Watch the 2024 Grad Slam event below

2024 Grad Slam

The Berkeley Grad Slam 2024 campus competition will take place on Tuesday, April 9, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom. All are welcome to watch as up to 10 semi-finalists present their research in three-minute talks. During this event, attendees will get to vote on who wins the “People Choice” award. The Berkeley first-place winner will advance to compete against the other UC finalists at the UC-wide competition in May. 


Grad Slam 2024 Semi-finalists

Anna Dmitrieva, Plant and Microbial Biology

Let's Root for Plants Getting Stronger!

A third-year Ph.D. candidate in Plant Biology, Anna got into plant research by doing extensive fieldwork in Illinois. She is passionate about improving food security by addressing current and future agricultural challenges. Currently, she is studying genetic mechanisms of root regeneration, which may create new avenues for crop improvement efforts. She is fascinated by plant adaptations and by natural diversity.

Jin Hyung Lim, School Psychology

Seeing the Unseen: Chinese American Adolescents' Mental Health

Jin Hyung is a second-year PhD student in the School Psychology Program at the Berkeley School of Education. As an international student from South Korea, he is passionate about promoting the mental health of Asian American students, teachers, and families. Guided by the social-ecological framework and resilience theory, he studies how school and community resources can function as promotive and protective factors for the psychological well-being of Asian Americans.

Joel Rubio, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health

Exposing the Public Health Crisis in Immigration Enforcement

Joel is a second-year MPH student with a concentration in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health. As a first-generation, Spanish-speaking, Latine former foster youth, he aims to use his personal experiences to contribute to public health research, focusing on the critical issue of immigration enforcement and family separation. Having gone through this challenging experience himself, his research aims to understand the perception of immigration policies and how they impact the mental well-being of Latine adolescents.

Kamyar Behrouzi, Mechanical Engineering

AI-Powered Plasmonic Biosensing

Kamyar, a 5th-year PhD student from Iran, specializes in developing new technologies for the next generation of biosensors, particularly focusing on optical biosensing. His research involves creating innovative methods for highly sensitive and multiplexed diagnostics, driven by his passion for providing universal access to regular health monitoring and early disease diagnosis.

Keyanna Ortiz-Cedeño, City and Regional Planning

Convenient Catastrophes: How CLTs Can Mitigate Disaster Capitalism

Keyanna is a second year Masters in City Planning student at UC Berkeley from South Texas. She is a podcaster for the Goldman School’s Talk Policy to Me podcast and has a professional background in housing and economic development, human rights, and disaster recovery. Keyanna’s journey combating gentrification, racial justice, and housing policy started in the 4th grade, witnessing the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Matangi Kumar, Vision Science Graduate Program

The Eye Under Pressure: Novel Therapeutics to Treat Glaucoma

Matangi is a 3rd-year Ph.D. candidate in the Vision Science department, conducting research in the Gronert and Flanagan labs, focusing on the study of neuroinflammation in glaucoma. With a father diagnosed with glaucoma, she is interested in studying the mechanisms of this neurodegenerative disease and is passionate about researching novel neurotherapeutic treatments to improve vision loss. She is excited to have the opportunity to share her research in this year’s Grad Slam!

Radha Mastandrea, Physics

Uncovering the Potential of the Higgs Boson

Radha Mastandrea is a 3rd year PhD student in physics. Her research brings together the fields of particle physics and machine learning, specifically through developing search strategies to look for signs of new physics using data from particle colliders. Outside of research, Radha has helped to develop a curriculum for beginning scientists to develop their machine-learning toolkits.

Victoria Chevee, Molecular and Cell Biology

A Bacterium's Journey: From Guts to Brain

Victoria is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular and Cell Biology program. She is interested in microbes and how they interact with their hosts, particularly when it comes to pathogens. Her work currently focuses on bacterial replication and dissemination during infections that affect the brain. Besides research, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Watch the 2023 Berkeley Grad Slam event below