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Doctoral student wins Eastern Regional 3MT Competition

By Ashley Forristall | May 19, 2015

A PhD student in Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine has won first place in the Eastern Regional Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.

Victoria Linehan’s doctoral work is in the area of neuroscience. 

Ms. Linehan’s thesis, titled Diet Induced Plasticity of the Lateral Hypothalamus, attempts to uncover new treatment targets for weight loss. Her research aims to discover changes that occur in the brain in response to a high-fat diet, which may contribute to or maintain weight gain.

“More than half of the Canadian population is either overweight or obese, with a significant percentage of those affected suffering from weight-related disorders,” explained Ms. Linehan. “Moreover, diet and exercise seem ineffective to achieve long-term weight loss and as such, novel treatments are necessary to improve the quality of life of millions of Canadians.”

The Eastern Regional 3MT Competition was hosted by Concordia University in Montreal, Que., on Thursday, May 7. Eight graduate students from various universities across Eastern Canada battled for the title.

“I wish to congratulate all the participants who earned a spot in the competitive Eastern Canada regional final, and in particular Victoria Linehan who impressed our judges and took home the competition’s top prize,” said Dr. Paula Wood-Adams, dean, graduate studies at Concordia and emcee of the event.

Ms. Linehan’s Eastern Regional 3MT Competition video will be submitted to the National 3MT Competition, hosted by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies. 

“Memorial University is very proud to once again be so successful in this wonderful competition,” said Dr. Faye Murrin, dean, School of Graduate Studies, pro tempore. “Having our graduate students engage the broader community with their work is essential to the university’s goals, and is fun as well. We are very proud of Victoria and wish her well in the national competition.”

“The Faculty of Medicine is very proud of Ms. Linehan’s accomplishments in this competition,” said Dr. James Rourke, dean, Faculty of Medicine. “Her research is an example of excellence in our doctoral students, and as a future educator, her research contributions to the Faculty of Medicine will impact the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

 Last year, Kirk Luther, a doctoral student in Memorial’s Department of Psychology, won the 2014 Eastern Regional 3MT Competition and took home the 2014 People’s Choice Award. Both Ms. Linehan and Mr. Luther were coached by Dr. Peggy Coady, assistant professor and associate dean (course-based master’s), in Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration.

Finalists’ videos will be available on Canada’s 3MT webpage on Friday, May 15, and first and second place winners will be announced the first week of June. From May 15-28, the public can view and vote for the People’s Choice winner.

For more information about the 3MT Competition, please visit the School of Graduate Studies’ website.