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Two Students to Compete in Ivy 3-Minute Thesis Competition

The inaugural Ivy 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition takes place on April 25 at the United Nations in New York City. Doctoral students Jess Sevetson (Neuroscience) and Ashley Palumbo (Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences) will be representing Brown University. 

Students compete to present their PhD research in three minutes using only one slide. This event celebrates the diverse and impactful scholarly achievements of PhD students across the Ivy League community.

Public Health Research Day features Brown Graduate Student Researchers

Doctoral student Jiabei Yang points to poster:

Every year in April, the American Public Health Association convenes National Public Health Week to share public health research and promote health and well-being in communities across the nation. And each year, Brown’s School of Public Health hosts an extensive lineup of events and conversations to celebrate the week and showcase the high-impact work of its student and faculty scholars. “National Public Health Week is an annual celebration of public health and its vital role in promoting health and well-being,” said Bess Marcus, dean of the School of Public Health and an expert in health behavior and exercise promotion. “The themes during the week — from prevention through mindfulness to the health threat posed by immigration enforcement — all seek to bring awareness to some of the urgent health issues facing the world today. Our vision for the next five years is to impact urgent health challenges and improve health equity.” Read more.

Public Health Doctoral Student Selected for National Health Policy Program

Brown graduate student Kevin Nguyen earned a competitive national fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support his research aimed at building healthier and more equitable communities. Growing up a first-generation Vietnamese-American child of Vietnamese refugees, Kevin Nguyen says he interacted with the complexities of the U.S. health care system from a young age. From as early as his middle school years, he assisted his family, particularly his grandparents, with everything from scheduling doctor’s appointments to corresponding with insurance companies. Read more.

A Cerebral Celebration: Brain Science Abounds at Brown and Beyond

As part of Brain Week R.I., Brown students and faculty are bringing brain science to local high schools, planning the University’s annual Brain Fair and much more. That is Alastair Tulloch’s favorite brain fact. Tulloch is a doctoral candidate studying neuroscience at Brown University — and through the annual Brain Week Rhode Island celebration, he has worked for the past four years to make brain science insights like that one accessible to people across the state. Read more.

Student Research: ‘Mutation Hotspot’ Allows Common Fungus to adapt to Different Host Environments

The fungus Candida albicans is found in the gastrointestinal tract of about half of healthy adults with little if any effect, yet it also causes an oft-fatal blood infection among patients with compromised immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS. New research helps show how this fungus gets the flexibility to live in these vastly different environments. The researchers, including Shen-Huan Liang, a pathobiology Ph.D. student, found that patient samples of the fungus frequently lack one copy of a gene that serves as a vital master regulator. In the lab, these cells can regularly switch to having a different set of traits, or phenotype, by losing the other copy. Read more.

Brown Students Team With Space Exploration Company on Moon Mission Planning

Planning a Moon mission:

Students in a planetary science course at Brown (14 graduate and a few undergraduates) are helping a private space company plan a Moon mission, a collaborative effort that has caught the eyes of top NASA officials. In consultation with OrbitBeyond engineers and using the technical specs for ECA, the students spent last semester devising a design reference mission — a detailed template for what the real mission might ultimately look like. The group scoped out landing sites, planned possible rover traverses and delivered their recommendations to OrbitBeyond. “Being involved at this stage in our careers with an actual mission that’s going to fly is an experience I don't think we could get elsewhere,” said Ph.D. student Ashley Palumbo, one of the leaders of the project. “It’s just a great opportunity.” Read more.

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program Presents The Good Person of Szechwan

The Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program presents its spring thesis show, The Good Person of Szechwan, directed by MFA directing student Addie Gorlin. It is a story about balancing moral goodness and monetary success. “The most obvious question that this play asks is: can someone be good and still succeed in a capitalist society? I'm asking this question with a particular lens on gender,” says Gorlin. She cast an all-female production to call out the façade of masculinity these women are forced into in order to be taken seriously. Performances run February 28 through March 10 at the Pell Chafee Performance Center. Learn more.

Fifth-Year Master's Fair on Feb. 26

The Graduate School is hosting a Fifth-Year Master's Fair on Tuesday, February 26, from 11 am to 1:30 pm in Kasper Multipurpose Room, Robert Campus Center. Brown juniors and seniors are encouraged to come explore their options for a master's degree at Brown. Seniors may apply up until Commencement. Program representatives and the Graduate School will be available to answer questions. See the list of programs offering a fifth-year degree. 

Student Research: Tiny Satellites Reveal Water Dynamics in Thousands of Northern Lakes

Using an army of small satellites, researchers, including Ph.D. student Sarah Cooley, have shown that water levels in small lakes across northern Canada and Alaska are far more variable during the summer than previously thought. The findings, published in Geophysical Research Letters, could have implications for how scientists calculate the natural greenhouse gas emissions from these northern lakes. “There’s been a lot of research on climate-driven changes in lake area, but it’s mainly focused on long-term changes,” said Sarah Cooley, a Ph.D. student at Brown University and the study’s lead author. “This is the first time that anyone has looked at fine-scale, short-term changes, and we found that there’s much more variability within a season than expected.” Read more