Victors Declared in Science 3MT Prelims

Author: Evan Bryson

cos_finalists_small Left to right: Claire Bowen, Nicholas Myers, and Kristofor Glinton, the College of Science 3MT Finalists.

The snow and ice did nothing to chill the heated competition among College of Science Three Minute Thesis competitors yesterday evening. Claire Bowen (Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics), Kristofor Glinton (Biochemistry), and Nicholas Myers (Chemistry) took the top three spots, and will go on to compete at the 3MT Finals event on March 16. There they will face the three finalists from the College of Engineering and the three finalists from the College of Arts and Letters.

In addition to the 11 presenters in the Science Prelims, a considerable audience of lab mates and friends were also in attendance, as were College of Engineering finalists Mark Summe and Maria Gibbs.

The evening’s competitors provided an exciting mélange of disease prevention, novel chemical applications, and uncovered genetic secrets. Two presentations (by Brianna Mullins and Kimbra Turner) shaded into Grand Guignol territory by varying descriptions of Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that makes your skin rot off.

Lindsey Turnbull (Biological Sciences) set the bar quite high with the evening’s first presentation, a description of her research into how malaria parasites become resistant to drugs. Her talk was complemented, in turn, by Mathew Eng’s (Biological Sciences) investigation of dengue fever, and the importance of understanding the genetic mechanisms by which mosquitos spread the virus around the globe. Michael Skulski next presented on measuring iodine isotopes in Lake Michigan, proposing a detection method for dangerous nuclear activity.

This reporter sat next to Meredith Doellman (Biological Sciences), a fan. “We’re here to support Cheyenne being brilliant,” said Doellman, referencing the 3MT tagline with a sly smile. She went on to explain that most of her lab was there to support Cheyenne Tait (Biological Sciences), too.

Tait presented on the subtle yet tantalizing evolutionary divergence of the Apple Maggot fly from its Hawthorn forebear. Though ultimately Tait was not among the finalists, Doellman said she was proud of her.

“3MT has got me thinking about how I would visualize my own research,” reflected Doellman. “How would I represent what I do in a single static slide? It’d be tough.”

Judging the Science Prelims were: Elizabeth Archie, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences; Karen Deak, Director of the Master of Science in Patent Law program; and the Graduate School’s John Lubker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Lisa Michaels, program manager for 3MT Notre Dame, and Graduate Career Services consultant for the College of Science, described the prelims as a whole as a fun and valuable way of discovering what graduate students are working on.

“Everyone’s so busy with their important work, but it means so much more when you can share your successes, when you can see what others are doing,” said Michaels. “I’m glad graduate students have really stepped up to the plate with this competition, and I hope they’ve enjoyed, as much I as I have, hearing about Notre Dame’s fascinating research.”

“And now I’m excited for the 3MT Final!” added Michaels, who would not speculate as to which College she felt would take top honors. “Right now—they’re all winners. I’ll just say that.”


Name Department Presentation Title Advisor
Claire Bowen Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics Big Brother in Big Data Prof. Fang Liu
Kristofor Glinton Biochemistry Group A Streptococcal Infection: Manipulation of Host Fibrinolytic System Prof. Francis Castellino
Nicholas Myers Chemistry Paper Test Card for Quantifying Beta-Lactam antibiotics in Low-Resource Areas Prof. Marya Lieberman

Other Competitors

Name Department Presentation Title Advisor
Matthew Eng Biological Sciences Uncovering the Genes that Allow Mosquitoes to Transmit Dengue Virus Prof. David Severson
Danyal Floisand Chemistry Probing Ionic Liquids Prof. Steve Corcelli
Xu Han Physics Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma As A Novel Tool for Cancer Treatment Prof. Sylwia Ptasinska
Brianna Mullins Biological Sciences Dissecting Leishmania Signaling Pathways Prof. Miguel Morales
Michael Skulsk Physics Measurement of 129I in the Great Lakes for Nuclear Security Prof. Philippe Collon
Cheyenne Tait Biological Sciences The Smell of (Evolutionary) Success: Mechanisms of Olfactory Divergence in the Apple Maggot Fly Prof. Jeffrey Feder
Lindsey Turnbull Biological Sciences How Do Malaria Parasites Become Drug Resistant? Prof. Michael Ferdig
Kimbra Turner Biological Sciences Drug Resistance in Leishmania Major Prof. Miguel Morales