Photo of the eleven 2023 T1-T4 competitors

Winners of the 2023 T1-T4 in 3 (Minutes) competition

Apr 24, 2023, 16:32 PM by Susan Rojahn

Zachary Watson, a neurobiology graduate student at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, was awarded first place at the 2023 T1–T4 in 3 (Minutes) competition on Thursday, April 13th. 

His presentation, entitled “The Over-Excited Gardener: The Cause of HIV-associated Pain?”, described his work pursuing the molecular and cellular causes of the chronic pain that affects more than half of 38 million individuals with HIV. The award included a $750 cash prize.

The T1–T4 in 3 (Minutes) competition is an annual event held by the ITS since 2016. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows compete to see who is the best at describing their research in three minutes in a manner that could be understood by any audience. The T1–T4 event title refers to the different stages of translational research, which covers a broad range of biomedical research from early clinical studies (T1) to population-level research (T4).

Watson was one of eleven finalists in the competition between UTMB graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. 

Second place, which included a $500 cash prize, was awarded to MD-PhD student Vivian Tat, for her presentation “Characterizing Spatial and Temporal Host Innate Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-1 and -2 Infection in Pathologically Relevant Human Lung Epithelial Cells.” Third place, which included a $250 cash prize, was awarded to MD-PhD student Melissa Henwood for her presentation, “Characterizing a pre-clinical model of chronic neuropathic pain.” 


The greater Galveston community was invited to the event, and to participate in voting in the People’s Choice award. The 2023 People’s Choice award winner was pharmacology doctoral student Danielle Jamison, for her presentation “Understanding Differences in Vulnerability To, and Protection Against, Alzheimer's Disease.” The People’s Choice award included a $750 cash prize.



Finally, Lara Leggio, MD, an audiology resident at UTMB, received the Blackstone LaunchPad award for her presentation “What is the Reality of Counseling in Clinical Practice for Pediatric Cochlear Implant Audiologists?”  Blackstone LaunchPad is an national program of entrepreneurship training and mentoring, and the Blackstone LaunchPad award at the Thursday event included a $750 cash prize.

The UTMB T1-T4 in 3 (Minutes) competition was designed by ITS Community Outreach and Engagement Core Lead, Sharon Croisant, PhD, who developed the program based on the Three-Minute Thesis, a competition that began in Queensland, Australia in 2008 and is now held in hundreds of universities worldwide.