Rein V. Ulijn, Ph.D.

  • Director, Nanoscience Initiative
  • Director, ASRC Sensor CAT
  • Director, NSF Research Traineeship Nanoscience Connected to Life
  • Einstein Professor of Chemistry, Hunter College

Research Interests

Rein Ulijn’s research group is developing bio-inspired nanotechnology. The fundamental research question that drives his work is how the molecular building blocks and processes of life can be repurposed, combined and simplified to produce functional materials with designed properties and functions that cannot be achieved using existing design approaches. The resulting materials can be produced from sustainable sources and are finding wide-ranging applications ranging from energy harvesting, to sustainable plastics, personal care, sensing, biomedicine.​

Job History

  • 2014 – present: Director of the Nanoscience Initiative, Advanced Science Research Center, CUNY
  • 2014 – present: Albert Einstein Professor of Chemistry, Hunter College, CUNY
  • 2019 – present: Director of the ASRC Sensor CAT
  • 2022 – present: Director of the NSF Research Training Grant (NRT) Nanoscience Connected to Life

Publications

A. Jain, S. Kassem, R.S. Fisher, B. Wang, T.-D. Li, T. Wang, Y. He, S. Elbaum-Garfinkle, and R.V. Ulijn, Connected Peptide Modules Enable Controlled Co-Existence of Self-Assembled Fibers Inside Liquid CondensatesJ. Am. Chem. Soc.2022in press.

J. Son, J. Sabio, A. Jain, and R.V. Ulijn, Ten Steps to Organize a Virtual Scientific Symposium and Engage Your Global Audience, Global Challenges, 2022, in press.

N.A. Alcantar, S. Banta, A.D. Cak, X. Chen, C. DelRe, L.F. Deravi, J.S. Dordick, B.M. Giebel, D. Greenfield, P.M. Groffman, M. Holford, G. John, N.S. Joshi, N.A. Kotov, J. K. Montclare, B.S. Moore, J.H. Ortony, A.B. Reinmann, J. Son, R.E. Stark, R.V. Ulijn, C.J. Vörösmarty, C.J. Wilson, Bioinspired Green Science and Technology Symposium in NYC, Matter, 2022, 5, 7, 1980-1984.

H.J. Anderson, J.K. Sahoo, J. Wells, S. van Nuffel, H.S. Dhowre, R.O.C. Oreffo, M. Zelzer, R.V. Ulijn, and M. J. Dalby, Cell-controlled Dynamic Surfaces for Skeletal Stem Cell Growth and Differentiation, Sci. Rep., 2022, 12, 8165.

N.A. Alcantar, S. Banta, A.D. Cak, X. Chen, C. DelRe, L.F. Deravi, J.S. Dordick, B.M. Giebel, D. Greenfield, P.M. Groffman, M. Holford, G. John, N.S. Joshi, N.A. Kotov, J.K. Montclare, B.S. Moore, J.H. Ortony, A.B. Reinmann, J. Son, R.E. Stark, R.V. Ulijn, C.J. Vörösmarty, and C.J. Wilson. Bioinspired Green Science and Technology Symposium in NYC. Matter, 2022, 5, 1980-1984.

A. Jain, S.A. McPhee, T. Wang, M. Narayanan Nair, D. Kroiss, T.Z. Jia, and R.V. Ulijn, Tractable Molecular Adaptation Patterns in a Designed Complex Peptide SystemChem2022in press.

D.S. MacPherson, S.A. McPhee, B.M. Zeglis, and R.V. Ulijn, The Impact of Tyrosine Iodination on the Aggregation and Cleavage Kinetics of MMP-9-Responsive Peptide SequencesACS Biomater. Sci. Eng.2022, 8, 579-587.

