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ASU Graduate Student Wins ERN Travel Award

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Release Date: Dec 11, 2017

A student is ASU's forensic science graduate program has won a travel award to present her research.

Mariah Tolbert, a graduate student studying forensic genetics in the Forensic Science Program at Alabama State University, has received a travel award from the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM to present her research at its annual conference on Feb. 22-24, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The Travel Award covers the conference registration, housing, airfare and ground transportation.

Tolbert’s presentation focuses on “The Thanatotranscriptome: Gene Expression of Male Reproductive Organs After Death.”  

“I’m honored to represent my school at this prestigious conference,” said Tolbert. “I hope for a positive experience and a chance to network and present my research on a large scale.”

The study was conducted in the research lab of Dr. Gulnaz Javan, associate professor of ASU’s Forensic Science Program.

“This is the third year in a row that my students are getting ERN travel awards,” said Javan, who is Tolbert’s advisor. “I’m proud of Tolbert’s hard work and her outstanding representation of ASU’s Forensic Science Program. This will be a great experience for her.”

Thanatotranscriptome (thanatos-, Greek for death) research is very unique in that the Javan Thanatos Lab is one of only two in the world using internal organs from actual criminal casework. Thanatotranscriptome is a new scientific term created by Javan.  The term was introduced in an original article published in the Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology Journal (

ERN seeks to highlight the research of undergraduate and graduate students who participate in the National Science Foundation’s research programs.

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