Prof Rein Ulijn PhD Msc FRSC FRSE
Rein Ulijn's research is focused on peptide nanotechnology. He is founding Director of the Nanoscience Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at CUNY, New York. Prof Ulijn has held several personal fellowships and has won a number of awards, including the RSC Norman Heatley Medal (2013), Royal Society Merit Award (2014) and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He holds additional positions as Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College of CUNY and WestCHEM Professor at the University of Strathclyde, UK. He has authored over 140 peer reviewed research articles, 9 patent applications, and given over 120 invited and keynote lectures at international conferences. Since 2004 he has generated a grant portfolio worth in excess of US$14M as principal investigator with funding from ERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP), US Airforce Office of Scientific Research, US Army Research Office and industry. He was founding director of Biogelx Ltd. (Glasgow, 2012) of which he is currently Chief Scientific Officer and Renephra Ltd. (Manchester, 2009). He gained his MSc degree in Biotechnology at the University of Wageningen (Netherlands) (thesis 1998), PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde (Thesis 2001) and postdoctoral training at the University of Edinburgh. From 2003-2008 he was in the School of Materials, University of Manchester (promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and Reader in 2007).
2014-present: Director of the the Nanoscience Initiative, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center
2014-present: Professor of Chemistry, Hunter College of CUNY
2008-present: WestCHEM Professor of Chemistry, The University of Strathclyde, UK
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Materials Research Society (MRS)
Fellowships and Awards:
Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) 2014
Royal Society Merit Award 2014
RSC Emerging Technologies Award 2013
Norman Heatley Award 2013
European Research Council Starting Grant 2010
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) 2008
Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal 2007
Leverhulme Trust Leadership Award 2007
EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship 2006
Dr Meghan Hughes
Meghan graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow with an MSci in Forensic and Analytical Chemistry, which incorporated a years industrial placement in the RSSL Pharma laboratory. She completed a PhD under the supervision of Rein Ulijn characterising self-assembled peptide nanomaterials. Meghan is now the Laboratory Director for the Nanoscience Initiative at CUNY's Advanced Science Research Center.
Scott obtained a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University in Glasgow, Scotland. There after he joined Prof. David Lilley's Nucleic Acid Structure Research Group under at the University of Dundee in a dual role as a research technician and managing the University's Oligonucleotide Synthesis Service. During his time at Dundee Scott spend time developing synthesis and purification methodologies for nucleic acids and applying these problems in nucleic acid structure, RNA catalysis, RNA-protein interactions and nucleic acid-fluorophore interactions. In 2013 Scott joined the EPSRC Center for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallization (CMAC) at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland as Laboratory Manager. During his time here he overseen the relocation of the center to a bespoke facility whilst concurrently managing the implementation and integration of $20M of specialist equipment and instrumentation to make CMAC the world leading research center in its field. In 2016 CMAC received a "Facility of the Year" award in Washington, D.C. from the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers - the first time such an award was given to an academic institution. Scott's research interests focus on the chemistry and structure of small biologically relevant polymers and the technical development of methodologies to study these effectively.
Dr Ankit Jain
Ankit obtained his B.Tech degree in Bio-technology from SASTRA University, India. In 2011, he joined Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India as a Ph.D. student under Prof. Subi J. George. His research work focused on dynamic charge transfer aggregates and temporal control of their self-assembly. He has also worked on clay-chromophore conjugates and their pertinent photo-chemistry. Currently, he is working with Prof. Rein Ulijn as a postdoctoral research associate at ASRC, CUNY. His work mainly focuses on development of dynamic peptide libraries towards answering questions pertaining to chemical origin of life.
Dr Mohit Kumar
Mohit obtained his MSc degree in chemistry from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Andhra Pradesh (India) in 2009. There after he joined Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research for PhD, under the guidance of Prof. Subi J. George. His doctoral work was mainly focused on dynamic self-assembly of chromophores and guest induced chirality in functional supramolecular polymers. Presently, he is working with Prof. Rein Ulijn as a postdoctoral research associate at ASRC, CUNY, where he is working on biomimetic non-equilibrium assemblies of peptide derivatives fuelled by solar energy. Apart from research, he likes trekking and playing basketball.
