Forensic Science students win travel awards to national research conference!

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Staff Report

Alabama State University has four forensic science students who have won student travel awards to attend the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference on Feb. 6-8, in Washington, D.C.

 ASU’s winning students were chosen for theabstracts of their collaborative presentation of microbiome death research, which seeks to uncover the decay in reproductive organs so as to provide advanced identification tools for criminal investigations. The microbiome is the genetic material of all microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – that live on and inside the human body.

The students conducted their research under the supervision of participating faculty in Dr. Gulnaz Javan’s ASU-Thanatos laboratory

The winning students are:

Shannon Brown, Forensic Chemistry major;

Brittany Hume-Dawson, Biology Pre-Health major;

Kati Cranmore, Forensic Biology major;

Elizabeth Michealis, Forensic Biology major from Delaware State University (a visiting student  at ASU).

This is the fifth consecutive year that students from the Thanatos Lab have received travel awards for abstracts submitted to the ERN competition. A total of 10 of Javan’s students have received this coveted prize.

“I am so proud of our four students who will continue to allow ASU to shine on a national level,” Javan said.

“I am very grateful to have received a travel award to the ERN Conference. This award is a result of the hard work and dedication of the Thanatos Lab Group, in particular Dr. Javan who has given me the privilege to study and learn under her,” Hume-Dawson said.

Michealis’ study was performed in collaboration with Dr. Latia Scott, director of Forensic Biology Program at Delaware State University.

“This is such a great honor and opportunity for these students to showcase their hard work and scientific knowledge.” said Scott.

Brown and Cranmore’s work is also a collaborative effort. Their research was funded in part by the Department of Education Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) led by Dr. Komal Vig, director of MSEIP at ASU.

“Each year our students from the Forensic Science program represent ASU at this meeting with outstanding research,” said Dr. Sheree Finley, an ASU microbiologist.

ERN is an annual conference that highlights the research of undergraduate and graduate students who participate in NSF-sponsored research programs.