Jasmin Ceja-Vega

Iona College

College Student

CME Summer Scholar

As of May 2022, Ms. Jasmin Ceja-Vega is a junior studying biochemistry at Iona College with interests in pharmaceutical and biomaterials research that impacts public health. plans to earn his Ph.D. in chemistry and aspirations to become a professor. She has three years biophysical research experience through “Project Symphony” which is probing cell membranes in a team setting. She is one of four winners of the 2022 CME STEM Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarships.

Date of Research: June 1 – August 15, 2022
College Lab: Iona College, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Research Group: Project Symphony, 715 North Ave., New Rochelle, NY, 10801
Research Advisor/Professor: Prof. Sunghee Lee, Iona College

Abstract Title: Interaction of phytochemicals with biomembranes: Effect of phospholipid composition and cholesterol on dynamic membrane properties

Phytochemicals from plants have caught public attention for their antitumor, antimicrobial, and neuroprotective properties, however, a detailed description of their mechanism of action is lacking. This research project investigates the non-specific interactions of phytochemicals with a model membrane system, the droplet interface bilayer, in the presence and absence of cholesterol. These interactions may influence protein structure and biological function and thus provide a possible mode of action.