The Art of the Immune System Student Competition

La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) hosts an annual art competition for San Diego County students grades 9-12. This art competition is a chance for local high school students to learn about immune system research and inspire others to see the beauty in science!

First place winner Jennifer Yu illustrated the vulnerability and power of the lungs and heart.

Our 2022 competition has now ended. We will announce the 2023 competition details in Fall 2022. Interested students and educators may send any questions to Madeline McCurry-Schmidt at

2022 competition winners:

  • First place: Jennifer Hu, Canyon Crest Academy
  • Second place: Neshama Reed, IDEA Center High School
  • Third place: Kelly Dai, Canyon Crest Academy
  • Runner up: Sofia Nielsen, Notre Dame Academy

View the 2022 winning pieces

2021 competition winners:

  • First place: Elzie-Joy Arinduque, West Hills High School
  • Second place: Andrew Huynh, West Hills High School
  • Third place: Ariyah Mast, Patrick Henry High School
  • Runners up: Sophie Duan, Westview High School; Alexa Aguilar, Granite Hills High School

View the 2021 winning pieces

About the competition

The competition is open to students in grade 9-12 who go to school in San Diego County. Students may enter a work of art that represents any aspect of health or medical research. LJI staff are happy to work with educators in the sciences or arts who would like to incorporate the competition into their lesson plans. We welcome entries using any visual media, including digital art, sculpture and photography.

Projects completed as class assignments may be submitted to the competition. We ask that students submit individual projects, as we do not have a separate category for group projects.

Art pieces are judged by a panel of local artists, scientists and staff at La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Judges assess the art on whether they find it visually intriguing, whether it shows artistic skill, and if there is a clear connection in the piece to health/medical research.