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Ten graduate students will soon present their research in front of an audience and judges – and with only three minutes for each presentation – as a part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final round.

The public is invited to attend the competition, hosted by The Graduate School, at 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at Bondurant Hall G100. Participants presented their research in an earlier preliminary round to advance to the finals.

The first-place winner receives $1,000 and a trip to compete in the regional 3MT competition in March 2020. The second-place winner receives $600; and a People’s Choice winner, who is determined by the audience, receives $400.

“The Three Minute Thesis competition is an opportunity for graduate students across disciplines to translate their scholarship and research for a broad audience. This is a campus-wide event to showcase the impactful work of our graduate students,” said Brian Rybarczyk, assistant dean for academic and professional development at The Graduate School.

The 10 finalists and their topics are:

Olufunmilayo Arogbokun, a doctoral student in epidemiology, “Can Obstructive Sleep Apnea Impact Flu Severity?”

Lauren Bates, a master’s student in exercise and sport science, “Exercise Training Immune Response in Breast Cancer Survivors vs. Healthy Controls”

Anna Batorsky, a doctoral student in biostatistics, “Going Above and Beyond the Human Genome to Solve the Mysteries of Chronic Kidney Disease”

Jenna Beam, a doctoral student in microbiology and immunology, “The Battle Against the Bugs: Antibiotics versus Staph”

Samantha Ervin, a doctoral student in chemistry, “The Role of Gut Bacterial Enzymes in Hormone-Driven Disease”

Alison Mercer-Smith, a doctoral student in pharmaceutical sciences, “Turning Skin Cells into Cancer-Killers”

Adele Musicant, a doctoral student in genetics and molecular biology, “Genes Gone Bad”

Tong Qiu, a doctoral student in geography, “Predicting When and Where Autumn Foliage Coloration Will Peak in the United States”

Shannon Speer, a doctoral student in chemistry, “Probing Protein-Protein Interactions: How Studying Proteins in Their Native Environment Can Help Us Treat Diseases”

Rylee Wander, a doctoral student in pharmaceutical sciences, “Harnessing the Power of Nature: Optimizing the Enzyme-Based Production of the Drug Heparin”

The University of Queensland developed the 3MT in 2008, and more than 600 universities in 65 countries now hold their own competitions.

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