Third Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition

Event Date: March 8, 2019

Winners Finalists Judges Emcee Event Photos

Competition Winners

First Place and People's Choice: Riddhi Falk-Mahapatra

Riddhi Falk-Mahapatra headshot.

PhD Program: Cancer Sciences, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Advisor: Sandra Gollnick

Biography: Riddhi Falk-Mahapatra is from India and has also lived in England. As a PhD student in Cancer Sciences, Roswell Park Graduate Division, her research ambition is to improve the efficacy of laser-based cancer therapy. Falk-Mahapatra is studying mechanisms by which anti-cancer immunity can be re-activated, and is using laser technology to re-train the immune system to identify and eliminate cancer. Her interests include traveling, playing board games, experimenting with new cuisines, meeting new people and reading. In the future, Falk-Mahapatra plans to work in the field of translational research.

Second Place: Konstantinos Plakas

Konstantinos Plakas headshot.

PhD Program: Chemistry

Advisor: Michael Detty

Biography: Konstantinos Plakas is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry and a member of the American Chemical Society. He is using synthetic organic chemistry to make molecules for probes that scientists can use to image the body. Plakas’ ambition is to develop more sensitive, less invasive tools for early detection of cancer. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing ice hockey, cycling and reading. In the future, Plakas plans to obtain a postdoctoral research position to study radiochemistry.

Third Place: Abdulrahman Hassaballah

Abdulrahman Hassaballah headshot.

PhD Program: Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Advisor: Lauren Sassoubre

Biography: From Cairo, Egypt, Abdulrahman Hassaballah is a PhD student in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, and a member of the New York Water Environment Association. His research focuses on the disinfection of microorganisms at water resource recovery facilities. Hassaballah aspires to develop new wastewater disinfection technologies as eco-friendly alternatives to traditional chlorine based wastewater treatment. Among his interests are skiing, hiking, camping and playing board games. Upon graduation, Hassaballah plans to continue working to protect the environment and water resources.