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Alabama State University's Acclaimed Expert Leads National Forensic Workshop on Time of Death in Cadavers (428 hits)

ASU's Dr. Gulnaz Javan is known as "Dr. Death" for her cutting-edge research and intellectual pursuit in the forensic investigation of Death. Her recent workshop topic was the 'Significance of the relationship between the Time of Death and the Cadaver's Microbial DNA'

Alabama State University boasts one of the nation's preeminent experts in the forensic criminal investigations of the causes of death - Dr. Gulnaz Javan (associate professor of forensic sciences at ASU's Physical Sciences Department), which has earned her the moniker "Dr. Death." She has recently led a national panel of her peers by speaking at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Forensic Workshop. The workshop was held at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The NIST is working to strengthen the 'forensic practice' through research and improved standards.

During her presentation, Javan discussed her ASU team’s research, which addresses “the human postmortem microbiome” and “microbial DNA as it relates to a Smart Container design.”

“This subject will touch on the significance of the relationship between time of death and microbial DNA,” Javan said. “My research team faces a challenge of finding the relationship between cadavers’ internal organ degradation and the time elapsed since death.”

Her workshop was titled, “Standardizing Future Smart and Connected Forensic Evidence Rooms,” and is in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which brought together a diverse group of forensic and technology professionals to discuss the possibilities for integrating IOT into the chain of custody (COC) process. Speakers and attendees from both academia and industry took part in this innovative discussion on process improvement, efficiency and standardization techniques, as it relates to forensics.

About the Thanatos 'Death' Laboratory @ ASU
Dr. Javan’s 'Thanatos Lab' is the only research group in the United States that has access to national and international cadaver internal organs from criminal cases (homicide, overdose, suicide). The study acquires tissues from cadavers through collaborations with national morgues in Montgomery, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla., and international morgues at the University of Tampere, Finland and Pavia University, Italy.

"The human postmortem 'microbiome' has been recently explored to clarify the gray areas to help find missing pieces to the microbial puzzle of death," Javan said.

NOTE: Members of the Javan Lab who have collaborated on this project are Dr. Sheree Finley, Courtnee Bell, both in the ASU microbiology program, and Shannon Pittman, Alexis Morgan and Jessica Carter, who are enrolled in the ASU forensic science program.
Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Monday, June 25th 2018 at 5:31PM
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