A.S. Pina, L. Morgado, K.L. Duncan, S.S. Carvalho, H.F. Carvalho, A.J.M. Moura Barbosa, B. de Pina Mariz, I.P. Moreira, D. Kalafatovic, B.M. Morais Faustino, V. Marang, T. Wang, C. Pappas, I. Ferreira, A.C.A. Roque, and R.V. Ulijn, Discovery of Phosphotyrosine-binding Oligopeptide with Supramolecular Target SelectivityChem. Sci2022, 13, 210-217.

A. Brito, D. Dave, A. Lampel, V.I.B. Castro, D. Kroiss, R.L. Reis, T. Tuttle, R.V. Ulijn, R.A. Pires, and I. Pashkuleva, Expanding the Conformational Landscape of Minimalistic Tripeptides by Their O-Glycosylation, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, doi.org/10.1021/jacs.1c07592.

 

R.H. Huang, N. Nayeem, Y. He, J. Morales, D. Graham, R. Klajn, M. Contel, S. O’Brien, and R.V. Ulijn. Self‐Complementary Zwitterionic Peptides Direct Nanoparticle Assembly and Enable Enzymatic Selection of Endocytic Pathways, Adv. Mater., 2021, 2104962, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202104962.

S. Sloan-Dennison, A. Lampel, E. Raßlenberg, R.V. Ulijn, E. Smaith, K. Faulds, and D. Graham, Elucidation of the Structure of Supramolecular Polymorphs in Peptide Nanofibres Using Raman Spectroscopy, J. Raman Spectroscopy, 2021, 52, 1108-1114.

A. Brito, S. Kassem, R.L. Reis, R.V. Ulijn, R.A. Pires, and I. Pashkuleva, Carbohydrate Amphiphiles for Supramolecular Biomaterials: Design, Self-assembly, and Applications, Chem, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chempr.2021.04.011​.

F. Sheehan, D. Sementa, A. Jain, M. Kumar, M. Tayarani-Najjaran, D. Kroiss, and R.V. Ulijn, Peptide-Based Supramolecular Systems Chemistry, Chem. Rev., 2021, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00089.

R. Piotrowska, T. Hesketh, H. Wang, A. Martin, D. Bowering, C. Zhang, C. Hu, S.A. McPhee, T. Wang, Y. Park, P. Singla, T. McGlone, A. Florence, T. Tuttle, R.V. Ulijn, and X. Chen, Mechanistic insights of evaporation-induced actuation in supramolecular crystals, Nat. Mater.2021, 20, 403-409.

A. Lampel, S.A. McPhee, S. Kassem, D. Sementa, T. Massarano, J. M. Aramini, Y. He, and R. V. Ulijn, Melanin-Inspired Chromophoric Microparticles Composed of Polymeric Peptide Pigments, Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2021, 60, 7564-7569.

M. Kumar, J. Son, R.H. Huang, D. Sementa, M. Lee, S. O'Brien, and R.V. Ulijn, In Situ, Noncovalent Labeling and Stimulated Emission Depletion-Based Super-Resolution Imaging of Supramolecular Peptide Nanostructures, ACS Nano, 2020in press.

S.M.M. Reddy, E. Raßlenberg, S. Sloan-Dennison, T. Hesketh, O. Silberbush. T. Tuttle, E. Smith, D. Graham, K. Faulds, R.V. Ulijn, N. Ashkenasy, and A. Lampel, Proton-Conductive Melanin-Like Fibers through Enzymatic Oxidation of a Self-Assembling Peptide, Adv. Mater., 2020in press.

D. Kroiss, J.M. Aramini, S. Ragoonath, R.V. Ulijn, and T. Tuttle, Combinatorial Discovery and Validation of Heptapeptides with UTP Binding Induced StructureChemSystemsChem2020in press.

M. Kumar, D. Sementa, V. Narang, E. Riedo, and R.V. Ulijn, Self-Assembly Propensity Dictates Lifetimes in Transient Naphthalimide-Dipeptide NanofibersChem. Eur J., 2020, 26, 8372-8376.

