Two Forensic Biology Students Recognized for Successes

News Date
forensic science building

By Hazel Scott/ASU

Two forensic students under the supervision of Alabama State University’s world-renowned expert on forensic death studies, Dr. Gulnaz Javan, have been recognized for their successes.


Timia Frierson will travel to Washington, D.C., March 14-16, 2024, to present her research abstract on “Diabetes in Young Obese Offspring(s) from Obese Parents” at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference.  

This is the ninth consecutive year a forensic student from Javan’s ASU-Thanatos Lab has received the coveted student travel award to attend the ERN Conference.

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

“I am so honored to be selected for an ERN Travel and Conference Award. It is a great honor as a rising physician to have this opportunity. As a forensic biology major, I find joy in the combination of medicine and research. I can have fun in the lab while pushing toward pharmaceutical and healthcare innovation,” said Frierson.

Frierson said her dream is to own a private practice. “I want to have a dual specialty in family medicine and pathology. Being selected for this award just made me a little bit closer to that dream. Thank you again to this wonderful organization for sponsoring my future endeavors,” she added.

Another inspiring student researcher and innovator, Arianna Connroy, is the second-place winner of the Southern Research STEM Stars research poster contest.  

ariannaThe winning student was chosen for her research on “Reproductive Organ Postmortem Microbiome Communities in European Cadavers.”

“I was so honored to have the opportunity to present. I went into it wanting to do my best and put my best foot forward. I’m blown away that I was able to place second,” said Connroy.

Connroy’s future plan is to have a career in the medical examiner’s field. “I hope this success helps pave the way for me to reach that goal.”

Southern Research is a nonprofit scientific research organization founded in 1941. The organization has helped shape modern cancer treatments and conducted coronavirus research alongside industry partners. 

Javan said each year students from the Forensic Science program represent ASU with outstanding research.  “I am so proud of Timia and Arianna,” said Javan. “We have a strong and hardworking team. I personally can't wait to see what we accomplish next year.”