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Applying for INTEL ISEF

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:05 pm
by Minuoja C
My research is on psoriasis. Here is a small background for my research: T helper 1 (Th1) cells have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, where serum IL-2 levels are often elevated. Plant extracts, such as indigo naturalis extract and cocoa polyphenol extract, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on T cells, endothelial cells, and epidermal cells in vitro. However, cocoa polyphenol extract have not been investigated in psoriasis. We hypothesized that cocoa polyphenol extract will have an anti-inflammatory effect on Th1 cells, and decrease their production of IFN-gamma and IL-2. Findings showing that this plant extract can suppress Th1 production of IFN-gamma IL-2 would provide evidence for its potential role as therapeutic agents in treating patients with psoriasis.

I did the experiment at a lab affiliated to McGill University during this summer after doing the extraction of polyphenols from cocoa powder at a biochemistry lab at Université du Québec à Montréal. The experiment went pretty good and my hypothesis got confirmed. At 20 micrograms/ml, cocoa extract decreased of around 84% the amount of IFN-gamma and the resuls with IL-2 were also very good.

BUT, I realised while trying to apply for INTEL ISEF at Youth Science Canada that I had to fill out some forms BEFORE doing the experiment which I haven't done. Also, for the experiment, we had to use the spleen of a mouse since we were going to treat afterwards the splenocytes with my extract of polyphenols. To remove the spleen, we had to euthanize the animal solely for my project. AND I have to mention that it's the researcher who was supervising me who done that step. I would like to know if there is a way that I could still participate even if I haven't filled out the forms and also, is it ok that we had to perform euthanisia for the purpose of my project, can I still apply? I also have another question: what is IACUC approval form and did I had to fill it out before starting the experiment? Also, my last question is about the forms that I have to fill in, should I fill in the vertebrate animal form AND/OR the human or vertebrate animal tissue form?

I am very confused with all the forms that I have to fill out and the complexity of the application for INTEL ISEF. However, I would really like to participate in this amazing competition and I would be very grateful to you if you could help me out by answering my questions.

Thank you.


Re: Applying for INTEL ISEF

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:59 am
by amyc
Hi Minuoja - Another expert may be able to help with some of the questions you have asked about categorizing the project, but the best place to get the kind of specific answers you need regarding the forms (and whether or not you can file them after the fact) is from the Society for Science & the Public (SSP). They have a rules wizard, which may help identify the necessary forms: ... /index.asp

Additional forms information:

Since you have questions regarding timing, you may need to contact them directly for an official response to ensure appropriate steps are taken to ensure your eligibility. The contact information for the ISEF SRC (Scientific Review Committee) is listed on the page above.

Good luck!

Science Buddies

Re: Applying for INTEL ISEF

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:16 pm
by Minuoja C
Hi Amy,
Thank you for your kind reply. I already tried the rules wizard and I had some confusing results. Also, since I have to apply to Youth Science Canada first and that they will apply for Intel, I will follow what you suggested me and write to contact them directly (Youth Science Canada). I appreciate your help which is very useful.

Thank you again!