peter M. Schneider

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.

Robin Williams

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.

Kees van der Beek

Retired manager of the Dutch Forensic DNA database which is based at the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI). Leading DNA scientist of the EU Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX). Former member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (October 2015 to July 2017)