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Jan. 23, 2020

Grad student awarded for explanation of scientific research

Fast facts

  • Graduate student explains microbiology research in 2-minute video
  • Video wins second place in national competition
  • Video can be seen here:

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — If you think complex research at the interface between entomology and plant pathology, as well as cell and molecular biology sounds like a mouthful, try sharing the details in a two-minute video that summarizes your whole effort.

VIDEO — Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. student Rinalda Proko

That's exactly what Rinalda Proko did. A University of Arkansas graduate student in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, Proko conducts research with U of A System Division of Agriculture research faculty.

Proko’s video won second place in the nationally competitive American Society for Cell Biology annual Elevator Pitch competition, building on her earlier success in the U of A Three-Minute Thesis competition. 

In the call for submissions, ASCB encourages graduate research students to explain scientific research so that it's understandable "to everyone - to the public, to your grandmother, to politicians - and do it with flair."

Proko is part of Dr. Martin Egan's fungal cell biology research group in the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture. She is working toward a solution to rice blast disease caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. The practical application of the research could result in significant increases in crop sustainability for the world's rice and wheat harvests.

As seen in the video, Proko estimates the amount of rice that could be recovered by elimination of the disease would be enough to feed more than 60 million people. Proko said defeating the disease she calls a "global cereal killer" would provide more healthy food for the worldwide population.

To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch and Instagram at ArkAgResearch.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Media Contact: Amy Unruh
Communications Director
Graduate School and International Education
University of Arkansas
(479) 575-5809

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