Three Minute Thesis competition winners announced

The depth of talent amongst the Perron Institute’s 60 plus postgraduate students was on show at the 2021 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. The annual competition is designed to help the students develop their communication and presentation skills.

Communicating projects and ideas in a concise and engaging way in lay terms also helps to bring their research to the attention of a broad audience. Under the terms of the competition, entrants are only allowed to use one slide.

Twelve students competed in this year’s 3MT held at St Catherine’s College, UWA.

Topics were wide ranging, providing the audience with a window on investigative projects occurring in relation to some of the institute’s major research streams.

An outstanding presentation entitled Gatekeepers of Brain Activity won first prize for PhD student Emily King (Perron Institute and UWA Brain Plasticity Research group). Emily is also one of two recipients of the prestigious Byron Kakulas Prestige Scholarships.

Runner up in the 3MT competition was PhD student Frankie Theunissen (Motor Neurone Disease Genetics and Therapeutics Research group Perron Institute and Murdoch University) for her interesting presentation Genetic Variation: Friend or Foe.

A well-deserved third prize went to PhD candidate Di Huang (Molecular Therapies Research group at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University) on the topic of Potential Therapies for Stargardt disease – a genetic eye disorder that causes progressive vision loss.

Students recognised with 3MT commendations were Kristin Ham of the Molecular Therapies group (presentation with high emotional impact and a beautiful and sensitive slide); Jessica Johnson (extremely articulate presentation, combining a calm speaking style with a passion for science); and Annie Sutherland of the Perron Institute and Curtin University Neurotrauma Research group (enthusiasm, outstanding speaking style and projection).

The judging panel was drawn from Perron Institute affiliates and broader community. Our thanks go to Marc Tennant, Rachel Schwarz, Sue Shapland, Kevin Skipworth, Jim Litis, Mike Calneggia, David Collins, James Williams and John Giorgi for taking on this role.

The institute also acknowledges Associate Professor Jenny Rodger for facilitating the event and Professor Norman Palmer for his involvement and organisation of the competition.

The winners of the 2021 3MT competition had another opportunity to present their work at a special breakfast held recently at The University Club (UWA).

Congratulations and thanks to all involved.

3MT winners L-R: Di Huang, Emily King and Frances Theunissen.

3MT commendations L-R: Kristin Ham, Jessica Johnson and Annie Sutherland.