Hi! My name is Sofia Canlas and I am from Prattville, Alabama. I graduated in 2018 with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Criminal Justice and Chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
At Penn State, I am on the Biology track and working with Dr. Jack Hietpas on a research project regarding the characterization of the post-mortem root banding (PMRB) for a better understanding of the mechanism behind its formation. Post-mortem root banding (PMRB) is an important hair characteristic that when recognized may provide significant evidentiary value. My study seeks to understand the chemical properties of PMRBs, and identify any differences, between in vitro PMRB-like banding and known PMRBs recovered from cadavers using Time-of-Flight Secondary Mass Spectrometer (ToF-SIMS). In addition, my research investigates the importance of microbial activity with gnotobiotic mice to provide information that will help constrain the possible mechanism of the formation of PMRBs.