Karla-Sue Marriott

Karla-Sue Marriott
Karla-Sue MarriottProfessor of Forensic Science

Contact Information

kmarriott@rwu.eduSE 128


Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Jamaica

As a scientist and educator, Dr. Marriott has directed, as Principal Investigator (PI) and CoPI, various NSF, NIH, NASA and DoD funded projects. Prior to her arrival at Roger Williams University, she served as the founding program coordinator for the Forensic Science program at Savannah State University (SSU) 2011-2021, as well as interim Chair for the Chemistry and Forensic Science department. She is also the founding director for the Visual, Immersive and Tangible Applications in Learning (VITAL) STEM imaging exploration center established at her previous institution. She was recently credited for using Virtual Reality (VR) as a tool to shift the forensic science educational paradigm and raise the training bar to new heights (Virtual Reality in Higher Education: Instruction for the Digital Age by Darrel W. Staat, 2021).

Dr. Marriott received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica (Mona Campus) in 2001. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemistry, she worked as a forensic officer in the biology department of the Government of Jamaica Forensic Science Laboratory. In 2002 she joined Clemson University as a postdoctoral research fellow in Professor John W. Huffman’s medicinal chemistry team, where she conducted research in Cannabinoid Chemistry. During her time at Clemson, she was engaged in the synthesis of selective ligands for the peripheral (CB2) cannabinoid receptor, and also on the synthesis of indole-based cannabinoids. Her current ongoing biomedical research goals focus on development of therapeutic agents applicable to immune and neurodegenerative disorders and related pathologies.

  As a committed educator, Dr. Marriott established the Bachelor of Science degree program in Forensic Science at SSU. Theprogram was approved by the USG in March 2011 and implemented in Fall 2011 with an initialenrollment of 6 students, and, has since grown to 117 students as of Fall 2020. Savannah State University is one of only two institutions in the University System of Georgia (USG) to offer an undergraduate degree in forensic science and the only one with concentrations in chemistry and biology.

  Recognized as a program of distinction in the USG, under Dr. Marriott’s leadership the forensic science program at SSU actively engaged in immersive integrative student-centered research. In Fall 2016, Dr. Marriott completed establishment of the first, one-of-a-kind 3-D virtual reality crime scene facility for training undergraduates. She was selected as a state of Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow (GTF) in 2015 to improve the quality of instruction offered at colleges and universities in the state of Georgia by moving faculty members to the leading edge of instructional practice. In 2019, she received a Community Change Agent award from Operation One STEM at a Time.

  In January 2013 Diverse: Issues in Higher Education selected her, as one (1) of twelve (12) Emerging Scholars. Since then, she has collaborated on NASA research that was launched into Space on the Space-X 3 Falcon 9 Rocket’s Dragon Capsule, eventually docking at NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) in 2014. On board this capsule, the mission included the NASA University Research- 1 (UR-1) team’s groundbreaking student-based research, focused on the development of benzofuran carboxylic acid derivatives designed for immune system augmentation, restoration of immune cell functions and inhibition of cancer initiation and growth.

  Her research involving the synthesis and characterization of novel molecules for use as medicinal agents to treat addiction (NIH/NIDA, R03) resulted in exciting interdisciplinary research findings relevant to cholesterol metabolism and neurodegenerative disorders. In Jan. 2017 she wasawarded a chemical patent for the synthesis of compounds with pharmaceutical potential for neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was awarded the inaugural President’s Faculty Award for Innovation and Excellence at SSU in 2017, and in 2019 she received a Paul Harris Fellowship from the Sunrise Rotary of Savannah for her research in Alzheimer’s.

  Dr. Marriott is a self-taught freehand naturalist painter; medium acrylic, oil and mixed media on canvas. Her first exhibit “Dancing with Nature: Being Human” was displayed in the Fine Arts Gallery on SSU campus. While at SSU she was very active in the Savannah community and served as a 2018 TEDxSavannah speaker.

Honors and Awards:

2009      Certificate of Achievement in Honor of Outstanding Contribution to Education- The Big Read- National Endowment for the Arts

2013       Emerging Scholar as selected by Diverse Issues in Higher Education

2015       Governor’s Teaching Fellowship, USG, Georgia, UGA/Athens

2017         Inaugural SSU President’s Faculty Award for Innovation and Excellence

2017 * Special Recognition “Recognizing Karla-Sue Marriott”, Congressional Record Vol. 163, Issue 15 (January 30, 2017), page number range H709-709, 115th Congress 1st Session, Speaking Congress Member Earl L. “Buddy” Carter.

2019          USG Board of Regents Spotlight Presentation “Forensic Facial Reconstruction”

2019           President’s Leadership & Service Award, SSU

2019           2019 Community Change Agent, Operation One STEM at a Time, Savannah, GA

2019           Paul Harris Fellowship for Alzheimer’s Research, Sunrise Rotary of Savannah, GA

Patent Award:

  1. 1. Benzofuran Compounds, Composition, Kits and/or Methods; publication number: US20150133498 A1, publication type: application; application number: US 14/448,138; publication date: May, 2015; filing date: July, 2014; inventor: Karla-Sue C. Marriott; original assignee: Savannah State University. Acceptance: September 2016; Issued: January 3rd, 2017.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  1. Anne Katz and Karla-Sue C. Marriott, “An Integrative STEM NIH Grant: DesigningEquitable Curriculum to Collaborate with Undergraduate Science Majors and SparkConnections” Vol. 42, No. 4, 2020;https://library.ncte.org/journals/elq/issues/v42-4
  2.  Marriott, K-S. C., and Clark, E.B, Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Integration of ScienceandArt”, University System of Georgia (USG) Best Practices, eBook, Accepted June 26th, 2019.
  3. A. Sundaresan, K. Marriott, J. Mao, S. Bhuiyan and P. Denkins, TheEffectsofBenzofuran-2-Carboxylic Acid Derivatives as Countermeasures for Immune Suppression”,MicrogravityScience&Technology,Accepted November 24th, 2014.
  4. Marriott, K.-S. C., Morrison, A.Z; Moore, M.; Olubajo, O. and Stewart, L., Synthesis of N-phenyl-N-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propyl)benzofuran-2-carboxamides as new selective ligands for sigma receptors, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2012, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968089612007651?via%3Dihub, Accepted September 19th, 2012.
  5. Marriott, K.-S. C., M. Prasad, Thapliyal, V and Bose, H.S., Sigma-1 Receptor at the Mitochondrial Associated ER-Membrane is Responsible for Mitochondrial Metabolic Regulation, JournalofPharmacologyandExperimentalTherapeutics(JPET). doi:10.1124/jpet.112.198168, 2012, Accepted August 23rd, 2012.
  6. Marriott, K.-S.C., Bartee, R., Morrison, A. Z., Stewart, L. and Wesby, J., Expedited Synthesis of Benzofuran-2-Carboxylic Acids via Microwave-Assisted Perkin Rearrangement Reaction, TetrahedronLetters, 2012, 53(26): 3319-3321, DOI:10.1016/j.tetlet.2012.04.075.
  7. ​​​​​​​Marriott, K.C. and Huffman, J.W., Recent advances in the development of selectiveligands for the cannabinoid CB2 receptor, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 2008, 8, 187-204. (Invited Author)
  8. Marriott, K.C; Huffman, J.W.; Wiley, J.L.; Martin, B.R., Synthesis and Pharmacology of 11-nor-1-methoxy-9-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinols and 11-nor-1-deoxy-9- hydroxyhexahydrocannabinols: New selective ligands for the cannabinoid CB2 receptor. Bioorg.Med.Chem. 2006, 14, 2386-2397