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Rangaraj wins Graduate College's 3MT competition

Ashwini Rangaraj in 3MT competition
Ashwini Rangaraj won the Iowa State University Graduate College Three-Minute Thesis competition in 2023.

Ashwini Rangaraj, genetics, development and cell biology graduate student, won the Iowa State University (ISU) Graduate College’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition held in November 2023 with her presentation, “Characterizing a novel DNA element in the placenta.” 

Rangaraj is a graduate student in the lab of GDCB Associate Professor Geetu Tuteja, and her major is in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.

Rangaraj told the Graduate College she came to ISU because of “the breadth of research at Iowa State, specifically the professors working on DNA mutations in disease, brought me to Iowa State University. I also had heard good things about it from my undergrad friends and seniors back in India.” She added, “My research involves tinkering with DNA and protein elements in cells of the placenta during pregnancy. Using our research at the DNA level, we hope to contribute in developing novel drug targets which help pregnancy-based disorders.”

Through her participation in the 3MT, Rangaraj said to the Graduate College, “I hope to alleviate anxiety related to general conversation and talking, work specifically on pauses and speed during public speaking, and get into the habit of preparation before any kind of presentation during and after my Ph.D.” 

View Rangaraj’s recording, as well as those of other graduate students, on the Graduate College's 3MT webpage.

Complete coverage of the 3MT competition is featured in the Iowa State Daily article, “Three minute thesis: Graduate student competition.”