Timothy Frost tied for first place at the Western Association of Graduate School’s 3-Minute Thesis Competition in Las Vegas for his presentation about “lung-on-a-chip” devices. The small silicone devices use real human cells to simulate the environment of a human lung, allowing researchers to test new drug therapies more efficiently and cost-effectively than they can with methods such as animal testing.
The competition was designed to highlight scientists’ abilities to communicate their research to the public. Frost won the judges over by making his presentation specific to the event’s Las Vegas setting, highlighting the relative expense of current methods of drug testing and development.
“Tonight on the strip, all the casinos combined earned a collective 18 million dollars,” he said. “That’s a lot of money for one night. But it would take all those casinos nearly six months of saving in order to foot the bill for a new treatment for heart disease or cancer.”