Nov. 21, 2017 — Graduate students spend several years identifying, framing and researching their thesis topic. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition speeds things up significantly, so that every word and slide are measured as precisely as materials in a laboratory.
3MT® was developed by the University of Queensland in Australia to support students in developing research communication skills. Students must present their thesis and its significance in three minutes or less and are judged on comprehension, engagement and communication style.
After three preliminary heats in October, two predoctoral students from the UF College of Medicine made it to the final round. Enrico Barrozo, a third-year student in the genetics and genomics graduate program, presented “Ribozyme Gene Therapy for Ocular Herpes.”
“I could talk about the intricate gene regulation mechanisms of herpes for hours, but my lab mates and mentor helped me narrow it down to three sentences,” said Barrozo, who is mentored by David C. Bloom, Ph.D., a professor in the department of molecular genetics and microbiology.
Barrozo’s wife, Mara, a middle school science teacher, contributed with hours of listening and suggesting his opening line: “Show of hands — who in here has herpes?”
Barrozo received the People’s Choice award and a $250 prize at the final competition held Thursday, Nov. 9 in UF’s J. Wayne Reitz Union.
Julie Bray, a fourth-year student in UF’s biomedical sciences graduate program, participated as well, hoping to improve her presentation and communication skills.
“Explaining the origin of pancreatic cancer in three minutes is more challenging than I thought,” she said. “It’s refreshing as a student to share your research in a unique way.”
Bray is pursuing two concentrations in her predoctoral work — cancer biology and clinical and translational science.
The UF College of Medicine continued its strong presence in the event finals. Last year’s 3MT® winner was Andrea Lin, a student in the biomedical sciences graduate program.