CALS Grad Student Wins Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Competitors onstage during NC State's Three-Minute Thesis competition

We’ve got a winner! Paul Enriquez, a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, placed first in the Graduate School’s third annual Three-Minute Thesis competition.

The competition’s final round included nine Ph.D. students and one master’s student – counting two CALS students. In his winning performance, Paul clearly and concisely presented his thesis, “Coupling Molecular Photography and Gene Editing for Human Therapeutics.”

To get ready for the competition, Paul discussed the single permitted slide with his faculty advisor and friends in his department. While delivering his thesis, he focused on his audience and organized his research based on the relatable core aspects – not always simple when presenting to audiences unfamiliar with his research. Paul explained that the competition increased his awareness when considering communicating effectively with lay audiences.

As a CRISPR-based gene editing researcher, Paul investigates the role that epigenetic factors play in development and disease. Analyzing these results takes time, but they are likely to reveal important insights applicable to embryonic development and human therapeutics.

In his other projects Paul is focusing on the intersection of science, law and policy relating to genome editing technologies. He shared, “Scientists have an inherent duty to engage law and policy makers, as well as people from all walks of life, in order to communicate the significance of their research.”

Congratulations to Paul on running the Three-Minute Thesis gauntlet.