College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

3 Minute Thesis competition winners

Sixteen PhD students from the College put their presenting skills to the test on 30th May in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine’s first 3 Minute Thesis competition.

3 Minute Thesis presenter

Presenters were faced with the challenge of summing up their thesis verbally - with no props or electronic media - in under three minutes using just one slide. Students covered a wide variety of topics, including an the role of protein prenylation in mCMV replication and antiviral response, the culprit behind the metabolic syndrome, how Campylobacter manipulates and/or avoids the chicken’s immune response, and control of cattle ticks and tick-borne diseases in Central Nigeria.


Christopher West, a restorative surgeon currently undertaking a PhD in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, took first prize with his presentation “Blood, sweat and ears”, while Alejandro Cervantes who is looking at epithelial to mesenchymal transition process as a stemness inducer in breast cancer cells won first runner-up. Katie Nicol, whose research looks at social and emotional difficulties in borderline personality disorder, won second runner-up.

University final

Christopher, Alejandro and Katie each won £100 Amazon voucher and a place at the University final, which takes on 24th July, where they will compete with students from the Colleges of Science and Engineering, and Humanities and Social Sciences to represent the University of Edinburgh at the October U21 final.

To prepare them for the U21 final, the nine University finalists will receive training in Engaging Communication, specifically developed for this competition.

Concept history

The 3 Minute Thesis is based on a concept developed by the University of Queensland which quickly spread across Australia and New Zealand, and has just gone global through the Universitas 21 network.