Winners Declared in 2018 3MT® College of Science Qualifying Round

Author: Aaron Bell

2018 Science 3mt Finalists Lum, Liske & Morales jpg 319k Science finalists: Sarah Lum (Chemistry), Whitney Liske (Math) and Elvin Morales (Biology)

Cool temps did nothing to chill the heated competition among College of Science Shaheen 3MT competitors Tuesday night at Jordan Hall of Science. Sara Lum (Chemistry), Whitney Liske (Math), and Elvin Morales (Biology) took the top three spots, and will go on to compete at the 3MT® Finals event on April 23 in Jordan Auditorium, Mendoza College of Business. There they will face finalists from the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Letters.

The goal of the Shaheen 3MT® competition is for Ph.D. students from across all disciplines to explain their research in language appropriate to an audience of specialists and non-specialists alike in under three minutes. Competitors address a panel of judges in front of a live audience. Their presentations must be accompanied by a single static slide.

In addition to the four presenters and judges in the Science qualifying round the audience included colleagues, siblings and friends.

The evening’s competitors provided an exciting mix of research topics. Whitney Liske (Math) set the bar quite high with the evening’s first presentation, a description of her research into understanding rees rings for complex mathematical measurements. Whitney was followed, by Trung Nguyen (Biochemistry) who gave insight into his work into new therapeutic treatments for diabetic foot ulcers in the hopes of reducing future amputations. Next Elvin Morales presented his work on both kidney development and regeneration in zebrafish with an eye towards developing a rudimentary genetic map of the mammalian kidney that could lead to new types of treatments. Lastly, Sarah Lum presented her work using capillary zone electrophoresis to speed up the processing of rape kits and reducing the current US rape kit backlog leading to faster prosecution of sexual assault cases.

Judging the Science qualifying round were: Rebecca Wingert, Director of Graduate Studies, Biological Sciences; Shaun Lee, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences; Steve Beuchler, Professor of Applied Computational Mathematics and Statistics; and Mark Caprio, Director of Graduate Studies, Physics.

For more information about the Three Minute Thesis (3mt® ) competition, visit

Originally published by Aaron Bell at on April 12, 2018.