Areas of Expertise: Pathology, biomedical and physical anthropology and archaeology
I have always been interested in archaeology. While studying at Oxford, my next door neighbor was a developmental biologist who was doing a study on the genetics of populations in the Nile Valley. She needed someone with expertise in Middle Eastern history and population genetics. As I began to help with her project, this led me to my doctoral work, looking at the relationship between art work styles of historical populations and changes in the genetic makeup of those populations.
My current foci of research are the mechanisms of autoimmune diseases (specifically multiple sclerosis), the historical ecology of infectious diseases (specifically tuberculosis, malaria, the plague and HIV), and protocols of recovery of genetic information for ancient or damaged biospecimens. In addition to teaching at John Jay, I am the director of the BioBank and an research professor at the department of pathology at Stony Brook Medical School, and I am also the forensic anthropologist-in-residence on the University of Brussels’ TT29 excavation in the Valley of Nobles in Luxor, Egypt. I have appeared in several documentaries for National Geographic and Discovery Channel, as well as in a full length feature IMAX movie currently screening worldwide called Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs.
For more information about Dr. Corthal’s research, you can visit her lab’s website.
You can also visit her lab’s blog: http://thecorthalslab.blogspot.com/