2018 Grad Slam Finalists

Grad Slam logo

The Graduate Division has announced the finalists in the 2018 Grad Slam competition at UC San Francisco. The Grad Slam contest challenges PhD students to present a compelling presentation of their dissertation research in three minutes or less, using language that not only their peers – but also non-specialists – will understand. Since 2015, the competition has been held across all ten campuses of the University of California. The winner from each individual campus will go on to compete in the system-wide Grad Slam contest in May.

The 2018 finalists are:

Katie Cabral, Bioengineering Program (Zev Gartner, faculty adviser)
Yiqi Cao, Bioengineering Program (Tejal Desai, faculty adviser)
Frances Cho, Neuroscience Program (Jeanne Paz, faculty adviser)
Jennifer Hu, Bioengineering Program (Zev Gartner, faculty adviser)
Ashley Libby, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program (Bruce Conklin and Todd McDevitt, faculty advisers)
Steven Moss, Chemistry and Chemical Biology Program (Kevan Shokat, faculty adviser)
Inez Raharjo, Bioengineering Program (Srikantan Nagarajan, faculty adviser)
Claire Tang, Neuroscience Program (Edward Chang, faculty adviser)
Meredith Van Natta, Sociology Program (Catherine Bliss, faculty adviser)
Tess Veuthey, Neuroscience Program (Karunesh Ganguly, faculty adviser)

photo of the finalists

Grad Slam LIVE!

photo of audience at 2017 Grad Slam

The 10 student finalists will present their research in a live contest on Thursday, March 22, at 4 p.m. in Byers Auditorium at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

The panel of five live-contest judges includes UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS; Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Outreach Renee Navarro, MD; and Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy Keith Yamamoto, PhD. The panel will also include Ann Reid, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, and journalist and television correspondent Jacob Ward, currently a science and technology correspondent for Al Jazeera America, and formerly editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine.

A team of nine preliminary judges, which included both faculty scientists as well as non-scientist communications specialists from across UCSF, reviewed the videos and chose the 10 finalists.

Liz Silva, associate dean of graduate programs and chair of the preliminary judges this year, said, "It’s so much fun hearing about the amazing work our students are doing, and seeing the real passion they have for their research. I’m sure every year the committee has a tough time narrowing it down, and this year was no different.”

The entire UCSF community and the public are invited to attend Grad Slam Live. The event will conclude with an announcement of the winner, who will be awarded $3,000. The runner-up will receive $1,500, and the “people’s choice” winner, chosen by the audience present, will get $750. There will also be a trivia contest and a celebratory reception. This year, for the first time, the event will also be live-streamed to Parnassus (Room S 214), where attendees can participate in the audience vote and enjoy refreshments after the talks.