Erasmus MC Press Release Rotterdam, 30 May 2017
EU Horizon 2020-funded VISAGE Project kicks off
Overcoming the limitation of current forensic DNA analysis by broadening DNA evidence for investigative use
The EU Horizon 2020 funded VISAGE Project was launched with its kick-off meeting on May 30/31 2017 at the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

This € 5 M project will bring together forensic genetic researchers and practitioners, statistical geneticists, and social scientists in a new initiative, the VISible Attributes Through GEnomics (VISAGE) Consortium consisting of 13 partners from academic, police, and justice institutions of 8 European countries.

“Unknown perpetrators of crime cannot be identified with standard forensic DNA profiling” Project Coordinator Professor Manfred Kayser explains. “Describing a person’s externally visible characteristics from DNA left behind at crime scenes helps finding unknown perpetrators.”

The VISAGE Consortium will establish new scientific knowledge, develop prototype tools, validate and implement them into forensic practice, to predict a person’s appearance, age, and ancestry from DNA traces. The outcome will help focusing police investigations to find unknown perpetrators more rapidly and effectively via DNA-based intelligence information obtained from crime scenes.

For further information and to keep up to date with the VISAGE project visit:

Coordinator contact: Prof. Manfred Kayser, Email:

VISAGE Partners: Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Coordinator (The Netherlands), Jagiellonian University (Poland), University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria), University of Cologne (Germany), King’s College London (United Kingdom), University Hospital Cologne (Germany), Bundeskriminalamt (Germany), Institut National de Police Scientifique (France), Netherlands Forensic Institute (The Netherlands), Swedish National Forensic Centre (Sweden), Metropolitan Police Service (United Kingdom), Central Forensic Laboratory of the Police (Poland).

This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 740580.

Erasmus MC is the largest University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Our primary goal is a healthy population. Nearly 13,000 employees devote themselves every day to providing outstanding care, facilitating world-class education and conducting pioneering research. These professionals are instrumental in developing expertise on health and illness. They link the latest scientific insights to practical treatments and prevention measures to provide maximum benefit to patients and to enable healthy people to stay healthy longer. Being visibly better and leading the way in the areas of complex, innovative and acute care by collaborating with others: these are key ambitions at Erasmus MC.