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York Pharmaceutical Sci Scholar Presents in LA

A York College, CUNY student recently found herself in heady company presenting her research as a Madam C. J. Walker Scholarship Finalist.

The young scholar got to fly across the country from Queens to Los Angeles, poster in hand, to display and explain her research, developed under the mentorship of a Pharmaceutical Science mentor at York

Micaela Reyes, the Pharmaceutical Science major selected as a finalist for the Madam C. J. Walker Scholarship 2022, last fall, is back from her presentation. She had applied to the scholarship given by the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) sponsored by Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Although she had been notified she had not received the scholarship, Reyes had come thisclose and they wanted to honor her by having her share the research (Screening of Polymers as Potential Inhibitors Crystallization of Caffeine Solutions) at the SCC’s 76th Annual Scientific Meeting and Showcase. The research was done with her mentor, Dr. Daniele Musumeci. 

The event took place at the JW Marriott LA, December 12-14, 2022, and Reyes was recognized as a scholarship finalist at the annual awards breakfast. She had received numerous perks, including round trip fare and hotel stay for one night. She needed an additional night and the York College Foundation covered that cost.

“I had a great experience,” said Reyes. I connected with a lot of professionals: scientists, VPs, CEOs, salespeople from national and international companies. To me, it was easy to connect as I [already] knew some from past webinars, or courses I took here. I also learned where the cosmetic industry is going with innovations.”

Reyes says the field is not static, but that is one of the exciting aspects of it.

“I believe that a career in science gives infinite opportunities to learn and will be always changing,” said Reyes. “I really enjoyed talking about the research and to explain the poster with all the results. Many scientists gave me very good insights. They listened to what I was sharing; they asked really good questions, and [complimented] my work. “They said it’s quite a good work, with the different kinds of graphs and reductions.”

“I hope this experience allows me to help other students that might be interested in this field, said Reyes. I am very passionate about the cosmetics industry and I feel welcomed to start my journey.”

The researcher (Reyes) used caffeine compound “to study how polymers inhibit the recrystallization of active ingredients that are poor water soluble. Polymers are used in formulations (cosmetics and pharmaceutical )  to improve bioavailability of active ingredients.”

According to Reyes, “caffeine was used on this research as it is a good ingredient to study, because it has low water solubility, and due to its structure, allowed her to study the hydrogen bond interactions and how these affected the solubilization.” She also explained that Caffeine is used in cosmetics as an antiaging, anticellulite to name just a few benefits.

"Understanding how to effectively select a polymer in the formulation process can apply to many other active ingredients, not only caffeine," she said, adding that along with her poster and showing off some York swag, her area also featured an instant gratification component, caffeine candies for those who wished to indulge.

In addition to her mentor, Ms. Reyes thanks her mentor as well as York College, PSC CUNY as well as the National Science Foundation “for the scanning electron microscope."

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