A. Brito, P.M.R. Pereira, D.S. da Costa, R.L. Reis, R.V. Ulijn, J.S. Lewis, R.A. Pires, and I. Pashkuleva, Inhibiting cancer metabolism by aromatic carbohydrate amphiphiles that act as antagonists of the glucose transporter GLUT1, Chemical Science2020, DOI: 10.1039/D0SC00954G.

A. Jain and R.V. Ulijn, Restoring order, Nature Chemistry, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-020-0463-y​.

C.G. Pappas, N. Wijerathne, J.K. Sahoo, A. Jain, D. Kroiss, I.R. Sasselli, A.S. Pina, A. Lampel, and R.V. Ulijn, Spontaneous Aminolytic Cyclization and Self-Assembly of Dipeptide Methyl Esters in Water, ChemSystemsChem, 2020, DOI: 10.1002/syst.202000013.
S. Biswas, M. Kumar, A.M. Levine, I. Jimenez, R.V. Ulijn, A.B. Braunschweig, Visible-Light Photooxidation in Water by 1O2-Generating Supramolecular HydrogelsChemical Science, 2020, DOI: 10.1039/x0xx00000x.

H.R. Huang, N.B. Sobol, A. Younes, T. Mamun, J.S. Lewis, R.V. Ulijn, S.P. O’Brien, Comparison of Methods for Surface Modification of Barium Titanate Nanoparticles for Aqueous Dispersibility: Towards Biomedical Utilization of Perovskite Oxides, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2020DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c10063.

J. Son, D. Kalafatovic, M. Kumar, B. Yoo, M.A. Cornejo, M. Contel, and R.V. Ulijn, Customizing Morphology, Size, and Response Kinetics of Matrix Metalloproteinase-Responsive Nanostructures by Systematic Peptide DesignACS Nano.2019, 13, 1555-1562.

X. Liu, M. Kumar, A. Calo, E. Albisetti, X. Zheng, K.B. Manning, E. Elacqua, M. Weck, R.V. Ulijn and E. Riedo, High-throughput Enzyme NanopatterningFaraday Discuss.2019in press.

S. Debnath, S. Roy, Y.M. Abul-Haija, P. Frederix, S. Ramalhete, A. Hirst, N. Javid, N. Hunt. S. Kelly, J. Angulo, Y. Khimyak, and R.V. Ulijn, Tunable Supramolecular Gels by Varying Thermal HistoryChem. Eur. J.2019, 25, 7881-7887.

D. Kroiss, J.M. Aramini, S.A. McPhee, T. Tuttle, and R.V. Ulijn, Unbiased Discovery of Dynamic Peptide-ATP ComplexesChemSysChem2019in press.

N.K. Wijerathne, M. Kumar, and R.V. Ulijn, Fmoc-dipeptide/Porphyrin Molar Ratio Dictates Energy Transfer Efficiency in Nanostructures Produced by Biocatalytic CoassemblyChem. Eur. J.2019in press.

D. Kroiss, G. Ashkenasy, A.B. Braunschweig, T. Tuttle, and R. Ulijn, Catalyst: Can Systems Chemistry Unravel the Mysteries of the Chemical Origins of Life?Chem2019in press.

X. Liu, M, Kumar, A. Calò, E. Albisetti, X. Zheng, K. Manning, E. Elacqua, M. Weck, R.V. Ulijn, and E. Riedo, Sub-10 nm Resolution Patterning of Pockets for Enzymes Immobilization with Independent Density and Quasi-3D Topography ControlACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019in press.

R.V. Ulijn, and A. Lampel, Order/Disorder in Protein and Peptide-Based BiomaterialsIsr. J. Chem., 2019in press.

M.P. Conte, J.K. Sahoo, Y.M. Abul-Haija, K.H.A. Lau and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Self-Assembly on Magnetic NanoparticlesACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2018, 10, 3069-3075.

Panettieri and R.V. Ulijn, Energy Landscaping in Supramolecular Materials, Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol.2018, 51, 9-18.

