The Blog


GPB Student Places First and Wins “Audience Choice” at UCLA Grad Slam Competition

Congratulations to Brandon Tsai, 2nd year MSTP student in Genetics & Genomics for winning first place in the UCLA Grad Slam Finals.  His presentation on Next Generation Covid-19 Vaccines wowed both the judges and the audience, winning him top honors as well as the Audience Choice Award.  Brandon will now travel to the LinkedIn Headquarters in San Francisco, CA on May 5th to compete for his share of $10,000 against winners from the other 9 UC Campuses.  Watch the competition via livestream at:   

Other GPB students that made it to the UCLA Finals included: 

  • Melis Cakar (Neuroscience)
  • Gabriella Rubert (Gene Regulation, Epigenomics & Transcriptomics)
  • Nicole Zelster (Genetics & Genomics)

The Grad Slam Competition is a campus and UC-wide competition that showcases student research presentations in a 3-minute format.  Students must eloquently and excited describe their research quickly to a broad audience of judges from different backgrounds.  First, second, and third place winners in the UCLA competition received fellowships in the amounts of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 respectively, and an Audience Choice award in the amount of $1,000.  More information about the UCLA Grad Slam competition can be found on the Division of Graduate Education’s website, here:  


Photo by Don Liebig/ASUCLA