Dr Ayala Lampel
Ayala gained her PhD from Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Prof. Ehud Gazit. Her work mainly focused on the molecular mechanism underlying viral self-assembly, as well as on the development of new therapeutic tools by targeting this process. She has recently joined the Ulijn group as a postdoctoral research associate to work on the design of nanostructures for biomedical platforms.
Dr Silvio Panettieri
Silvio received his MSc degree in organic chemistry from the University of Pisa, Italy in 2011. A year later he moved to NYC to join Prof. John's lab at the City College of New York to pursue a PhD. During this time, he worked on two different projects: one aimed at unraveling the complexity between chronic inflammation and tumor formation by utilizing Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism in collaboration with Dr. Govind (CCNY); as for the second project, he took advantage of molecular rotors (i.e., fluorescent compounds whose fluorescence is affected by intramolecular motion restriction) to investigate the self-assembly of low molecular-weight gelators. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research associate at ASRC, CUNY in Uljin lab where he is collaborating with Prof. Hyungsik Lim (Hunter College) to study the dynamic self-assembly of small peptides via second-harmonic imaging microscopy. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing music (flute and ukulele are his favorite instruments), cooking and running.
Dr Ana Pina
Ana Pina received her BSc on Applied Chemistry field Biotechnology at Faculdade de Ciéncias e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL), after completing 6 months project at Department of Inorganic, Physics and Materials Chemistry in University of Torino on the synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotubes for biomedical applications. Ana Pina completed then her Master thesis in 2008 in Biotechnology under supervision of Prof. Cecília Roque on the Synthesis and screening of rationally designed combinatorial libraries for proteomics applications. During her Master Thesis, Ana Pina conduct molecular modelling studies on ligand design at Institute of Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, UK under supervision of Prof. Chris Lowe. In 2013, Ana Pina completed her PhD programme in Biotechnology at FCT-UNL under supervision of Prof. Roque (FCT-UNL) and Prof. Chris Lowe (University of Cambridge, UK) under the title "Novel affinity pairs "tag-receptor" for the purification of fusion proteins". During her PhD, Ana Pina also performed an internship at The Scripps Institute (La Jolla, California) on the field of Phage Display technologies under supervision of Prof. Carlos Barbas III. Since 2014, Ana Pina is a postdoctoral research associate working at Biomolecular Engineering Lab with Prof. Cecília Roque (FCT-UNL) in a joint project with Prof. Rein Ulijn (CUNY - Advanced Science Research Center, New York, USA) on the field of development of minimal versions of phosphatase enzymes by phage display.
Dr Chunqiu Zhang
Chunqiu completed post-doctoral training in The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology after obtaining a Ph.D. from Jilin University in China. His research interests cover a broad spectrum of biochemistry, nanoscience and technology, including, self-assembled amphiphiles, aggregation-induced emission hydrogels, nano-drug/gene delivery systems, and artificial enzymes. Presently, Chunqiu is working as a post-doctoral Research Associate at The City University of New York under the supervision of Prof. Rein V. Ulijn (CUNY ASRC & Hunter College) and Prof. Charles Maldarelli (CCNY) researching self-propelled colloidal motors fueled by biocompatible materials.
Doug MacPherson completed a BS degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut, and spent a year as a research assistant for Yale School of Medicine, Department of Nephrology. At Yale, Doug worked on projects studying the role of a specific protein produced by the kidney in pancreatic cancer, melanoma and chronic kidney disease. As a research assistant for Dr. Ulijn, Doug works with peptide-based hydrogels which function as a synthetic extracellular matrix for three-dimensional cell culture. Doug is also involved in a startup company based on this technology called Biogelx, a member company of Harlem Biospace.
Maria Paola Conte
Maria Paola received her BSc in Materials Science from the University of Bari (Italy) and her MSc in Materials Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Torino (Italy), after completing a final year project on the synthesis and characterisation of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications at Institut Charles Gerhardt, Montpellier (France). She is currently working towards a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Rein Ulijn, working on the development of multidomain gels for cell structure by 3D enzymatic structuring.
