Research Interests

The Ulijn group are interested in the development of materials and systems that mimic biology’s adaptive properties but are much simpler. These materials (including gels, emulsions, structured surfaces and nanotubes) have potential applications in health care, cosmetics, lifestyle products, food science. These applications are sought in active collaboration with researchers and companies across the globe. The approach is cross-disciplinary and covers the entire range from fundamental understanding to eventual applications and societal benefit.



  • M. 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 Nanostructures, Nat. Chem., 2018, 10, 696-703
  • A. Lampel, Scott A. McPhee, H.-A. Park, G.G. Scott, S. Humagain, D.R. Hekstra, B. Yoo, P.W.J.M. Frederix, T.-D. Li, R.R. Abzalimov, S.G. Greenbaum, T. Tuttle, C. Hu, C.J. Bettinger and R.V. Ulijn, Polymeric Peptide Pigments with Sequence-encoded Properties, Science, 2017, 356, 1064
  • 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, Nature Nanotechnology, 2016, 11, 960
  • G.G. Scott, P.J. McKnight, T. Tuttle and R.V. Ulijn, Tripeptide Emulsifiers, Adv. Mater., 2016, 28, 1381-1386
  • C.G. Pappas, I.R, Sasselli and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Pathway Selection in Transient Tripeptide Nanostructure, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54, 8199-8123
  • 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 Amphiphile, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 576-579
  • 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, 2015, 7, 30-37
  • 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 Ultrasound, Mater. Horiz., 2015, 2, 198-202
  • S. Bai, C. 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
  • 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. 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
  • A.R. Hirst, S. Roy, M. Arora, A.K. Das, N. Hodson, P. Murray, N. Javid, J. Sefcik, J. Boekhoven, J.H. van Esch, S. Santabarbara, N.T. Hunt and R.V. Ulijn, Biocatalytic Induction of Supramolecular Order, Nature Chemistry, 2010, 2, 1089-1094
  • R.J. Williams, A.M. Smith, R. Collins, N. Hodson, A.K. Das, R.V. Ulijn, Enzyme Assisted Self-Assembly under Thermodynamic Control, Nature Nanotechnology, 2009, 4, 19-24


Job History

  • 2014 - Current : Director of the Nanoscience Initiative, ASRC
  • 2008 - 2014 : Professor of Nanochemistry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
  • 2003 - 2008 : Associate Professor, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 2001 - 2003 : Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Edinburgh, EdinburghUK
  • 1998 - 2001 : PhD, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
  • 1992 - 1998 : MSc, Wageningen University, Netherlands