More than 170 graduate students accepted McGill's 12th edition of the Three Minute Thesis challenge, chasing glory and cash prizes. Of the 15 finalists who made it to the last leg of the competition, who was best able to present their research in 3 minutes or less?
Meet the 2023 winners and finalists!
Samuel Calmels (PhD, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Winner: First prize and People's choice award
Samuel's first scientific experiments date back to his 6th birthday when he tested his protocols directly on his stuffed animals in his room. Many years later, following his interest in science, psychology, and human biology, he decided to pursue a master's degree in neuroscience in Lyon, France. Today, at the age of 24, he is starting a PhD in cognitive and social sciences with Dr. Debruille of the Douglas Research Center on the influence of cerebral electromagnetic fields on electroencephalography tracings.
Yoobin Cho (Master's, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Winner: Second place
Yoobin is a second-year master's student in neuroscience. The molecular building blocks of life have always intrigued her, and she developed a passion for neuroscience and genetics during her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. In 2022, she joined the Huang lab at McGill University, where she is working on developing and testing cutting-edge gene therapies for autism-related disorders in human neurons.
Haley Deamond (PhD, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Winner: Third place
Haley is a third-year PhD student in Neuroscience. Being raised on a farm surrounded by the wonders of nature she fell in love with asking questions and getting answers – SCIENCE! She pursued an undergrad and Master’s in Pharmacology at McGill where she developed a passion for bringing research to clinical practice. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine where she can bring her doctoral research experience working with patients to her medical practice and improve the quality of care offered to patients.
Asia Vighi (Master's, Biological and Biomedical Engineering)
Asia is a first-year graduate student in biological and biomedical engineering, working under the supervision of Dr. Codruta Ignea. After two years of experience as a tour guide in an environment and climate change museum in Montreal, Asia recognizes the importance of prioritizing sustainability goals when conducting scientific research. She hopes that her research on producing useful and valuable compounds in yeast cells will contribute towards the development of cleaner forms of industrial production and more economically accessible goods for all.
Aube Gourdeau (Master's, Geology)
Aube est candidate à la maîtrise en géologie, spécialisée dans la paléoséismologie. Ses recherches portent sur l'activité sismique dans la grande région de Montréal et dans la zone sismique de l'Ouest du Québec. Elle s'intéresse particulièrement aux catastrophes naturelles et à leur impact sur la population. Aube produit aussi du matériel éducatif pour l'organisme « la grande secousse du Québec » qui fait de la vulgarisation scientifique par rapport aux séismes auprès des jeunes.
Austin Cooper (PhD, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Austin is a PhD candidate studying neuroscience. He comes from an engineering background and strives to use this mindset to discover the link between the brain and experience. His research allows him to discover the close tie between the two by investigating one of, if not the, most accurately mapped systems of the brain: the visual system. Aside from his neuroscientific investigations he enjoys furthering his comprehension of the human mind through transcendental philosophy, Jungian psychology, Eastern Mysticism, and playing squash.Yes, definitely playing squash.
Candice Canonne (PhD, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Candice a grandi en France et a suivi sa passion pour la neurobiologie en venant effectuer son master puis son doctorat à Montréal. Elle s’est alors spécialisée sur l’étude des troubles mentaux, enparticulier la dépression et la schizophrénie et a à cœur de partager les connaissances scientifiquesactuelles que nous avons sur ces deux maladies parfois stigmatisées. Dans ses recherches, elletravaille sur des échantillons de cerveaux humains afin de déterminer des éventuelles différencesstructurelles au niveau cellulaire et moléculaire au sein de ces maladies. En dehors du laboratoire,elle s’épanouie dans les danses latines, notamment la salsa, et le théâtre d’improvisation!
Claudia Belliveau (PhD, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Claudia is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience funded by Fonds de Recherche du Quebec en Santé. She has always been fascinated with mental health and the complexity of the human brain. Her current research studies how child abuse is related to depression and suicide. Claudia hopes to merge her love for research and mental health with her passion for science communication in her future career.
Kit Gerodias (Master's, Physics)
Kit is a physics graduate student working on observational cosmology. He is part of collaborations that build next-generation radio telescopes. A native of Cebu, Philippines, he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of San Carlos. Outside of research, Kit spends time outdoors, catches up on anime and manga, or plays the guitar. He is also an avid cyclist and enjoys triathlons and marathons on occasion as well.
Lyne Baaj (Master's, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Lyne is currently a first-year master’s student in Neuroscience. Through her work as a Crisis Responder for Kids Help Phone, she found a passion for mental health advocacy and has committed herself to bettering the well-being of people across Canada. Her current research focuses on the effects of chronic cannabis use on the endocannabinoid system and anxiety. She grounds her research on the principles of translational science and hopes that her research helps inform the public and reduce the harm caused by substance use.
Pascal Ibrahim (PhD, Integrated Program in Neuroscience)
Pascal is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience. She has always been fascinated by the brain and how it brings about thoughts and emotions, and by science in general. Her curiosity led her to pursue research in depression and suicide. In particular, Pascal studies the molecular underpinnings of depression, which are essential to better understand this complex disease and to develop new treatments. She hopes to continue working at the interface of Mental Health and Neuroscience after she graduates.
Pratik Mahajan (Master's, Political Science)
Pratik is a first-year MA student in the Political Science department. He has been at McGill for four years, also taking his BA in Political Science and Philosophy at McGill. He came to McGill from India, where his parents’ social activism raised him to be interested in everything political. He hopes to be a professor of political science and sees the value of political research and teaching to society. In his personal life, he adopts the philosophy of anti-multitasking, focusing on only one task at a time in an age of overstimulation. He is also a massive movie buff!
Quazi Islam (PhD, Pharmacology)
Quazi completed her bachelor’s and master’s (M.Pharm.) degrees in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, respectively, at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. She later did her MSc in Applied Drug Discovery at Medway School of Pharmacy at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. Her research focus for M.Pharm. was initally phytochemistry and during her MSc, she subsequently switched to neuropharmacology. She is enjoying her doctoral training in translational science focusing on understanding the role of HuR in IPF pathogenesis. She loves traveling, photography, and exploring quiet cafes.
Sana Ramezani (PhD, Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics)
Sana is a second-year PhD student in civil engineering and applied mechanics. Since her childhood she has been passionate about the sea and water. This passion drove her to study in fluid mechanics for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees focusing on new innovative methods in hydraulics and hydrology. After this period, she worked for more than three years as a hydraulic engineer focusing on transferring water to deserted areas in the Middle East. The recent alerting calls about the environmental conditions of the seas and oceans along with the growing destructive impact of global warming has led her to conduct her PhD research on the devastating effects of undersea mud flows.