June 30, 2018

Fast FAST – An elevator speech competition

"What do you work on?" - a familiar question for scientists.  When it comes from a scientist in a different field or a non-scientist, effectively communicating your research to others can be a challenge.  It is a skill you can learn with practice, and the journey can be fun and exciting.

Fast FAST – An elevator speech competition

On June 1st, 2018 we had the first persuasive research speech competition in the Human Genetics Department. This was the extension of our regular, Friday Afternoon Seminar by Trainees (FAST) series where graduate students and postdoctoral fellows present their research to the department in a traditional format. Nine members of the department took up the challenge of "Fast FAST" - presenting their research in only three minutes using a single slide. Winning presentations were chosen by the audience and a panel of judges.

This year we had five terrific judges representing mechanism of diseases, computational biology, clinical genetics and general scientific interest.
The panel included:

  • James Douglas Engel (Elizabeth C. Crosby Professor - Cell and Developmental Biology)
  • Evan Snitkin (Assistant Professor - Microbiology and Immunology)
  • Beverly Yashar (Clinical Professor of Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling - Human Genetics)
  • Christen Barua (Associate Director - Endowment for the Basic Sciences at Michigan Medicine Office of Development)
  • Jeffery Holden (Chief Department Administrator - Human Genetics).

Please check out some of the presentations!

Alexandre Daly (Human Genetics Ph.D. Program - 4th year, Mentor: Sally Camper):
Title: "Cell fate – it’s in the font size"

Marissa Cloutier (Human Genetics Ph.D. Program - 2nd year, Mentor: Sundeep Kalantry)
Title: "Why Study X-chromosome Inactivation?"

Alyssa Kruger (Human Genetics Ph.D. Program - 4th year, Mentor: Jacob Mueller)
Title: "A genetic Tug-of-war"

Trent Frisbie (Human Genetics Ph.D. Program - 3rd year, Mentor: John Moran)
Title: "Jumping Genes"

Adrienne Shami: (Human Genetics Ph.D. Program 3rd year, Medical Scientist Training Program, Mentor: Sue Hammoud)
Title: Sex in a Dish: Using Single Cell Sequencing to Inform Infertility Treatments

Elaine Ritter (Postdoctoral Fellow, Mentor: Donna Martin):
Title: “Determining Roles for Chromatin Modifier CHD7 in Hearing Loss in CHARGE Syndrome”

Brian McGrath (Cellular and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program 3rd year, Mentor: Stephanie Bielas)
Title: "Know Your Ingredients!"

Sadie Marlow (Human Genetics Ph.D. Program 3rd year, Mentor: Stephanie Bielas)
Title: "Time to Make the Donuts!"

Haley Amemiya ((Cellular and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program 3rd year, Mentor: Alan Boyle)
Title: "Investigating the role of nucleotide content in CRISPR/Cas9 Binding Specificity"

The Prizes by the Judge Panel went to:

  • 1st: Elaine Ritter (Gold Chromosome Prize)
  • 2nd: Alexandre Daly (Silver Chromosome Prize)
  • 3rd: Adrienne Shami (Bronze Chromosome Prize)
  • Audience's Choice Prize: Elaine Ritter

Congratulations to all presenters! We are looking forward to FastFAST in March 2019! Stay tuned!

Peter Gergics
Research Investigator / Organizer
Human Genetics Seminar and Events Committee