Annual Meeting 2023

Learn From These Five-Minute Thesis Finalists at the Annual Meeting

Devin Rose - April 03, 2023

Here are the three finalists participating in our first-ever Five-Minute Thesis session on May 17.

If you’re attending the 26th Annual Meeting and interested in presenting your thesis more clearly and concisely, learn from the three finalists of our inaugural Five-Minute Thesis Challenge, Sergi Verdés, Sandhya Sharma, and John S. Riley, MD, MS.

On Wednesday, May 17 at 8 a.m. (PT), Mr. Verdés, Ms. Sharma, and Dr. Riley will each present their own work live during the Five-Minute Presentation Challenge. Following the presentations, a panel of judges will select a winner. We look forward to learning from the research of these associate members at the Annual Meeting!

Meet the Finalists

Sergi Verdés is a PhD student at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain. He will discuss a novel gene therapy approach for ALS by targeting the muscles and overexpressing the pleiotropic protein α-Klotho. Besides ALS, his research interests include treatment for spinal cord and nerve injuries, peripheral neuropathies, adrenoleukomyeloneuropathy, and aging.


Sandhya Sharma is a PhD candidate at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research experience includes Epstein Barr virus specific T-cells (EBVSTs) against EBV-positive lymphoma, and overcoming immune evasion strategies associated with antigen-specific T-cells. She aspires to become an independent principal investigator and understand T-cell signaling to modulate cells’ behavior and translate T-cell immunotherapies into the clinic against infections and various malignancies.

John S. Riley, MD, MS, is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Center for Fetal Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an assistant instructor in surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are the opportunities and challenges posed by the maternal and fetal immune systems to fetal gene and cell therapies.


The Five-Minute Thesis Challenge is sponsored by the Trainee Committee and intended to encourage trainees, new investigators, and post-docs an opportunity to highlight their work.

Devin is ASGCT's communications manager.

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