Sarah Elzinga, MS, a PhD candidate, won the second annual University of Kentucky (UK) Department of Veterinary Science’s Three-Minute Thesis (3-MT) competition for PhD candidates (i.e., post-qualifying examination) April 7 at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.

Elzinga’s research focuses on inflammation and insulin dysregulation in the horse. Her advisor is Amanda Adams, PhD, an assistant professor at the Gluck Center. Elzinga earned her master’s degree in animal science with an equine nutrition emphasis from Michigan State University, in East Lansing, and a bachelor’s in equine science from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, in Indiana. She will finish her doctoral degree this year.

Mariano Carossino, DVM, a PhD candidate, finished second and Wangisa Dunuwille, MSc, BVc, a PhD candidate, finished third. Udeni Balasuriya, PhD, MS, BVSc, professor and Schlaikjer professor of equine infectious disease at the Gluck Center, serves as both candidates’ advisor.

Other presenters, including area of research and advisor, were:

  • Michelle Wynn, BS, master’s student, reproductive health, Barry Ball, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT;
  • Fatai Oladunni, DVM, MS, PhD candidate, infectious diseases, Thomas Chambers, PhD;
  • Gloria Gellin, MPH, MS, BS, infectious diseases, Craig Carter, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVPM;
  • Annet Kyomuhangi, MSc, BS, infectious diseases, Balasuriya; and
  • Melissa Siard, BA, PhD candidate, immunology, Adams.

Also at the competition, Carleigh Fedorka, PhD, the 2016 University of Kentucky 3-MT winner who represented UK at the Southern Council of Graduate Schools Regional Competition in March, presented “The Dirty Broodmare … Cleaned Up.” Fedorka recently finished her doctoral program in reproductive health with advisor Mats Troedsson, PhD.

The rules of the 3-MT, which were originally developed at a university in New Zealand, allow students three minutes to discuss their research using only one presentation slide and no gimmicks (e.g., props, costumes, songs, etc.)

Judges included Danielle Jostes, equine philanthropy director at the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Laura Kennedy, DVM, Dipl. ACVP, assistant professor and pathologist at the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; and Stephen Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, internist and shareholder at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Jenny Evans, MFA, is the senior veterinary science marketing and promotion specialist at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.


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