Fall 2020 Three Minute Thesis winner Sophie Boorman named one of eight regional finalists

Published: March 12, 2021

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Auburn University’s fall 2020 Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT, winner Sophie Boorman was named one of eight finalists at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ Region 3MT competition. She outperformed institutional winners from over 40 universities across the South.

Boorman’s research concerns inflammatory joint disease (osteoarthritis) in horses. Local anesthetic and steroids, both of which are mildly toxic to joint cells, are traditionally used in veterinary medicine to diagnose and treat this disease. The current practice involves diagnosis using intra-articular local anesthetic during lameness examination, followed by a 7-day rest period before treatment with intra-articular steroids. The rest period is based only on anecdotal evidence and the value of it is unknown. Her research uses cellular models to expose joint tissues to steroids and local anesthetic both alone, in combination simultaneously and utilizing a 7 day rest period. By evaluating the cell response, she hopes to determine if this rest period is valuable to the horse.

Sophie hails from a village near Cambridge, England, and graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2016. She moved to the US shortly afterwards and completed internships and research fellowships in Kentucky and Pennsylvania prior to coming to Auburn. She is currently completing an equine surgery residency as part of a master’s program in clinical sciences. Her time is split between the lab and the clinic, performing daily surgery and lameness examinations.

Founded by the University of Queensland in 2008, the 3MT is an academic competition designed to improve research presentation and communication skills. Participants are challenged to present their research in three minutes to a general audience. The Graduate School encourages Auburn graduate students to enter the upcoming fall 2021 3MT competition.

For information, contact Dale Watson.

Submitted by: Laura Fuller

Sophie Boorman