26 March 2019

The winner of the fifth edition of scientific pitch competition Radboud Talks is neuroscientist Suhas Vijayakumar, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Donders Institute. Suhas’ pitch about what makes us human was chosen as the best by the expert jury. Research physician Sarah Verhoeff from the department of Medical Oncology won the audience award.

Suhas Vijayakumar was awarded with the jury prize of 1.000 euros science communication budget in a full LUX. In his research, he studies differences between brains of humans and our nearest evolutionary cousins, the great apes. By using brain scans to compare structural and functional differences, and studying behavioral aspects of various species, he hopes to contribute to the all-important question: ‘What makes us human?’. The expert jury – which consisted of science journalists Esther Thole and Jop de Vrieze, and Radboud Reflects programmer Anouta de Groot judged his pitch the most convincing in respect to content, clarity and charisma. In total, eight young scientists delivered three-minute pitches during the final.
 
The audience award went to Sarah Verhoeff, research physician at the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS), theme Rare cancers. Her talk about how radioactivity can be used to ‘light up’ cancer cells made her win the hearts of the audience. She explained how a new therapy for cancer, immunotherapy, does not work for all patients. By using a radioactive label, Sarah is able to visualize all cancer cells in the body, and in this way she can evaluate the effectivity of the treatment.
 
Three minutes, no boring PowerPoints
Radboud Talks is a pitch competition where scientists from all disciplines tell their story in just three minutes for a live audience and jury. Traditional PowerPoint presentations are strictly prohibited, so no borings lists or charts. Instead, young researchers deliver science like you’ve never seen it before.
 
Besides pitches, there was music by the Student Big Band Nijmegen and a literary closing by writer Lisa Weeda from production company De Nieuwe Oost.

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