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3MT Spotlight: Megan Pitz and Dasuni Rathnaweera

This year, CURF was proud to sponsor the CURF-3MT People’s Choice Award for the Clemson University 3 Minute Thesis Competition. We are excited to announce two recipients for this year: Megan Pitz and Dasuni Rathnaweera. 

Congratulations to our Round 1 People’s Choice Award Winner, Megan Pitz! Megan grew up in East Tennessee and attended the University of Tennessee for her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering. She came to Clemson to pursue her Ph.D. with Dr. Angela Alexander-Bryant's Nanobiotechnology lab.

During the 3 Minute Thesis Competition, Pitz presented her research “Modular Drug Delivery: The Future of Personalized Cancer Medicine.” Her work focuses on novel peptide-based delivery systems for drug and gene therapies in glioblastoma multiforme treatment. 
After completing her Ph.D. she hopes to pursue a career in science policy and science communication. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, ballet, reading, and crocheting. She has an amazing husband and 4 children (3 cats and 1 dog).

And congratulations to our Round 2 People’s Choice Award Winner, Dasuni Rathnaweera! Dasuni Rathnaweera is originally from Sri Lanka, and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, Sri Lanka. She is currently a third year Ph.D. candidate in Tran’s Lab - Materials Chemistry Whisperers.

During the 3 Minute Thesis Competition, Rathnaweera presented his research titled “Beyond Silicon: Unveiling next-gen materials through Chemistry.” In simple terms, Rathnaweera works to discover the next material after Silicon, specifically focusing on the use of spintronic materials. Spintronic materials represent a cutting edge field in the realm of electronic materials, influencing how we process and store information in electronic devices.  As a young scientist, Rathnaweera believes it is essential to bridge the gap between the importance of fundamental scientific research and public awareness and demonstrate the real world impact of scientific research. Participating in the 3MT competition as one of the finalists was a proactive move to make fundamental research more accessible and understandable to everyone. 

CURF would like to congratulate these two recipients again for their hard work and outstanding presentations!

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