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Bioscience Students Participate in UCLA’s Grad Slam

18 Bioscience students competed in the preliminary round of UCLA Grad Slam 2016, an opportunity for master and doctoral level students to showcase their work by giving a 3-minute “elevator pitch” of their research projects to a panel of judges.  Judges include faculty, academic deans, administrative staff, alumni, postdoctoral scholars, donors and elected officials.

106 students signed up for the preliminary rounds. Three GPB students (Philip Bulterys, Samantha Mikaiel, and Courtney Young) will advance to the Semi-finals on March 1st, competing against 21 other graduate students.  The final UCLA round will be held on March 3rd and the top student will advance to the UC-wide finals in Oakland on April 22nd.

If you are interested in viewing the Grad Slam semi-final or final competitions, the times and locations are:

Semi-Final Rounds

Tuesday, March 1
Round 5: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360
Round 6: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360

Final Competition – Watch Party & Grad Bar

Thursday, March 3
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm, James West Alumni Center, Collins Conference Room, Live via Internet feed

Awards for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and “audience choice” include fellowships of $3,000, $2,000, $1,000, and $500, respectively.

The 18 Graduate Program in Bioscience Grad Slam participants include:

  • Eric Aliotta, Physics & Biology in Medicine, Microstructural Imaging of the Beating Heart with Optimized Diffusion Tensor MRI
  • Narsis Attar, Gene Regulation, The Inside-Out Story of Cell Communication: Why do Tumors Care?
  • Matthew Bramble, Genetics & Genomics, Developmental Effects of Testosterone on the Brain: From Stem Cells to Neurons
  • **Philip Bulterys, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis, Disarming Deadly Bacteria
  • ZeNan Chang, Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology, Engineering Immunity for Cancer Therapy
  • Yi-Pei Chen, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis, How a Unicellular Parasite Manages to Survive in Constantly Changing Human Host Environment
  • Stephanie DeMarco, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis, Trypanosoma Brucei: A Social Parasite
  • Diana Dou, Cell & Developmental Biology, Genes Underlying the Self-renewal Ability of Blood Stem Cells
  • Joseph Hargan Calvopina, Cell & Developmental Biology, Stage-specific demethylation in primordial germ cells safeguards against precocious differentiation
  • Andrew Howe, Neuroscience, Finding a Happy Place
  • Ruyi Huan, Neuroscience, The Moto Deficits in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amal Katrib, Physics & Biology in Medicine, “Radiotranscriptomics”: A Synergy of Imaging & Transcriptomics in Pathogenic Assessment
  • **Samantha Mikaiel, Physics & Biology in Medicine, Innovative Real-Time Imaging for MRI-Guided Interventions
  • Jason Moore, Neuroscience, Measuring Brain Activity During Virtual Reality Exploration
  • Shawntel Okonkwo, Gene Regulation, Bringing Splicing and Transcription Together
  • Tanya Phung, Bioinformatics, A Potential Harmful Side-Effect of Sexual Reproduction
  • Christina Van, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis, Exploiting a Natural Protein to Halt Multiple Sclerosis
  • **Courtney Young, Cell & Developmental Biology, An end to Duchenne: gene editing for muscular dystrophy

*Advanced to semi-final round.
**Advanced to final round. 

UPDATE 3/2/2016: Philip, Samantha, and Courtney all advanced to the final round.  Join in the Final Grad Slam Competition, Watch Party & Grad Bar on Thursday, March 3rd from 5-7:30 pm at the UCLA James West Alumni Center Collins Room (325 Westwood Plaza).  Admission is free and open to the general public.  RSVP here (graduate students need not RSVP).  You may also live stream the event here

For more information, visit the Grad Slam website.








Photos: UCLA Grad Slam Finalists
UCLA Graduate Division, UCLA Graduate Students Association