Ramim Shafi ’15 (Hunter College)


I don’t know if you want a story or just information about the publication; here’s a little of both.

During my senior year at Hunter College, I started working with Professor Ulijn in the Nanoscience Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) to work on my Honors Thesis project. What i didn’t realize, however, was how enamored i would be with research, the people, and the building itself. So it lasted a whole lot longer than a few months — it lasted for 1.5 years after i graduated. This facility is nothing short of amazing, it provides CUNY students the access to state of the art equipment, including a brand new nanofabrication facility and microscopy/imaging machinery that other institutions can only dream of. In the future, i hope to see more students take advantage of these facilities.

After two years and countless hours of method preparation, microscopic analysis, data analysis, etc, the fruits of our hard work were finally realized after we published our article in “Nature Nanotechnology” (easily the most influential journal in nanotechonology with an impact factor of 35, and one of the most respected journals in research — professors dream of publishing their work here!), with another paper on the way. The article, titled “Dynamic Peptide Libraries for the Discovery of Supramolecular Nanomaterials” discovers a method to create new “soft” materials at the nano-scale, with different morphologies capable of different functions (e.g. nanofibrous materails form gels, for cell culture, cosmetics, regenerative medicine, nanospehres for drug delivery, etc.). It uses environmental factors to vet the strongest candidates for self-assembly (material) in a very Darwinian evolution/survival of the fittest concept. The paper was also featured in Nature Nanotechnology with a separate “News and Views” written by Thomas Hermans of Strasborg, France. This is a fundamental methodology of how to create new materials

Some links in media, and science press


Survival of the fittest in materials discovery


Self-assembling polymers use evolutionary principles



other duplicates from different outlets:


Survival of the fittest in materials discovery

I don’t know how significant of an accomplishment this is, looking at some of the other posts on here, so i feel a little guilty sharing this, but since i was asked to, i guess it’s ok!