Ulijn Group, 2022

Welcome to the Ulijn Group website. Our lab is focused on the use of simple versions of the molecular building blocks of life to produce materials and systems with controllable structural, photonic, electronic, and biological properties. These properties open up wide-ranging applications in energy, biomedicine, environmental protection, food, cosmetics, and personal care. [Group Members and Full Biography]

Group News

We Are Recruiting!

@asrc_gc is seeking to recruit two highly motivated postdoctoral scholars to research systems-based design of biomolecular modalities and materials. Researchers who have experience or interests that bridge computation/theory and experiment are especially encouraged to consider these positions.

Come and join us in NYC! Apply here.

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Publication Spotlight

Systems Chemistry Finds Carbohydrate Binders

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In this paper we use a systems chemistry approach to harness weak combinatorial interactions and show spontaneous emergence of network cooperativity. We study systems that are composed of selected mixtures of dipeptides chosen based on glucose binding sites from the protein data bank. A peptidase is included that can catalyze peptide bond formation, exchange and breakdown. Binding to glucose shifts the thermodynamic equilibrium toward sequences that have favorable interactions with glucose through side-chain interactions. We were able to identify networks of up to 16 interacting tetrapeptides that stabilize glucose through hydrogen bonding and CH-π interactions and highlight the crucial role of residue cooperativity in enhancing weak binding interactions, and the influence of input selection and history on the system's composition. The paper showcases fundamental systems properties that cannot be discovered or replicated with reductionist approaches.

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