JCSMR PhD student Joshua Chu-Tan has won the 2016 ANU Three Minute Thesis (3MT) and is now looking ahead to competing in the Asia-Pacific final.
Joshua, who is studying in the lab of Dr Riccardo Natoli in The Provis Group at JCSMR, spoke about developing gene therapies for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. He won a $4,000 research grant for taking out the title and a $500 research grant from PARSA for the People's choice award. In addition, Dr Natoli was awarded the ANU 3MT Supervisor's Prize.
Mr Chu-Tan said he was humbled by the news he had won both prizes and thanked everyone who supported him to get to the finals.
"It was overwhelming really but felt phenomenal," he said.
"The whole evening was a roaring success in every aspect and all who were there would've seen first-hand the remarkable quality of every single contestant this year, so to come out on top in this incredible cohort is a real honour."
Mr Chu-Tan said too often researchers failed to look at the bigger picture and developed tunnel vision in their specialised niche.
"Participating in the 3MT helps break that traditional mode of thinking," he said.
"To be able to convey your research clearly yet concisely, helps get people immediately interested in your work which, of course, can also help with funding opportunities and grant writing in which succinctness is a necessity."
Mr Chu-Tan will now participate in the Asia-Pacific final on September 30 at the University of Queensland.
"It will really be a once in a lifetime experience and I'm determined to put my best foot forward and represent the ANU the way I know I can," Mr Chu-Tan said.
"I can't wait to meet and hear the research from all the contestants from universities all around Australia, New Zealand and Asia."
Watch the 3MT final livestream on the ANU facebook page.