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Five pharm sci graduate students are finalists in Three Minute Thesis competition

Imagine medication being able to follow a roadmap inside the body to directly target cells for treatment. From pancreatic cancer to treating chronic bone infections, graduate students in pharmaceutical sciences shared their research during NDSU’s Three Minute Thesis competition held on February 21.

The competition began with 57 contestants giving presentations in eight preliminary rounds. The winner of those rounds moved on to the finals. In just 180 seconds, students presented their complex research, explaining results and their importance.

Five out of eight finalists in the competition are graduate students in pharmaceutical sciences, including:

  • Matthew Confeld, Howard Lake, Minnesota
    “Hypoxia Responsive Peptide Conjugated Nanoparticles for Treatment of Solid Tumors”
    Adviser: Sanku Mallik, professor of pharmaceutical sciences

  • Raquib Hasan, Savar, Bangladesh
    “Putty that Treats Bone Infection”
    Adviser: Amanda Brooks, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences

  • Pranothi Mulinti, Hyderabad, India
    “Silk Bubbles to the Rescue”
    Adviser: Amanda Brooks, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences

  • Priyanka Swami, Indore, India
    “Combination Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment”
    Adviser: Estelle Leclerc, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences

  • Sakshi Taneja, Rajpura, India
    “Evaluating the Critical Role of Receptor of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (RAGE) in Pancreatic Cancer”
    Adviser: Estelle Leclerc, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences

Preliminary round winners received a $250 prize.

Biological sciences doctoral student Elisabeth S. Wilson was named the winner of NDSU’s fifth annual Three Minute Thesis Competition on Feb. 21.

Wilson presented “Micro-climate Impacts Nesting Choice and Success of Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee,” in which she explained how temperature within nesting boxes can greatly affect the bee population. Her faculty adviser in the research is Julia Bowsher, associate professor of biological sciences.

Wilson receives the $1,000 grand prize. She will advance to the Western Association of Graduate Schools regional competition in Tucson, Arizona.

“All of our contestants did a fabulous job,” said Brandy A. Randall, associate dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of human development and family science. “This really showcases the quality research our graduate students are doing and we’re proud of them.”

The College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies hosted the event. The competition was held in conjunction with the Graduate Student Showcase held in the Memorial Union Ballroom. 

Australia's University of Queensland developed the first Three Minute Thesis competition in 2008, and the concept has spread to institutions around the world. More than 600 universities in more than 65 countries now hold competitions.

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