BME PhD student wins college-wide 3-Minute Thesis Competition

October 27, 2023 — Congratulations to Rebecca Butler and Minhan Jiang, who competed in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition on October 23. Butler won first place and is advancing to the University-wide competition on November 10. 

In the competition, CSE graduate students have exactly three minutes to explain their research in an engaging and easy-to-understand format. 

Rebecca Butler 

MD/PhD candidate

3MT title: Targeting tremors through deep brain stimulation

Thesis advisor: Matthew Johnson

Butler’s PhD research is focused on optimizing deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a therapy for essential tremor. By integrating a clinical trial for human subjects with essential tremor, ultra-high field imaging, computational modeling of DBS, and quantitative sensors, she aims to identify the neural pathways responsible for tremor reduction and for side effect emergence during therapy.

Minhan Jiang

PhD candidate

3MT title: Synergizing energy-based focal therapy and immunotherapy for enhanced cancer management 

Thesis advisor: John Bischof

Jiang’s research is focused on minimally invasive cancer focal therapies including thermal ablation, cryosurgery and irreversible electroporation to explore the role of focal therapy in priming the immune system. Her research also involves developing novel combinations of focal therapy with immunotherapy (e.g., immune checkpoint blockade) for improved primary and systemic cancer control.