You have three minutes to summarize the intricacies of your biomedical research to a general public unfamiliar with your field of study… Go.

This was the challenge put in front of the nine finalists Tuesday, December 8th at the 3rd annual Postdoc180 competition. Organized and hosted by the the Career & Professional Development team in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Postdoc180 is a competition within the Medical School that challenges postdocs to present their scientific research in 180 seconds with one static slide to a non-expert audience.

The Postdoc180 event was held virtually this year, but that didn’t stop the crowd from coming. With over 120 attendees, the pressure was on for our competitors. After welcome messages from Shoba Subramanian, PhD and Maggie Gardner, PhD, the competition was underway. Topics were presented such as “Protein folding problems in diabetes”, “Lose Weight! – No Diet. No Exercise. No Pills!”, and “Biosocial Impact on Black Births (BIBB)”.

This year, we removed the ranking system of 1st-3rd and simplified it to the top three. Still, no one envied the role of the judges. All nine finalists received $150 in professional development funds. An additional $150 were earned by presenters of the top three speeches:

Helen Rich, PhD
Balancing Immunity: Bacterial Infection During Influenza
Microbiology & Immunology
PI: Beth Moore

Isha Verma, PhD
Using Stem Cells for Studying Brain Diseases

PI: Jack Parent

Ramkumar Mohan, PhD
Watch & Learn: To Prevent Diabetes How Synaptotagmins Control the Release of Insulin
PI: Arun Anantharam

OGPS Postdoc Coordinator, Beth Bodiya, led the audience through a voting process for the People’s Choice award. For an event that challenges participants to gain and hold the audiences attention and have them leave with a better understanding of your research – the People’s Choice award is just that. A direct response from the audience you aim to engage. For this reason, the title arguably carries the same weight as the judge’s response. This award also delivers $150 in funding:

Alejandra Mondino, DVM
Glutamatergic neurons in the preoptic hypothalamus promote wakefulness,
destabilize NREM sleep, and suppress REM sleep
PI: Giancarlo Vanini

As previously stated, all finalists went home with $150 to put toward professional development. Congratulations to our additional five finalists:

Anoop Arunagiri, PhD
Metabolism, Endocrinology, & Diabetes
“Protein folding problems in diabetes”   
Surbhi Gahlot, PhD
Molecular & Integrative Physiology
“Lose Weight! – No Diet. No Exercise. No Pills!”

Nadia Saadat, PhD
“Biosocial Impact on Black Births (BIBB)”
Matthew Ostrowski, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
“Food Additives and the Microbiome”

Jitendra Pant, PhD
Biomedical Engineering
“Diabetic Epidemic”

Congratulations to all participating postdocs!

Special thanks to our judges during the Postdoc180 Finale:

Molly Kleinman, PhD
Science, Technology,
and Public Policy Program Manager
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan

Bryce Pilz, JD
Director of Licensing
Office of Technology Transfer
University of Michigan

Paula Ross, PhD
Administrative Director
Research. Innovation.
Scholarship. Education. (RISE)

Michigan Medicine

The Career and Professional Development team – Beth Bodiya MS, Maggie Gardner, PhD, and Shoba Subramanian, PhD – provides support via a variety of mechanisms to all OGPS affiliated learners and programs.