Watch doctoral candidates battle it out in a Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition for the newly-created Mark S. Wrighton Award on Aging. The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience.
A panel of three researchers from multiple disciplines, will select the winner of the “judge’s choice” award. An additional “people’s choice” winner will be voted on by the audience. The judge’s choice winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and the people’s choice winner will receive a $500 cash award.
Judge’s choice and people’s choice winners will be recognized at the annual Friedman Lecture and Awards on April 13, 2022.
This event will take place in person in Holden Auditorium at the Farrell Teaching & Learning Center on the Washington University Medical Campus. There is also an option to join virtually via Zoom Webinar. Please note that some parts of the virtual event may only be audio and slides.
Registration is strongly encouraged. Details for attending both virtually and in person will be provided to registrants.
Meet the competitors
Title: Why capturing age matters: advancing our understanding of neurodegeneration
Lucia Capano is a 5th year graduate student in Dr. Andrew Yoo’s lab. She studies tauopathies through direct-conversion of human adult skin cells to neurons. Her project focuses on the developmental control of tau isoform expression and tauopathy modeling.
Title: Is the answer to longevity hidden in our genes?
Ariella Coler-Reilly is a 5th-year MD PhD candidate studying medicine and molecular cell biology at Washington University in St. Louis. Under Dr. Tim R. Peterson, she researches the role of genes differentially expressed with age in cellular health and longevity. She is passionate about campus advocacy groups, with past positions as co-president of LGBTQmed and Media Director at LouHealth, and she is currently helping to form an affinity group for medical students with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Outside of school, she moonlights as a science writer and illustrator.
Title: Exploring how a protein biomarker of aging contributes to age-related human disease
Jared Elenbaas is a 6th year MD/PhD dual degree candidate who is completing his doctoral research in the lab of Nathan Stitziel. Jared uses translational approaches gain insight into leading causes of death and disability, including cardiovascular and cardiometabolic disease.
Title: Frailty as a potential early sign of Alzheimer’s disease
Jordan Kassab is a graduate of Washington University, studying biology during her undergraduate studies. She is now at Washington University School of Medicine as a master’s student in the Applied Health Behavior Research program. Throughout the past five years, Jordan has been an active part of the Washington University community, serving as a research assistant in the Guilak Lab and Stark Lab, a tutor through Girls Who Code, the captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Team, and an administrative graduate assistant through Washington University School of Medicine.
Title: Engineering Smart Cells to Combat Osteoarthritis
Daniel Palmer grew up in the mountains of Colorado, and earned two bachelor’s of science in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University in 2019. Subsequently, Daniel joined the Guilak Lab at WashU as a Biomedical Engineering PhD student, where he works on developing osteoarthritis therapies using a combination of synthetic biology and tissue engineering. Outside the lab, Daniel may be found running, riding his Onewheel, or voraciously reading science fiction and fantasy novels.
Title: The roles of time and measurement in within-person purpose variability
Gabrielle Pfund is a PhD candidate in Psychological and Brain Sciences. Couched in personality science, my work examines macro- and micro-level changes in sense of purpose across the lifespan and their implications. Some of my most recent research has investigated the way in which sense of purpose is tied to positive social interactions in older adults using a measurement burst design, and the role of retirement status in moderating that association. Moving forward, I am interested in understanding the extent to which purpose varies from day-to-day, what predicts daily stability, and the implications of purpose variability for purpose trajectories across the lifespan.
Title: Sleep quality and memory across the lifespan
Hannah Maybrier is a current 5th year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests involve exploring how sleep and other lifestyle factors affect hippocampal network-dependent cognition during healthy aging and neuropathology.
About the award
This new award will be given by the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging to recognize doctoral students who show outstanding promise as researchers on topics relevant to older adults and aging society. Students in doctoral level degree programs in any discipline at Washington University with research focused on aging are encouraged to apply. Students must submit a registration in order to be selected to compete.
This award and competition is supported by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital from the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Fund.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.