First Place 2021/22

Investigating COVID-19 induced myocarditis of down syndrome patients

Competition Material

Elevator Pitch Video

Poster Presentation Video

Meet the team member

team 13 picture.PNG

Yein Chung

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St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, Grade 12

Fun Fact:  I’ve lived on three different continents! 

What's next for you: I plan to continue working on various projects with my research mentor, Dr. Rhee from Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. After graduating high school, I will study Life Sciences at the University of Toronto and pursue undergraduate research opportunities. I also plan to continue volunteering at K-BioX, a non-profit organization, to develop a platform for communication/networking for Korean life scientists around the world. 

Why did you choose your project?

My project was about how SARS-CoV-2 affects the hearts of individuals with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is associated with increased SARS-CoV-2 related risks, but there is a lack of research done to understand the potential causes. Although Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal anomaly that affects 1 in 750 babies in Canada, it is still underrepresented and under-researched. Therefore, my proposal aims to use engineered heart tissues from patient-derived iPSCs, and investigate their response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

What has IgNITE taught you?

IgNITE has taught me how to communicate better with other students and researchers. Throughout the two rounds of the competition, I got to practice various skills by writing an abstract, making an elevator pitch video, and preparing a poster presentation and Q&A sessions. I learned that research entails so much more than just reading papers, and I hope to use the skills I learned in IgNITE to contribute back to the scientific field. 


Do you have any advice for future competitors?

My advice for future competitors would be to pick a topic you would enjoy researching about. Even though it’s a competition, IgNITE provides resources that help students grow as researchers. From my personal experience, it has been challenging to find research opportunities offered to high school students, so my advice would be to have fun and to get the most out of your experience! Another piece of advice would be to reach out when you need help because your mentor will be there to help you :) Thanks to my mentor Laurel for always being there for me!

Next goal

Publishing a peer-reviewed paper as a co-author for the first time! 

Casey Wong

A message to my team

Dear Kyuree, Congratulations on winning the IgNITE competition!!! I am so proud of you and I hope you are very proud of yourself for all the effort and dedication you put into your proposal as well as all the learning you accomplished throughout this competition! It was a pleasure to mentor you, watch you progress, and see your excitement for research grow. This win was well deserved, and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next! Wishing you all the best, Sarah 

Meet the team mentor


University of Ottawa, Neuroscience Master’s Student, Second Year


Fun Fact:  My dog is named after a character from Atlantis the Lost Empire. (Kida!) 

Current research project title: Modelling Sifrim-Hitz-Weiss Syndrome using mouse genetics 


IgNITE is a great way to get some first exposure to the world of scientific research!! I encourage you to participate and see just how capable you are at understanding and participating in the research process!


My IgNITE journey

Mentoring the IgNITE competition has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I am amazed at the progress students were able to make from first learning about research techniques to developing a fully thought out and professional research proposal. Watching my team’s excitement and interest to pursue research reminded me of why I got interested in research in the first place. It was wonderful to engage with younger students and see their passion and understanding for research grow. By the end of the competition, I was amazed at the level and competency with which Kyuree (Team 48) presented her research.

Advice for future competitors