Aseelia Samsam


Aseelia Samsam





Aseelia (Aseela) Samsam was born in Salamanca, Spain and raised in Germany and the Caribbean before moving to Orlando, Florida. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Central Florida and is majoring in Biomedical Sciences. Aseelia is planning to apply to medical school to become a primary care physician, as well as continuing research and scholarly work in her field. She is a RAMP scholar since 2018 and is conducting stem cell research under Dr. Saleh A. Naser from the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. Her research primarily focuses on the shift of microbiome population triggered by environmental factors that leads to proliferation and differentiation of human neural stem cells (hNSC), possibly a potential link to autism.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Saleh A. Naser, Associate Director, Graduate Affairs & Professor

Undergraduate Major

Biomedical Sciences

Future Plans

Medical Doctor (M.D.)


Title: Effect of Environmental Factors and Gut Microbiome End Products on Neural Stem Cell Differentiation, Potential Link to Autism Spectrum Disorder

PI: Dr. Saleh A. Naser

Institution: University of Central Florida

Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong debilitating neurodevelopmental condition of childhood onset with mostly idiopathic origin. It is characterized by impaired communication, a spectrum-wide idiosyncrasies, and stereotyped repetitive behaviors which dramatically impair social interactions. Increasing evidence suggests ASD to be a disorder of glial cells; however, what ultimately causes Astroglia over proliferation and reactivity in ASD remains largely unknown. Concurring evidence suggests a strong link between gut Microbiota byproducts and ASD genesis. This project is focused on investigating the shift in microbiome and the environmental triggers with human neural stem cell (hNSC) differentiation and proliferation, as well as its effect on immune response.


Biomedical and Medicine

Aseelia Samsam