Rocha One of Two Gluck Center Graduate Students Competing in UK’s 3MT Competition
Izabela de Assis Rocha, DVM and graduate student at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, is currently competing in UK’s virtual Three Minute Thesis competition with a presentation entitled “A neurologic horse and me.” Her presentation can be found here. Alisa Herbst, the other UK Gluck Center graduate student who is competing, can be seen here.
Participants with the most likes on their videos will be presented with a “people’s choice award” at the end of the judging period.
Rocha is from Brazil and attended school at Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA) there. She graduated from veterinary medicine in 2016, and then completed a residency in equine internal medicine at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), also in Brazil.
She is currently in the second year of her PhD program at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center, having chosen UK because she had previously studied at the Gluck Center for a year as an exchange student. During that time, she was able to conduct research under Dan Howe, PhD, director of graduate studies, associate chair and professor, focusing on equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). She plans to pursue a career in academia after completing her PhD.
According to Rocha, her 3MT video describes how attending to a horse with neurologic syndrome during her residency focused her research and sparked her interest in returning to UK to continue working with EPM.
“The horse had all the clinical signs compatible with EPM, however both the serological diagnosis and the treatment outcome failed to confirm this diagnosis. Unfortunately, the horse was euthanized and we were surprised when we received a post-mortem EPM diagnosis,” she said. “Because of that experience, I am currently focusing my research on understanding the challenges of EPM diagnosis and also exploring how EPM treatment works.
“My thesis research project focuses on how the current EPM treatment affects the parasite’s biology, and I am also contributing in a multicenter project investigating novel treatment options for EPM,” she said. “By combining both clinical experience and my training in science, I believe in a patient-oriented approach to research, relying on an active search of patients that may help us understand complex diseases and provide better care for horses.”
About the 3MT
According to its website, UK GradResearch Live! is a research showcase and Three Minute Thesis competition that challenges graduate students to communicate their research effectively to a general audience, with a single slide, in three minutes or less. The event is sponsored by Graduate Student Professional Enhancement and the Graduate Student Congress.
There are three tracks featured in the competition to accommodate students in different stages of their research: a Pre-3MT track for students in the early stages of their research; a standard 3MT track for students in the later stages of their research, who have results or conclusions; and a Postdoctoral track for postdoctoral scholars or fellows involved in post-graduate research.
“Due to COVID-19, these presentations were recorded via Zoom instead of delivered live in front of an audience, but the research is still just as compelling, so please take some time to browse these videos and like your favorites. We will be presenting ‘People’s Choice Awards’ for the video in each track with the most likes at the end of our judging period,” the website said.
All videos can be found here.
Holly Wiemers, MA, APR, is the communications and managing director for UK Ag Equine Programs. University of Kentucky Department of Veterinary Science at the Gluck Equine Research Center, provided this information.