Three Minute Thesis 2016: St Vincent’s Precinct competition takes place

Congratulations to the prizewinners and participants in the 2016 St Vincent’s Precinct Three Minute Thesis competition, which took place at Garvan last night.
Three Minute Thesis 2016: St Vincent’s Precinct competition takes place
16 June 2016

Congratulations to the prizewinners and participants in the 2016 St Vincent’s Precinct Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which took place at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research last night.

In total, nine PhD students took part (six from Garvan and three from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute). Each took to the stage with the same aim – to explain their research in engaging, easy-to-understand language, and in no more than three minutes and with just one static Powerpoint slide.

The judging panel – which included Professor John Shine AO FAA, Jake Sturmer (National Environment and Science Correspondent, ABC) and Emma Maple-Brown (a year 11 science student at Ascham School in Sydney) – assessed the speakers on their communication style, their comprehension of the topic and their engagement with the audience.

The prizewinning talks were:

1st Prize: Ishita Bakshi (Diabetes and Metabolism Division, Garvan)

Ishita, who is supervised by Professor Greg Cooney, spoke on the topic ‘Cycling at work’. She described her research on two enzymes that undergo a ‘futile cycle’ to consume excess energy from food.

2nd Prize and People’s Choice award: Nancy Mourad (Bone Biology Division, Garvan)

Nancy’s presentation, entitled ‘Cancer: bad to the bone’, encompassed her work on the cancer cells that lie dormant in bone – sometimes for years and even decades – before reactivating to form new tumours. Nancy is supervised by Professor Peter Croucher.

3rd Prize: Ann-Kristin Altekoester (Victor Chang)

In a talk entitled ‘The heart’s orchestra’, Ann-Kristin described her research on two genes that may act as ‘conductors’ to control the activity of other genes in the heart during development and in disease states. Ann-Kristin is supervised by Professor Richard Harvey (Victor Chang).

Cash prizes were generously donated by a supporter of Garvan, through the Garvan Research Foundation.

Several of last night’s competitors will go on to compete in the UNSW Australia Faculty of Medicine 3MT competition on Monday, June 20th.

The 3MT format has become a global phenomenon. Since the first competition was held at the University of Queensland in 2008, its popularity has steadily increased, and competitions are now held at over 350 institutions in 18 countries.