ASU Professor to Guest Edit Three Special Issues of Important International Journal

News Date
Javan lab

Dr. Gulnaz Javan (R) works in her ASU Thanatos Lab.

By Hazel Scott 

Alabama State University’s nationally acclaimed expert on forensic science, Dr. Gulnaz Javan, was invited to become a guest editor for three different special edition journals published by Frontiers, which is a specialty journal company that publishes rigorously peer-reviewed research. 

Among the journals she will edit are Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers in Genetics, and Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 

Javan’s research title for the specials is “Life and Death: New Perspectives and Applications in Forensic Science.”

The research that she will edit investigates how many factors change in a body postmortem (after death) as time and temperature affects them. 

“This collection will bring fresh and innovative science for solving death investigations, using cutting-edge technologies concerning the community of organisms that detect and use carcasses in ways that can be studied to inform forensic investigations,” Javan said.

 Forensic investigators, Javan explained, are in need of modern tools to assist in constructing postmortem time-lines, trace evidence relationships among subjects, and the circumstances of death or body relocation.

 “The postmortem microbiome has a potential to provide new and exciting tools for answering such questions of forensic importance,” Javan said. “The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes - bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - that live on and inside the human body after death.” 

Javan’s ASU "Thanatos" Lab’s recent data has the potential to aid forensic investigators in solving crimes by using internal organ tissues from human remains to determine ways that the gene expression after death provides evidence of the time since death. ASU's Javan has coined the above-mentioned process with a new scientific term she calls "thanatotranscriptome," which she introduced in an original article published in the Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology Journal.

She is now selecting a combination of review-papers and original research as part of the articles included in the special issues she is about to edit.  The abstracts may  cover a wide range of topics related to the community of organisms that use vertebrate carcasses during their life history, including microbes, invertebrates, and vertebrates.  

Researchers who want to submit their scholarly topic to be considered for the special editions may submit their abstracts to Javan at  no later than Dec. 20.