Front and Centre

Where you are shapes who you are. Manitoba shapes innovators

Meet the finalists of the 2018 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. These University of Manitoba graduate students are on an unprecedented path to innovation and discovery.

Meet Shervin

Shervin Khalili Ghomi

Civil Engineering

Born in a country hard hit by earthquakes, Shervin is acutely aware of the aftermath of disaster. The impact he saw in his homeland of Iran inspired him to become a structural engineer. And through his graduate studies at the U of M, Shervin is designing safer buildings for high-risk regions.

Meet Shervin

Watch Shervin’s 3MT presentation

Read Shervin's Story

Meet Carmine

Carmine Slipski

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

He got a microscope for Christmas as a kid, watched the movie Outbreak—and was hooked. Intrigued by the mysterious world of microorganisms, Carmine now develops new antimicrobial strategies. This grad student is part of global efforts to help minimize antimicrobial resistance.

Meet Carmine

Watch Carmine’s 3MT presentation

Meet Jill

Jill Bueddefeld


Growing up on a farm taught Jill that we’re all connected to nature. A family trip to the Amazon showed her how tourists connect with the natural world and learn through their experiences. Jill’s graduate work looks at how polar bear tourism can best engage the urban population to appreciate climate change.

Meet Jill

Watch Jill’s 3MT presentation

Read Jill's Story

Yang Xin Zi (Cindy) Xu

Physiology and Pathophysiology

Cindy’s fascinated by how the human body works. A physiology course and co-op experiences in her undergraduate studies inspired her to pursue her love of the basic sciences. Now she’s studying a protein called prohibitin which, when manipulated, generates different responses in males and females. Her discoveries could one day set the stage for the better management of debilitating diseases.

Meet Cindy

Watch Cindy’s 3MT presentation

Meet Megan

Megan Bourns

Soil Science

She may have grown up in the city, but Megan has farming in her heart, having come from an agricultural background that allowed her to experience production firsthand. Today her graduate work directly informs the strategies of Manitoba farmers who are growing 2.3 million acres of soybeans. She’s helping them get more out of their land by optimizing its response to potassium fertilizer.

Meet Megan

Watch Megan’s 3MT presentation

Read Megan's Story

Meet Matthew

Matthew Cook


Matthew is driven to find out: Why do we do what we do? He’s exploring the processes behind the actions that come so naturally, like perceiving, remembering, and using language. Knowing that our words are a window into our well-being, he developed artificial intelligence technology that can diagnose mental illness—a key tool in remote regions where clinicians are scarce.

Meet Matthew

Watch Matthew’s 3MT presentation

Read Matthew's Story

Meet Sandhini

Sandhini Lockman

Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

Sandhini wants to give hope to those living with neurodevelopmental disorders. With her passion for genetics and molecular biology, she researches the gene involved with Rett syndrome, hoping to pave the way for doctors to one day treat the underlying cause. Her desire to help others extends to her volunteerism with the Biomedical Youth Program, where she inspires inner-city youth to pursue careers in science.

Watch Sandhini's 3MT presentation

Read Sandhini's Story

Meet Brad

Brad Cownden

Physics and Astronomy

Brad has always been drawn to the mysteries of the universe: How and why does it work the way it does? He shares this passion with inner-city youth, through coding camps at Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre. Brad is particularly fascinated by holograms, black holes and how plasma—which he likens to a thick soup—behaved in the early universe.

Watch Brad's 3MT presentation

Meet Mohammad

Mohammad Reza Kazemian

Biomedical Engineering

Studying biochemical engineering at Tehran Polytechnic, Mohammad became intrigued by research into food contamination and foodborne illnesses. He wants to help reduce the number of people affected each year, which now tops 600 million worldwide. At the U of M, Mohammad has developed a self-cleaning, antimicrobial coating for stainless steel kitchen surfaces that could kill harmful pathogens and protect our food.

Watch Mohammad's 3MT presentation

Read Mohammad's Story

Meet Christine

Christine Stochl

Interior Design

She’s always been interested in how innovative design can improve the experience of a space. Through her graduate studies, Christine is redefining retail to better compliment the popularity of online shopping. Combining a love of business and interior design, she’s developing a new retail model, rooted in providing an exceptional brand and product experience.

Watch Christine's 3MT presentation

Read Christine's Story

Meet Nivedita

Nivedita Seshadri

Physiology and Pathophysiology

Jet lag, shift work, exposure to the artificial lights of smart phones—Nivedita knows all of these factors can throw off our circadian clock. An international student from India, she is investigating how this might apply to Type 2 diabetes. By zeroing in on how a potential pancreatic clock controls insulin, her research has the potential to help inform the best time of day to take medications for maximum effect.

Watch Nivedita's 3MT presentation

Meet Kevin

Kevin Boreskie


Kevin loves physical activity and sports—and wants the world to experience their health benefits. When he’s not touting exercise as a tool to prevent illness and reduce medication reliance, you’ll find him managing a school fitness centre or coaching ultimate Frisbee. His graduate research showed how high-intensity interval training used by Olympians can lower hypertension in the ordinary person.

Watch Kevin's 3MT presentation

Meet Kyla

Kyla Smith

Physics and Astronomy

Kyla envisions a better MRI diagnostic tool—one that is less noisy and stressful for the patient. This former high school physics teacher is exploring a new type of MRI that spatially encodes the signal using radio frequency waves. It would not only make the machine silent but less expensive and more accessible.

Watch Kyla's 3MT presentation

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