Kumar, N.L. Ing, V. Narang, N. Wijerathne, A.I. Hochbaum and R.V. Ulijn, Amino Acid-Encoded Biocatalytic Self-Assembly Enables the Formation of Transient Conducting NanostructuresNat. Chem.2018, 10, 696-703.

Lampel, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle, Guiding Principles for Peptide Nanotechnology Through Directed Discovery,Chem. Soc. Rev.2018, 47, 3737-3758.

S.A. Dragulska, Y. Chen, M.T. Wlodarczyk, M. Poursharifi, P. Dottino∥, R.V. Ulijn, J.A. Martignetti and A.J. Mieszawska, Tripeptide-Stabilized Oil-in-Water Nanoemulsion of an Oleic Acids–Platinum(II) Conjugate as an Anticancer NanomedicineBioconj. Chem.2018, in press.

C. Zhang, R. Shafi, A. Lampel, D. MacPherson, C. Pappas, V. Narang, T. Wang, C. Maldarelli and R.V. Ulijn, Switchable Hydrolase Based on Reversible Formation of Supramolecular Catalytic Site Using a Self-Assembling PeptideAngew Chem. Int. Ed.2017, 56(46), 14511-14515.

M.P. Conte, K.H.A. Lau and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Self-assembly Using Reversible and Irreversible Enzyme ImmobilizationACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2017, 9, 3266.

J.K. Sahoo, C.G. Pappas, I.R. Sasselli, Y.M. Abul-Haija and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Self-Assembly CascadesAngew. Chem. Int. Ed.2017, 56, 6828.

I.P. Moreira, T.K. Piskorz, J.H. van Esch, T. Tuttle and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Self-Assembly of Tripeptide Gels and EmulsionsLangmuir2017, 33, 4986.

Wang, L. Cui, S. Debnath, Q. Dong, X. Yan, X. Zhang, R.V. Ulijn and S. Bai, Tuning Supramolecular Structure and Functions of Peptide bola-Amphiphile by Solvent Evaporation-DissolutionACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2017, 9, 21390.

Hussain, A.T.S. Semeano, S.I.C.J. Palma, A.S. Pina, J. Almeida, B.F. Medrado, A.C.C.S. Pádua, A.L. Carvalho, M. Dionísio; R.W.C. Li, H. Gamboa, R.V. Ulijn, J. Gruber and A.C.A. Roque, Tunable Gas Sensing Gels by Cooperative AssemblyAdv. Func. Mater.2017, 27, 1700803.

I.R. Sasselli, I.P. Moreira, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle, Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal Disruptive Self-assembly in Dynamic Peptide LibrariesOrg. Biomol. Chem.2017, 15, 6541-6547.

E.V. Alakpa, J. Jayawarna, K.E.V. Burgess, C.C. West, B. Péault, R.V. Ulijn and M.J. Dalby, Improving Cartilage Phenotype from Differentiated Pericytes in Tunable Peptide HydrogelsSci. Rep.2017, 7, 6895.

J.K. Sahoo, S. Roy, N. Javid, K.L. Duncan, L.A. Aitken and R.V. Ulijn, Pathway-dependent Gold Nanoparticle Formation by Biocatalytic Self-assemblyNanoscale2017, 9, 12330

Y.M. Abul-Haija, G. Scott, J.K. Sahoo, T. Tuttle and R.V. Ulijn, Cooperative, Ion-sensitive Co-assembly of Tripeptide HydrogelsChem. Comm.2017, 53, 9562.

Schoonen, K.S. van Esterik, Chunqiu Zhang, R.V. Ulijn, R.J.M. Nolte and J.C.M. van Hest, Alternative Application of an Affinity Purification Tag: Hexahistidines in Ester HydrolysisSci. Rep.2017, 7, 14772.

G.G. Scott, P.J. McKnight, T. Tuttle and R.V. Ulijn. Tripeptide Emulsifiers. Advanced Materials 2016, 28, 1381-1386.

