Sunand Kannappan


Sunand Kannappan

Name: Sunand Kannappan

Age: 16

Grade: 11th

Born: March 16, 1999

Birthplace: Chennai, India

Current Residence: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Primary Education: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

High School Education: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Siblings: None

Interests: Science, Debating, Classical and Modern Vocal Music, Politics, Public Speaking, Basketball, Volunteerism


  • I was born on March 16, 1999 in Chennai, India.
  • At the age of 3, I moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada to start the next chapter of my life for nearly 10 years.
  • During my time in Windsor, my first major fascinations were chess and karate. I competed locally for both of them by the time I was 10 years old. I enjoyed the analytical aspect of both of these things and enjoyed them thoroughly.
  • From a young age, I had a large interest math and science and read extensively on topics that I enjoyed.
  • As an only child, my friends were a significant part of my life in Windsor.
  • Leaving everything behind at the age of 10 after the 6th Grade, I moved to Calgary, Alberta.
  • My first science fair was in my first year in Calgary.
  • I studied Oil extraction processes and won a Geoscience award from the University of Calgary Geology Department
  • For the next few years, I shifted my focus to cancer research, starting with evaluating current methods.
  • Soon after, I began my research in Grade 9 at the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, developing more effective diagnosis and treatment methods for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.


“Despite the prevalence of Non-Small-Cell-Lung-Cancer (NSCLC) with over 1.4 million deaths annually, NSCLC survival rates are notoriously low. Acknowledging the need for more effective treatment and diagnosis methods which target molecular mechanisms of NSCLC, this project focuses on the CDK5RAP2 enzyme. CDK5RAP2 was found to be upregulated in NSCLC cell lines, while having high potential of contributing to NSCLC through investigated Mad2 and CDK5 pathways.


  • I travelled across Canada for the National Science Fair CWSF 2014 & 2015, ranking in the top 10 projects of my age group for both years.
  • In addition, I presented my research at innovation conferences including Innovate Calgary and the AsTech Gen Showcase.
  • I also became involved in debate, as a member of Team Alberta for two years 2014 and 2015, I also travelled across the country for the national debate tournament, ranking in the Top 20, and Top 10 in the nations, respectively.


“Currently in Grade 11, studying at Sir Winston Churchill High School, Sunand Kannappan is an avid science enthusiast who has travelled across the country to present his work on lung cancer at conferences and science fairs. Since grade 9, his research has been ranked as the Top 10 youth science projects of his age group in the nation, rewarding him with scholarships from both the University of Western Ontario and University of Calgary at the age of 15. As a researcher at the University of Calgary (Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute), Sunand has a passion for science that doesn’t stop at the books, for the past two years, he has spent countless hours in the lab, working on his project which investigates novel methods of diagnosis and treatment of Non-Small Lung Cancer. However, Sunand finds great satisfaction in spreading this love for STEM through communication. As an avid debater, on Team Alberta, having represented Alberta at national competitions, Sunand has the skill of conveying intricate and powerful messages in a captivating and moving way.”


  • I don’t have any pets, but I love dogs and hope to get one soon.
  • I enjoy music, and sing classical and pop music.
  • I also enjoy basketball, having played for both scholastic and non-scholastic leagues in my city.
  • I am a fan of thriller movies, especially with Christian Bale, and by director Christopher Nolan.
  • I enjoy learning about current events and policy making of our nations.
  • I enjoy volunteering for causes I care about, and have volunteered at the Salvation Army Centre in Calgary Central, and also at Senior Citizen Centres.
  • I am also on the Youth Council for CCSAB – (Canadian Cancer Society), and enjoy helping the society promote their cause and work.
  • I currently study Full IB at Sir Winston Churchill High School.
  • I enjoy Calgarian life with cold winters, beautiful views, amazing people and a wonderful opportunity for young people to succeed.

CWSF 2014 – Windsor, Ontario®ionid=

CWSF 2015 – Fredericton, New Brunswick®ionid=

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