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From left: John W. Howell; Sheila Kraybill; Vanessa Claire Santos; First Cowboy Darren Shrum; and CVM Associate Dean of Research Dr. Jerry Malayer.

Graduate students present research in three minutes

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Media Contact: Kaylie Wehr | Coordinator, Marketing and Public Relations | 405-744-6740 |

The Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine held its annual Three Minute Thesis competition on Oct. 11. Using one slide and no research jargon, 13 veterinary graduate student researchers summarized their work in just three minutes in front of their colleagues and a panel of judges.

Congratulations to the 2022 winners:

  • 1st Place ($300): Vanessa Claire Santos, Ph.D. student — “Viral and Cellular Proteins Cooperate for Herpes to Reactivate”
  • 2nd Place ($200): Mego Terhuja, Ph.D. student — “Virus-like-particle (VLP) for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – Mucosal Vaccine”
  • 3rd Place ($100): Pabasara Weerarathne, Ph.D. student — “An Innovative Approach in the Fight against Bobcat Fever: A Parasitic Disease in Cats”
  • People’s Choice ($300): Vanessa Claire Santos

“I was honestly surprised when my name was called,” Santos said. “The other participants did very well, too. It took a few seconds before it sank in and it felt amazing to win first place, both by judges’ decision and through audience votes. I just feel really blessed.”

As the veterinary college’s first place winner, Santos will compete in the universitywide competition at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Student Union Theater.

Dr. Clint Jones, Regents & Sitlington endowed professor and Santos’s research advisor, was excited for her win.

“Vanessa is an excellent student who works very hard and interacts well with all of the people in the lab,” Jones said. “I am extremely proud of her accomplishments.”

The judges were First Cowboy Darren Shrum; entrepreneur Sheila Kraybill; and John W. Howell with the American Veterinary Medical Association.

For more information on the CVM Comparative Biomedical Sciences graduate program, visit the CBSC webpage.

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