I. Ramos Sasselli, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle. CHARMM Force Field Parameterization Protocol for Self-assembling Peptide Amphiphiles: The Fmoc Moiety. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.2016, 18, 4659-4667.

I. Pimentel Moreira, I. Ramos Sasselli, D. Cannon, M. Hughes, D.A. Lamprou, T. Tuttle and R.V. Ulijn. Enzymatically Activated Emulsions Stabilised by Interfacial Nanofibre Networks. Soft Matter2016, 12, 2623-2631.

I. Ramos Sasselli, P.J. Halling, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle. Supramolecular Fibers in Gels Can be at Thermodynamic Equilibrium: A Simple Packing Model Reveals Preferential Fibril Formation Versus Crystallization. ACS Nano2016, 10, 2661-2668.

J.K. Sahoo, N.M.S. Sirimuthu, A. Canning, M. Zelzer, D. Graham and R.V. Ulijn. Analysis of Enzyme-responsive Peptide Surfaces by Raman Spectroscopy. Chem. Commun.2016, 52, 4698-4701.

D. Kalafatovic, M. Nobis, J. Son, K.I. Anderson and R.V. Ulijn. MMP-9 Triggered Self-assembly of Doxorubicin Nanofiber Depots Halts Tumor Growth, Biomaterials2016, 98, 192-202.

J.N. Roberts, J.K. Sahoo, L.E. McNamara, K.V. Burgess, J. Yang, E.V. Alakpa, H.J. Anderson, J. Hay, L.-A. Turner, S.J. Yarwood, M. Zelzer, R.O.C. Oreffo, R.V. Ulijn and M.J. Dalby. Dynamic Surfaces for the Study of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Growth through Adhesion Regulation. ACS Nano, 2016, 10, 6667-6679.

E.V. Alakpa, V. Jayawarna, A. Lampel, K.V. Burgess, C.C. West, S.C.J. Bakker, S. Roy, N. Javid, S. Fleming, D.A. Lamprou, J. Yang, A. Miller, A.J. Urquhart, P.W.J.M. Frederix, N.T. Hunt, B.Péault, R.V. Ulijn and M.J. Dalby. Tunable Supramolecular Hydrogels for Selection of Lineage-Guiding Metabolites in Stem Cell Cultures. Chem2016, 1, 298-319.

R.V. Ulijn and E. Riedo, Learning to ‘Think Systems’Nature Nanotechnol.2016, 11, 824.

N. Singh, M. Kumar, J.F. Miravet, R.V. Ulijn and B. Escuder. Peptide-Based Molecular Hydrogels as Supramolecular Protein Mimics. Chem. Eur. J.2016in press.

I. Ramos Sasselli, C.G. Pappas, E. Matthews, T. Wang, N. Hunt, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle. Using Experimental and Computational Energy Equilibration to Understand Hierarchical Self-assembly of Fmoc-dipeptide Amphiphiles. Soft Matter2016, 12, 8307.

M.P. Conte, N. Singh, I.R. Sasselli, B. Escuder and R.V. Ulijn. Metastable Hydrogels from Aromatic Dipeptides. Chem Commun.2016, 52, 13889.

C.G. Pappas, R. Shafi, I.R. Sasselli, H. Siccardi, T. Wang, V. Narang, R. Abzalimov, N. Wijerathne and R.V. Ulijn. Dynamic Peptide Libraries for the Discovery of Supramolecular Nanomaterials. Nat. Nanotechnol., 2016.

D. Kalafatovic, M. Nobis, N. Javid, P.W.J.M. Frederix, K.I. Anderson, B.R. Saunders and R.V. Ulijn, MMP-9 Triggered Micelle-to-Fibre Transitions for Slow Release of DoxorubicinBiomater. Sci.2015, 3, 246-249.