Hailin (Richard) Huang
Richard is a PhD student in the Ulijn group. Co-advised by Dr. Stephen O'Brien from CDI of City College, he currently is working on the design and synthesis of enzyme responsive peptide functionalized gold nanoparticles for cancer theranostics. Prior to joining CUNY's PhD program, Richard received his B.S. in biochemistry from Miami University and M.S. in chemistry from Long Island University. Besides research, Richard likes hiking and travelling.
Daniela obtained her B.Sc. in Food Science and Biotechnology and my M.Sc. in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Austria) after completing a final year project on human antibody receptors. Currently, she is working towards my Ph.D. in Biochemistry under the supervision of Prof. Rein Ulijn at the ASRC Nanoscience Initiative in New York. Her research focuses on designing stimuli responsive material using biological fuel sources.
Inês Pimentel Moreira
Inês graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (Portugal) with an MSc Bioengineering - Biological Engineering. She did a research project on the enzymatic degradation of pharmaceutical compounds in the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and her final masters thesis focused in the development of nanoparticles for cancer therapy. She is currently working towards a PhD in a collaborative project between Prof. Rein Ulijn and Dr. Tell Tuttle, which is based on the development and molecular modelling of self-assembled aromatic peptide amphiphiles in different solvents and interfaces.
Roxana is an undergraduate biochemistry student from Denmark. Her previous work has centered around developing nano drug delivery systems (with the Reineke group at Wayne State University) and biomedical surfaces (Dr. Foss) at Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNano), in Aarhus, Denmark
Gary graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2013 with an MChem in Pure and Applied Chemistry, which included an industrial placement with XstalBio, a spin out company from the university. During his final year, he undertook his research project with the Ulijn group, using peptide hydrogels and Pickering emulsion to improve the efficiency of enzymes for organic reactions. He is currently working towards a Ph. D. under the supervision of Prof. Rein Ulijn and Dr. Tell Tuttle, in collaboration with Macphie of Glenbervie, which focuses on making short peptides for use as surfactants for food emulsions.
Jiye is a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Ulijn and Prof. Maria Contel of Brooklyn College. Her research focuses on the synthesis of medicinal organometallic compounds and the delivery of those drugs using enzyme responsive short peptides for anti-cancer therapeutics. Prior to starting graduate school, she received her B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Stony Brook University and was an employee of the Product Safety and Toxicology Department of The Estee Lauder Companies in Melville, NY.
Nadeesha obtained her BSc in Chemistry from University from Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and MSc in Analytical Chemistry from Post Graduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She is currently working towards a Ph. D. under the supervision of Prof. Rein Ulijn in collaboration with and Prof. Charles M. Drain, which focuses on Light Harvesting Peptide-Porphyrin Hydrogel systems.
Mona obtained her BSs in Applied Chemistry from Azad University of Mashhad (Iran). She did her Internship in Food and Drug Organization, University of Medical Science, Mashhad (Iran). Afterwards, she completed an MSc in Inorganic Chemistry at Alzahra University, Tehran (Iran) which was focused on the synthesis of new copper complexes and evaluation of their cytotoxicity towards different cancer cell lines. After graduating, Mona worked as Research Assistant in the Medical Toxicology Research Center, University of Medical Science, Mashshad (Iran) and as Instructor in Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Islamic Azad University of Mashhad (Iran). Currently, she is a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Rein Ulijn. Her research focuses on directed evolution of peptide/drug nanoparticles for biomedical applications.
Denise is an undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering at the City College of New York. Her research under Dr. Ulijn focuses on the synthesis of self-assembling peptides upon enzyme cleavage that can be used for cancer drug delivery in target areas of the body. She recently worked as a research assistant under Dr. Parra in the CCNY Neural Engineering Lab.
Ramim will graduate from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in 2015, with a bachelors degree with honors in Chemistry and concentration in Biochemistry. During his final year, he worked under Professor Ulijn's supervision to complete his honors thesis on enzyme assisted self-assembly of dipeptide libraries. He is currently working towards an M.D. program, while continuing his research by investigating the aggregation and hydrogel formation of non-aromatic tripeptides for biomedical applications.