Inspiring finale to USC Research Week

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Inspiring finale to USC Research Week


USC's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Roland De Marco congratulates Three Minute Thesis winner Motahareh Nobakht and runner-up Ben Lane

5 July 2013

A dynamic presentation about the potential healing properties of the resinous gum of eucalyptus trees won the Three Minute Thesis competition at the finale of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Research Week on Friday 5 July.

Motahareh Nobakht, of Maroochydore, informed and entertained a crowd at the USC Innovation Centre with her talk, ‘Eucalypt and the other drugs’, which summarised in less than three minutes the progress and goals of her research.

She explained how she was testing kino, the resinous gum, to determine if it could be an effective anti-microbial agent and a possible new source of antibiotic.

Motahareh, who came to Australia from Iran in 2011 to study her PhD at USC, was thrilled with her win.

She said she came from a plant science background and was passionate about finding solutions to human health problems in nature.

The runner-up in the competition for Higher Degree by Research students was Ben Lane with his intriguing presentation, ‘Attention training to improve body image’.

Ben said his research aimed to help people who were preoccupied by concerns about their appearance, which could lead to distress, extreme dieting or eating disorders.

He explained how he was using a computer task to develop “attention training” as a tool to foster a healthy body image in people normally resistant to therapy.

The inaugural ‘A Minute to Win It – My Research in 60 Seconds’, was so hotly contested by USC research academics that two winners were named.

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker’s presentation was ‘Young Drivers and their parents – whassup?’ and Professor Helen Wallace’s was ‘Promiscuous Plants’.

— Julie Schomberg

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