C.G. Pappas, T. Mutasa, P.W.J.M. Frederix, S. Fleming, S. Bai, S. Debnath, S. Kelly, A. Gachagan and R.V. Ulijn, Transient Supramolecular Reconfiguration of Peptide Nanostructures using UltrasoundMater. Horiz.2015, 2, 198-202.

P.W.J.M. Frederix, G.G. Scott, Y.M. Abul-Haija, D. Kalafatovic, C.G. Pappas, N. Javid, N.T. Hunt, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle, Exploring the Sequence Space for (Tri-)peptide Self-Assembly to Design and Discover New HydrogelsNat. Chem.2015, 7, 30-37.

R.A. Pires, Y.M. Abul-Haija, D.S. Costa, R. Novoa-Carballal, R.L. Reis, R.V. Ulijn and I. Pashkuleva, Controlling Cancer Cell Fate using Localized Biocatalytic Self-Assembly of an Aromatic Carbohydrate AmphiphileJ. Am Chem. Soc.2015, 137, 576-579.

R.V. Ulijn, Molecular Self-assembly: Best of Both WorldsNat. Nanotech.2015, 10, 295-296.

C.G. Pappas, P.W.J.M. Frederix, T. Mutasa, S. Fleming, Y.M. Abul-Haija, S. Kelly, A. Gachagan, D. Kalafatovic, J. Trevino, R.V. Ulijn and S. Bai, Alignment of Nanostructured Tripeptide Gels by Directional UltrasonicationChem. Commun.2015, 51, 8465-8468.

N.S. Singh, M.P. Conte, R.V. Ulijn, J.F. Miravet and B. Escuder, Insight into the Esterase-like Activity Demonstrated by an Imidazole Appended to a Self-Assembling HydrogelatorChem. Commun.2015, 51, 13213-13216.

C.G. Pappas, I.R. Sasselli and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Pathway Selection in Transient Tripeptide NanostructureAngew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54, 8119-8123.

K.L. Duncan and R.V. Ulijn, Short Peptides in Minimalistic Biocatalyst Design, Biocatalysis, 2015, 1.

Y.M. Abul-Haija and R.V. Ulijn, Sequence Adaptive Peptide-Polysaccharide Nanostructures by Biocatalytic Self-AssemblyBiomacromolecules2015, 16, 3473-3479.

C. Berdugo, S.K.M. Nalluri, N. Javid, B. Escuder, J.F. Miravet and R.V. Ulijn, Dynamic Peptide Library for the Discovery of Charge Transfer HydrogelsACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2015, 7, 25946-25954.

S.K.M. Nalluri, C. Berdugo, N. Javid, P.W.J.M. Frederix and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Charge-Transfer Nanostructures Based on n-Type Semiconductor-Appended Peptides, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 53, 5882-5887

S. Bai, C.G. Pappas, S. Debnath, P.W.J.M. Frederix, J. Leckie, S. Fleming and R.V. Ulijn, Stable Emulsions Formed by Self-Assembly of Interfacial Networks of Dipeptide Derivatives, ACS Nano, 2014, 8, 7005-7013.

J.S. Leckie, A. Hope, M. Hughes, S. Debnath, S. Fleming, A.W. Wark, R.V. Ulijn and M.D. Haw, Nanopropulsion by Biocatalytic Self-Assembly, ACS Nano, 2014, 8, 9580-9589.

P.W.J.M. Frederix, G.G. Scott, Y.M. Abul-Haija, D. Kalafatovic, C.G. Pappas, N. Javid, N.T. Hunt, R.V. Ulijn and T. Tuttle, Exploring the sequence space for (tri-)peptide self-assembly to design and discover new hydrogels, Nature Chemistry, 2014, doi:10.1038/nchem.2122.

S. Debnath, S. Roy and R.V. Ulijn, Peptide Nanofibers with Dynamic Instability through Non-Equilibrium Biocatalytic Assembly, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 16789-16792.

headshot: Rein Ulijn

Phone Number

212.413.3380