Braunschweig, Chen join Nanoscience Initiative team

The CUNY Advanced Science Research Center’s Nanoscience Initiative completed its faculty roster with the hiring of Adam Braunschweig and Xi Chen this June.

Braunschweig and Chen join Initiative Director Rein V. Ulijn and Professors Elisa Riedo, Tai-De Li, Jacob Trevino and Tong Wang at the ASRC as the Nanoscience Initiative now completes its faculty and research professor hires.

“We are excited to have completed the nano team at ASRC and I very much look forward to building on the successes of the past couple of years,” Ulijn said. “We are now well placed to take the ASRC Nanoscience Initiative to new heights. Both Adam and Xi are outstanding young scientists who complement the team in adding expertise in, respectively, supramolecular chemistry capability and energy devices. Their know-how will benefit the Nanoscience floor, but will also facilitate interactions with the other initiatives in the building.”

Braunschweig joins the ASRC from the University of Miami where he served as Assistant Professor with the Department of Chemistry since 2013. His research concentrates on the relationship between organic chemistry with biology and materials science to discover novel solutions to energy, health and environmental challenges. Through the rational design of target molecules and an understanding of their assembly and function, his research seeks to create functional hierarchical structures from simple components.

“I’m incredibly excited about moving my research program and the possibilities that will arise by working at the ASRC,” Braunschweig said. “It’s an incredible facility, and the combination of the state of the art equipment and team of researchers makes it an extremely attractive place to move our science forward.”

He has ties to the New York area, having held a faculty position at New York University’s Department of Chemistry prior to his move to Florida. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University, and worked with Professor J. Fraser Stoddart of the University of California Los Angeles for his PhD, and with Professor Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University for postdoctoral research. He will also hold an associate professorship in Hunter College’s Department of Chemistry.

After a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, Chen will make the short trek to the ASRC to serve as an assistant professor with the initiative. His research of smart materials, nanotechnology, and energy harvesting has led to over 20 publications in leading scientific journals. In addition to its academic standing, his work has been featured in popular media as well, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC and many others.

“State of the art research facilities at the ASRC will immediately help me to achieve my goal to develop the evaporation energy harvesting,” Chen said. “The opportunity to work with outstanding researchers at ASRC and CUNY is very attractive to me.”

Prior to his work at Columbia, Chen earned his PhD in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology after receiving his BS and MS degrees from Tsinghua University. He is also the recipient of numerous awards from the National Science Foundation, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and others. He will also hold an assistant professorship in The City College of New York’s Department of Chemical Engineering.


About the ASRC: The 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.