ASRC Nanoscience Director awarded over $1 million in grants by US Air Force

The Air Force Office for Scientific Research (AFoSR) has awarded Dr. Rein V. Ulijn, Director of the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center’s Nanoscience Initiative, over one million dollars in support of his research of nanostructures and materials.

“Receipt of these highly competitive grants provides evidence of Rein Ulijn’s exceptional work as a scientist with a reputation for extraordinary inventiveness,” said Dr. Gillian M. Small, Vice Chancellor for Research and Executive Director of the ASRC. “Since joining the ASRC in 2014, he has helped make it the nucleus of a University-wide research enterprise and a major player in New York’s expanding research community.”

The two grants will provide complimentary funding for Ulijn’s work. The first grant — $600,000 over three years — will support the investigation of new materials that can change shape and function on demand. These reconfigurable nanoscale structures, which have the appearance of gels may find applications in future soft robotics and sensors.

The second grant — for a total of $487,745 — supports the purchase of a super resolution microscope which will enable researchers to visualize dynamics of nanostructures with much higher resolution than is possible with conventional microscopes.

“Winning these two grants presents a major first milestone for the Nanoscience Initiative,” Ulijn said. “As Manhattan’s newest and most advanced cross disciplinary science center we are excited to add super resolution microscopy, which was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry, to our repertoire of imaging tools. We are grateful to the US Air Force for the continued support of our research.”

The AFOSR currently invests in 1,200 grants at over 200 leading academic institutions worldwide, 100 industry-based contracts, and more than 250 internal AFRL research efforts. Its connection with the university research is vital to completing the bulk of basic research into new knowledge and ideas.


About the ASRC: The new CUNY Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) is a University-wide venture that elevates CUNY’s legacy of scientific research and education through initiatives in five distinctive, but increasingly interconnected disciplines: Nanoscience, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience and Environmental Sciences. Led by Dr. Gillian Small, Vice Chancellor for Research and the ASRC’s executive director, the center is designed to promote a unique, interdisciplinary research culture. Researchers from each of the initiatives work side by side in the ASRC’s core facilities, sharing equipment that is among the most advanced available. Funding for the ASRC from New York State is gratefully acknowledged.