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3MT contest returns with impressive new research ideas

The finals of the Three Minute Thesis contest will take place Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon in the fourth floor mezzanine of the Plaza Building at Brock University. Five finalists are competing to claim the title of Brock 3MT champion, who will then go on to the provincial 3MT finals later this month. The 3MT contest encourages students to talk about their research and explain why it matters in a way that will inform and captivate people outside of their disciplines. The challenge is that this must be accomplished in three minutes or less, while using only one PowerPoint slide. The five Brock finalists this year are:– Hasam Madarati, Mississauga (Master’s student, Biotechnology) Hasam’s research focuses on studying wet, water-filled cells in the body responsible for transferring protein from one cell to another. He hopes to use this to better understand the intake of fatty foods and keep people healthy.– Matthew Nikitczuk, St. Catharines (Master’s student, Earth Sciences) Matthew’s research focuses on a particular type of micro-fossil that eats volcanic glass. The implications of the study allow for new insight into early life on earth, as well as beyond it.– Emma Stares, Wellington, New Zealand (PhD student, Chemistry) Emma will present on improved MRI scans and her proposal to develop a new family of contrast agents that are safer for patients and will produce more early and accurate disease diagnosis.– Mikel Ghelfi, Trimbach, Switzerland (PhD student, Chemistry) Mikel is focusing on Vitamin E. Specifically, he will highlight a Vitamin E analogue he created that offers new insight into the movement and interaction the protein has with the cell membrane. The analogue is already gaining interest from brain disease researchers.– Natalie Trojanowski, Niagara Falls (Master’s student, Health Sciences) Natalie’s presentation focuses on the inefficiency of a specific protein within those suffering from muscular dystrophy. She will highlight how diet could be used to improve the efficiency of the protein and as a result conserve muscle strength in muscular dystrophy patients.This year’s contest will be judged by: Kevin Cavanagh, Brock’s Director of Communications and Marketing; Kim Meade, Brock’s Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Student Services; and Mark Lalama, a world-class musician, solo artist and producer who spent six years on Canadian Idol.The 3MT contest winner will be announced at 5:30 p.m. at Isaac’s. The winner will receive $500 and the runner-up $250. Brock’s top place finisher will advance to the Ontario finals, being held Thursday, April 23, at Western University in London. From there, the top finishers will advance to a national competition read more