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Third Place 2020/21

Injection of Allogeneic Mitochondria to Regenerate Osteoarthritic Cartilage in Mice

Competition Material

Elevator Pitch Video

Poster Presentation Video

Meet the team members

Elizabeth Youjin Youn

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Université de Montréal, Année préparatoire au doctorat en médecine

Fun Fact: I have a 2nd dan black belt in taekwondo.

What's next for you: Exploring research in the real world of medicine building on my first experience with IgNITE.

Yu Si.jpg
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Yu Si Chen

Université de Montréal, Année préparatoire au doctorat en médecine

Fun Fact: I can ride a bike without using my hands.

What's next for you: Learning more about the stock market.

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Jeremy Azar

Université de Montréal, Année préparatoire au doctorat en médecine

Fun Fact: I used to collect hotel room soaps and shampoo bottles!

What's next for you: Pursuing different research opportunities in the field of medicine to expand my knowledge and develop new skills.

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Matthew Zhu

Université de Montréal, Année préparatoire au doctorat en médecine

Fun Fact: I can play/am willing to learn to play any card/board game.

What's next for you: Finishing the rest of my school year without too much stress.

Why did you choose your project?

We decided to design a study evaluating a potential regenerative treatment for osteoarthritis because we were surprised to find that such a common illness had no possible treatments other than painkillers and total knee replacement surgery. Osteoarthritis affects 1 in 10 people in developed nations and that number is set to grow with an aging population and the obesity epidemic. Moreover, the number of knee replacement surgeries is projected to increase fivefold by 2030. Considering that there is already a shortage of surgeons, the healthcare system will struggle to keep up. Finding a regenerative treatment for osteoarthritis that targets the root of the illness could have significant benefits for affected patients and for the healthcare system in general. 

What has IgNITE taught you?

IgNITE has taught us the importance of teamwork. Together, we brainstormed research ideas, wrote our first scientific abstract and prepared a poster presentation. Through this process, we learned to divide tasks efficiently. We bounced ideas off each other, harnessed our creativity and made our differences our strengths. In addition, our mentor Samy supervised our project and guided us in our thought process, providing invaluable advice which helped us stay on track. Overall, the connections we made with each other and our mentor made our IgNITE journey special and incredibly enriching.

Do you have any advice for future competitors?

Pick a subject that you genuinely are interested in. Listen to your mentor and ask them all your questions, they are there to help you. Ensure that every member’s voice is heard and assign tasks according to each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Assign one person to lead the team in discussions and plan times to meet up and work. During work sessions, take breaks to clear your mind if you feel like you’re not making any progress. Don’t procrastinate like we did, you want to leave some time if you need to make last-minute changes.

What is your next goal?

Matthew: My next goal is to find a research lab for the summer. In addition, I’d like to find other opportunities to learn about the workings of a laboratory, as well as other venues of social networking with those experienced in the field of medicine.

Elizabeth: In the future, I would like to explore another topic in medicine and eventually publish a complete research paper.

Yu Si: Looking ahead, I want to improve my public speaking to one day present a research project to a live scientific audience.

Jeremy: In the near future, I am looking to gain experience in different research settings, including laboratories in academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies. I am interested in what goes on behind the scenes for all the different phases of drug development.

Meet the team mentor

Samy Asroui

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