Team:Elan Vital South Korea/t overview


Team Profile

Élan vital means ‘vital force’ in French. A French philosopher Henri Bergson used it to explain the self-organization and spontaneous morphogenesis of complex organisms.

Élan vital is a club of high school students interested in synthetic biology. The club was founded in January 2014, by five members from five different schools in Korea: Ye Eun Lee, senior of Bugil GLP, Ji Hoon Kim, Junior of CSIA, Soo Jung Lee, junior of HUFS, Ji Yong Hong, Junior of Sunrin Internet High School and Young Chan Kim, Sophomore of Stanford University OHS. This year, we have conducted MRSA research project, guided by Professor You-Jin Hwang of Gacheon Medical School. We are blessed to have an opportunity to learn from one of the best minds in the medical community of Korea, and to use the labs and cutting-edge equipment of the excellent medical school such as PCR Machine, Shaking Incubator, Centrifuge, and Mechanical Pipette.

This is our first year, but we have big dreams. We will be one of the best high school clubs in Korea for kids who have deep interest and talent in the synthetic biology. And, we are committed to continue participating in iGem events and activities.

Our Intro Video


Ye Eun Lee

My name is Ye Eun Lee. I am a senior in Bugil Highschool Global Leaders Program. My biggest stress reliever is dance. I believe that dance brings positive energy and boosts endorphin to people. Besides dancing, I like taking care of animals, especially sick ones. I have raised various kinds of animals: rabbits, hamsters, quails, dogs, cats, frogs, and silkworms. I feel great joy when I see them happily running here and there after they recover. This explains why I want to be a doctor. My ultimate goal is to bring bright energy and life to any living creature. Therefore the term “Elan Vital” is a special term for me in that the term is deeply related to life and health of living organisms. I think our team Elan Vital, through the experiments and research, will widen the understanding of a particular topic in the medical field and therefore increase the public’s interest to the people’s health. Finally, we could get closer to the “vital force” of living organisms. It was a great chance for me to work and run experiments with such advanced equipment in a lab in medical university. One thing that was as impressive to me as the great chance of using professional apparatus was the wonderful teamwork our team showed. Although we attend different schools and have different schedules, not even one of the teammates work lazily for Igem. I think our results and wiki demonstrates how hard and well we worked as a team.

Jihoon Kim

I am Jihoon, junior of CheongShim International Academy(CSIA). I am interested in physics and mathematics and I like to play basketball and play the violin when I have free time.

As a member of Elan Vital, I always enjoy having lab experiments with my teammates. During lab experiments, all members get to directly participate in the experiment and experience special things you can’t learn by reading books. Also, not only in academic perspective, I learned the way to reach harmony within the group and to succeed as a team.

For me, Elan Vital is a great school which teaches me valuable lessons. The most memorable moment I remember during experiments was when I first met the members of Elan Vital. At the first meeting, I was anxious about the harmony of this group because every member seemed so different. It seemed that we had different ages, schools, interests, and perspectives. However, when we had continuous meetings, we learned to cooperate, and understand each other. It is amazing for me that we have united as a group of Elan Vital.

Young Chan Kim

My name is Young Chan Kim, and I am sophomore of the Stanford Online High School, a very special school. You don’t need to go to school because my school is virtual. Although it is a little challenging, the new online environment and the course are really appealing, and besides, who doesn’t love a little challenge?

In my free time, I enjoy reading books and also love playing with my dog. His name is Sunday, and he is a cute 1 year old golden retriever. When I play the viola, Sunday likes to howl along to the tune. I also like watching movies. And I really enjoy art and love listening to and singing music. I also play the ice hockey. I’m quite a good defender. My favorite subjects are math and science: particularly physics, biology, and maybe chemistry. I plan on going into the sciences later, which is why I thought it was a good idea to participate in iGEM now so I can hit the ground running. Since I was little, I was interested in the sciences. Not only because I was good at them, but because I loved the motivation of science: to find out how things work, then to use that knowledge to help to make a world a better place. In that sense, iGEM was really good for me. Through iGEM, I learned how to use the machinery and equipment, and learned how to avoid biological health risks when dealing with dangerous biological organisms. Most importantly, I learned how to work together and cooperate with team members. I’ve worked with teams before, but in prior projects, the teachers mostly told us how to do things, and we only needed to follow the instructions carefully. Now, the team decided how to do things, and I learned a lot about how to cooperate with the team in an independent research project like this one.

