Degree: Ph.D. in Biochemistry
School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity
College: College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Forensics has been Mirna Ghemrawi’s passion since she was a little girl in Tripoli, Lebanon. It all started when Mirna, who did not look like her four older siblings, was teased by them saying she had been switched at birth. She was determined to prove them wrong, and with her Ph.D. in Biochemistry with a Forensic Science focus, she now can.
Mirna channeled her interest in crime scene investigation shows and her love for science and earned an undergraduate degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences in Lebanon. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Master’s at Purdue University where she began her DNA work.
With her sights set on a career in forensics, Mirna enrolled in the Biochemistry Ph.D. program at FIU. Under the guidance of professor Bruce McCord, she is leading groundbreaking DNA research to develop innovative forensic tests, including a quicker method to identify nonhuman species from crime scene samples. Mirna has also conducted pilot studies on the genital microbiome and its potential in solving sexual assault cases with no male DNA present.
Coming from a culture where women and girls have societal pressure to follow the norms, Mirna credits her parents for believing in her and supporting her, even when it was difficult to do so. She hopes her journey can motivate other women and girls to follow their dreams.
While at FIU, Mirna has mentored more than a dozen students, facilitated training for STEM teachers, and presented her research at several national and international conferences including the World Police Summit in Dubai.
After graduation, Mirna is headed to Philadelphia where she will be the Director of Forensics Biology at Frederic Rieder’s Family Foundation.
Ayleen Barbel Fattal
Senior Account Manager
College of Arts, Sciences & Education