Matthew Zhou

Effects of BMI and SSRI Use on Inflammation in Adolescents with Mood Disorders

London Central S.S.

Youth mental health disorders affect 1 in 5 children in Ontario alone. This project aims to identify markers of mood disorder progression in adolescents by investigating relationships between peripheral inflammation and clinical characteristics. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of monitoring BMI in psychiatric conditions to direct healthier lifestyle choices. In doing so, treatment plans for mood disorder patients can be better optimized.

Excellence Award – Senior Silver Medal
Western University  – $2000 Entrance Scholarship
Dalhousie University Faculty of Science  – $2500 Entrance Scholarship
UBC Science (Vancouver)  – $2000 Entrance Scholarship
University of New Brunswick – $2500 Entrance Scholarship
University of Ottawa – $2000 Entrance Scholarship



My name is Matthew Zhou and I am a Grade 12 student at London Central Secondary School. My interests include music, mathematics, chess, and science. I started playing piano at the age of six and I have won several awards at both regional and provincial competitions, including a Gold medal for the top Grade 10 RCM mark in Ontario. My interest in mathematics has led me to win multiple awards in math contests. I also enjoy playing chess and I have won many prizes in regional chess tournaments. My strong passion for the life sciences has allowed me to win various awards at past Canada-Wide Science Fair competitions. This year, I received the inspiration for my science fair project due to my interest in adolescent mood disorders. Youth mental health is a major concern in society; I aimed to investigate characteristics of the early developmental stages of psychiatric conditions in hopes of improving current standards for disease profiling. With my strong interest in life sciences, I hope to pursue a career in medicine. My advice for any newcomers to the science fair is to never ignore ideas that seem too difficult. With hard work and dedication, anything can be achieved!