A PhD candidate whose research is giving a voice back to critically ill patients has won The University of Queensland’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final.
Anna-Liisa Sutt, a speech pathologist at Prince Charles Hospital and a UQ School of Medicine researcher, won both the overall and people’s choice awards for her presentation ‘Dying to Talk’.
Runner-up was Thisun Piyasena from the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, whose presentation was titled ‘Taming the chimera’.
Ms Sutt said her research was inspired by patients in intensive care units left voiceless by breathing tubes for ventilation.
“These vulnerable patients were desperate to communicate but were unable to talk because there was no air movement through their voice box,” she said.
“A speaking valve existed that could give them back their voice, but was not being widely used due to concerns that it could be harmful to patients’ lungs.
“My research showed that patients who used the speaking valve had better lung function, and it is now being used at Prince Charles Hospital.”
Ms Sutt is supervised by Professor John Fraser from UQ and Dr Petrea Cornwell from Griffith University.
3MT is a globally-recognised competition which was developed by UQ.
It challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis in three minutes, and in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.
More than 400 institutions across six continents are holding 3MT events this year.
As the overall winner of the UQ final, Ms Sutt receives a $5000 research/travel grant and entry into the Asia-Pacific 3MT in Brisbane on Friday 30 September.
She gets an additional $1000 as the people’s choice award winner.
Media: Kim Lyell, UQ Faculty of Medicine, email@example.com, +61 7 33465214, 0427 530647.