Chemistry PhD student Emily Majaesic wins Three Minute Thesis

July 5, 2023 by A&S News

Emily Majaesic, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry has won first place at the 2023 Ontario Regional Finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which challenges graduate students to explain their research to a lay audience in less than three minutes.

Majaesic was one of 12 competitors at the event held on May 17 at Queen's University, which brought together the winners from 3MT competitions at universities across the province. In November, Majaesic will represent Ontario at the 3MT National Showcase at the Canadian Association of Graduate Schools conference to be held in Victoria, BC.

Majaesic won first place for her presentation titled “Catch A Protein By Its Tail,” a clever nod to her work on a new application of the enzyme ClpX that could potentially revolutionize the way we study protein levels in the body.

“Emily took a complex concept — the early detection of leukemia through protein markers — and not only made it accessible but also humanized it," said Christopher DeLuca, associate dean at Queen’s University’s School of Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs. "Through a personal narrative, humour, and clear communication, Emily’s 3MT talk made us understand the cutting-edge work she is pursuing, which has clear, life-saving potential through the early identification and treatment of diseases.”

Majaesic is hoping her research will provide a more accurate method to detect changes in the body’s protein levels than the current technology in use — mass spectrometry. It’s an innovation that could mean a major improvement in how we use proteins to detect the onset of major illnesses.

Watch Emily Majaesic's presentation: