Welcome to the Micro/Nano Soft Interface Research Group at Iona College's Chemistry Department led by Professor Sunghee Lee.

Our research group is called “Project Symphony”, which came from the idea that all of our group members work together in harmony to achieve shared goals. Our laboratory uses the techniques of surface chemistry and biophysics, and currently has the following active research programs:

  • Understanding the cell membrane: Our group builds artificial mimics of cell membranes, both to improve our fundamental understanding of cell membranes, and to engineer new devices inspired by nature. By contacting water droplets immersed in a solution of lipids in oil, we have developed droplet interface bilayers as a platform with unique advantages to help us achieve these goals.
  • Characterization of the molecular structure of lipid membrane: We use Confocal Raman Spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, and Tensiometry to learn about the detailed molecular structure of lipid membranes and its structural changes upon its interaction with other molecules such as drugs, cholesterol, and proteins.
  • Crystal Engineering: We create self-assembled structures of molecules at a water-oil interface to design the structure of technologically important crystals for their use in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries.

Our research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and several of our studies take place in collaboration with other laboratories in Japan and Italy.


* We would like to acknowledge our funding organizations which have enabled our active undergraduate research.

Patrick J. Martin Foundation