Schulich students win top three spots in under three minutes

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

With only three minutes to sum up their complex research projects, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Graduate Students took home top honours at a brand new University-wide event.

All top three spots on the podium were occupied by Schulich Medicine & Dentistry students last week at Western University's inaugural 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.

Masters of Clinical Anatomy student Laura Von Hagen was the competition's overall winner for her talk on determining the best method to improve clinical outcomes in obese pregnant women. Second and third place went to Schulich Medicine & Dentistry PhD students Fuli Xiang and Yin Liu respectively.

"The win really helped boost my confidence for public speaking," said Von Hagen.

3MT is a research communication competition originally developed by The University of Queensland in Australia, and gives students three minutes or less to present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges. The idea is to help students develop academic and research communication skills.

"Graduate students often struggle explaining their research in clear, lay terms in a short period of time," said Von Hagen. "This skill is crucial for conferences when your poster presentation is being judged."

This year's competition - the first for Western - drew more than 74 students from across all program areas. The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry was proudly represented by more than a dozen talented students. After this year's success, the organizers plan to make the 3MT at Western an annual event.

"I am very proud of all of our graduate students," said Andy Watson, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. "Every one of them has a wonderful story to present regarding their research and its importance."

Second-place winner Fuli Xiang presented her thesis, "Mending the broken heart by attracting stem cells," and third-place winner Yin Liu spoke about her work in a talk titled, "NOing the heart."

Congratulations to our winners and to all those who participated.