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2014 Research Day Award Winners

WF BioTech Place

The Fourteenth Annual Wake Forest University Graduate Student & Postdoc Research Day was held on Friday, March 28, 2014. This year our students presented at the Wake Forest BioTech Place Atrium and Auditorium. The BioTech Place facilities are part of the growing Innovation Quarter located in downtown Winston-Salem.

This year, in addition to a poster display, there was an inauguration of an exciting 3-minute thesis (3MT) oral competition held in the auditorium, while 83 posters (8 posters from postdocs and 75 student posters) were displayed in the atrium. A total of 52 students applied for the 3MT event. After a initial review process, 10 students were chosen to present their presentations. 2 winners were selected (one from each campus), with 2 Runner-up places (again one from each campus).

Please view our photo gallery on Flickr.

All of our presenters, whether from the sciences or humanities, were simply first rate.  Research Day stands as a great community builder and one of the best ways to see and appreciate the excellence of our students and postdoctoral fellows.


We hope that you will join us in congratulating our winners:


3MT 1st Place Winners


Alexander Birbrair
PhD Candidate - Neuroscience

Alexander BirbrairOriginally from Israel and Brazil, Alexander attended the Santa Cruz State University (UESC) in Bahia, Brazil for his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science. This year, he is finishing his PhD thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Osvaldo Delbono. The main focus of his current research is to determine the role of blood vessels associated stem cells, called pericytes, in tissue regeneration with aging, injury and pathology. Alexander currently holds a Glenn/AFAR Scholarship for Research in the Biology of Aging.
(youtube video)


Nicholas Lepley
PhD Candidate - Physics

Nicholas LepleyOriginally from Birmingham, AL, Nicholas attended the Wake Forest undergraduate college as a scholarship athlete on the Track and Cross Country team. He double majored in Physics and English before focusing on physics in graduate school. He was awarded a master's degree in Physics in 2013 for his research on computer simulations of advanced Li-ion battery materials and is currently extending that work as part of his doctorate under the direction of Dr. Natalie Holzwarth.
(youtube video)


3MT 2nd Place Runner-Ups


Emma Moran
PhD Candidate - Biomedical Engineering

Emma Moran Emma is a PhD candidate at the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. She researches liver tissue engineering at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine under Dr. Shay Soker. In particular, Emma is investigating the influence of biomechanical forces in various processes underlying liver tissue engineering, organogenesis and disease.  Additionally, Emma is an intern at Wake Forest Innovations where she assists in technology transfer and commercialization in the areas of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices. Originally from Albany, NY, Emma received her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester. (youtube video)


Diane HodsonDiane Hodson
MS Candidate - Documentary Film

After receiving her BA in Individualized Study from New York University, Diane spent eight years working as a world history teacher at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY.  During this time, she also earned her MA in Teaching Adolescents with Disabilities from Long Island University.  Diane is presently in her 2nd year in the Documentary Filmmaking MFA program where she is working on her thesis film, unmappable. She and her co-director, Jasmine Luoma, were recently awarded a $3200 University Film and Video Association Carole Fielding Grant toward the completion of this film. Diane is also a recipient of a 2014 Richter Scholarship, and will be traveling to Zambia this summer to work on her next film about women's empowerment through education.
(youtube video)


Drawing Winner -


Hannah Stroup
MS Candidate - Psychology

Hannah Stroup
Hannah was the winner of our iPad drawing!!


3M Finalist


Chris Schaich
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gumXFh2b0TA

Jesalyn Lucas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlfw59dOlT4

Jade Mims
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWNyCj-pZV8

Eleanor Palmer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQBKottY7Eo

Jason Pifer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeNuSNOOKmE

Robert Smith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y80kAew7KmA