Student reveals future treatments for kidney disease in just three minutes

02 December 2014
Barbara Maier with Dr Rosamond Siemon at 3MT final (photo courtesy IMB)

Third-year PhD student Barbara Maier was one of eight finalists in The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Three Minute Thesis (3MT) finals held in Brisbane on 11 September.

Barbara, who is a third-year PhD student and a Dr Rosamond Siemon Scholar from Professor Melissa Little’s laboratory at the Institute for Molecular Biology, made it through three elimination rounds to compete as the finalist for UQ’s research institutes.

3MT is a competition that challenges PhD students to communicate their research and its impact to the public in a dynamic, engaging and interesting way.

Barbara’s challenge was to discuss her work to investigate how we can use stem cells from patients with genetic forms of kidney disease to help grow and repair damaged kidney tissue.

She said she entered the competition in the hope of finding a way to explain her exciting research in a language that her friends and family could understand.

"I was hoping to inform people about what’s happening in our field and the amazing advances that have recently been made, particularly by our lab, to find new ways to deliver better outcomes for the one in seven Australians who have a positive marker of kidney disease,” Barbara said.

“But one of the main reasons I entered was to gain more experience and confidence to speak to a large crowd.

“Being a part of the 3MT was a fabulous experience that really helped me to grow as a science communicator, and I think every research student could benefit from entering this competition,” Barbara said.

To watch the video recording of the UQ 3MT finals, visit the 3MT website or click here to read more.

Barbara Maier is a member of Stem Cells Australia.