Soojung Lee

I am junior of Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies.

During my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching movies or playing Baduk, an Eastern board game that requires a great level of concentration and tenacity. I also like to play the violin and piano, because these musical instruments do a great job in helping me relieve my stress.

Ever since I was young, I have been interested in many areas rather than be focused on one specific subject of interest. I believe that studies of the sciences allows me to have a more logical and analytical understanding of all sorts of natural phenomena and principles, whereas studies of the humanities field enables me to truly understand the world I am living in, and have a better insight of the society and people. Yet, among this wide variety of areas of great appeal, I am driven to pursue a future related to science, especially material science and engineering. Just by looking at our surroundings, we can perceive that all objects have materials at their basis, and those materials are what account for the objects’ properties. Even when creations are made, the key focus today is which material guarantees greatest strength and durability at high temperatures. Fascinated at how the slightest change in materials can lead to a significant improvement of the properties and effectiveness of objects, I hope to become a researcher of that field, focusing on composite materials that include fiber, ceramics, metal, and many more.

Ji Yong Hong

I am Junior at Sunrin Internet High School. In our school, we learn various computer programming related subjects in web development division.

My hobbies are cardistry, and skateboarding. I've been cardistry for about an year and skateboarding for about 3 months. I also like to listen to musics, typically korean hip hops.

Being a team member of Elan Vital in iGEM competition has set my next milestone. I had a great chance to meet new friends from different schools and experiment in labs. I really enjoyed working with my friends on wiki, which explains that my future career is to be a web developer, I guess. Making a wiki page was little differ from what I have been coding before, so My friend, a designer, and I had to think of different layout for it. Having these kind of experience made me more professional at what I do, and I wish I could get more of them.

Yae Sung MunCoach

My name is Yae Sung Mun and I am a graduate student of Gachon Universiy. My life-long pursuit is synthetic biology and currently majoring bio-nano technology. I am really happy to be part of iGem and thankful to have an opportunity to work with Elan Vital. All of them are self-motivated, hardworking future scientists and we had fun during all the way along reaching iGem Jamboree. I hope I can continue to work with Elan Vital and iGem in the future.

You Jin HwangInstructor

When I first encountered iGem, I was very delighted for the existence of this wonderful community. As a scientist and professor, I am keenly aware of the great potential of synthetic biology for the well-being of humanity. I am very pleased to see that my team, Elan Vital, consistently shows enthusiasm and dedication to the research project, which can be difficult for the high school students. I believe that this is the first step for them to grow to be good scientists who have great heart and sharp technology as well as intellectual discipline. I feel rewarded to witness their growth throughout the process of lab experimentation and research activities. Also, I am impressed with their interests in the society demonstrated in the works of their human practice.


Lab Members: All Elan Vital members have participated in all lab experiments and discussed and recorded the results with full cooperation. Ye Eun Lee, Ji Hoon Kim, Soo Jung Lee, Ji Yong Hong, Young Chan Kim.

Research Activities: All Elan Vital members have participated in the research activities, studying, analyzing and sharing opinions.

Wiki Page Development: Ji Yong Hong has led the development of Wiki Page and other members have helped him by providing contents and opinions of the design and implementation of it.

Presentation Drafting: Young Chan Kim has led the development of presentation material and other members have contributed to it by giving their feedback and opinion.

Public Awareness: Ye Eun Lee has taken initiative in the public awareness campaign to develop information leaflet and lead the distribution of it whenever and wherever possible. She encouraged all members to make general public aware of the risk of MRSA infection by distributing information leaflet on streets and visiting nursing homes.

Human Practice: Soo Jung Lee has led the project to visit hospitals and private clinics to explain the hazard of MRSA and to promote thorough treatment of it.

Promotion & Sponsor Recruitment: Ji Hoon Kim has taken the lead of promoting iGem by sending information material to many high schools in Korea and contacting possible sponsors. Through well-design plan and presentation, he has greatly contributed to the securing of 5 sponsors.