CUNY ASRC News & Updates

Jan. 2023 | Issue 05

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new immersive experience that allows guests to tour the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center from the comfort of their own devices.

How New York City's Trees and Shrubs Help Clear Its Air

A new study co-authored by Professor Andrew Reinmann shows how vegetation across New York City helps absorb a surprising amount of carbon emissions. He recently met with The New York Times to discuss it.

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Andrea Alù Explains How He Tricks Light and Sound

In a recent "Scientific American" article, the renowned physicist describes his breakthroughs in designing metamaterials and cloaking objects.

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A photo of Josh Brumberg, Interim executive director of the CUNY ASRC and dean for the sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center

With the turn of the calendar, we have a chance to reflect on the successes at the CUNY ASRC these past months and to look forward to the spring semester. As you will see throughout this newsletter, our faculty and students have been driving scientific advances and STEM education across our five initiatives, and in partnership with other CUNY schools and New York City’s STEM community. From a student first-authoring a paper to discovering how our city's shrubs help clear its air, here's a peek into our world. Enjoy!


Josh Brumberg

CUNY ASRC and Mount Sinai Join Forces for A New Research Initiative That Targets Climate Change

Dr. Patrizia Casaccia and Dr. Robert Wright

Professor Patrizia Casaccia, director of the CUNY ASRC Neuroscience Initiative, and Professor Robert Wright, environmental epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in collaboration with several CUNY colleges, have created the "MSSM/CUNY Climate Change Health Impact Interdisciplinary Research Initiative." The initiative, which will fund transdisciplinary grants that focus on climate change and health, is anticipated to advance NIH efforts to reduce health threats from climate change and build health resilience, especially among those at highest risk, as "The ability to have air conditioning is probably now — in some instances — the difference between life and death," says Dr. Wright.

A picture of Alfredo Vidal Ceballos smiling.

Doctoral Student and Colleagues Track How Elastin Transforms From a Liquid to a Solid

Alfredo Vidal Ceballos, a current student in his last year of the Biochemistry Ph.D. Program at the Graduate Center, first-authored a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "This experience has taught me about collaboration between labs with different skill sets, as well as given me an opportunity to practice my scientific writing," say Ceballos, who's interested in pursuing neuronal development and phase separation after graduation.

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A New Multidisciplinary Program Training CUNY STEM Graduate Students

The NanoBioNYC program selected its first cohort of six CUNY graduate students, last year. Their training kicked off with a series of professional development workshops in Fall 2022 and continues throughout the new year, as they prepare for an immersive summer experience in three career tracks.

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Facility Spotlight: Next Generation Environmental Sensor Lab

The Next Generation Environmental Sensor Lab (NGENS) is an open resource for environmental sensors, equipped with high-end reference instruments for: greenhouse gases, radiation, soil and water measurements, and more. In addition, the Sensor Lab manages the rooftop observatory and a design and fabrication facility to prototype and stage environmental sensors, enclosures, and fixtures.

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Headshot of Sophia Suarez

SEED Grant Awardee Sophia Suarez vs. Synthetic Mucus

Mucus gets a bad rap. Sure, the slippery, gelatinous goo produced by mucous membranes can be off putting for some, but its capabilities are nothing to sneeze at. Organic mucus is a vital protective substance that allows bodies to perform essential functions, such as breathing, swallowing, and digesting. Animal mucus can provide filtrative...

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CUNY ASRC Hosts IlluminationSpace Hub

Launch Event

One of the most important things about being a scientist, or a bearer of any type of knowledge, is sharing it, or “bringing home the snap peas,” as Beau Morton, director of environmental health and education at WE ACT, described it during their address to a group of CUNY STEM researchers, local community groups, advocates and other stakeholders.

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Upcoming Events

Feb. 2 - Environmental Science Initiative Seminar: Anthony Cak, PhD, Fabio Corsi, PhD, Hussain Bokhari, and Nicolas Maxfield

Feb. 3 - ASRC Photonics Initiative Seminar: Yonatan Sivan, Ben-Gurion University

Feb. 8 - ASRC-CCNY Seminar Series in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biodesign: Pilar Cossio, Flatiron Institute

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CUNY ASRC Initiatives and Facilities

The Environmental Sciences Initiative brings a distinct research vision to the environmental sciences, uniting state-of-the-art analytical capabilities, environmental analytics, and sensing technologies to create fundamental scientific knowledge for addressing the fundamental environmental research questions facing the planet today and into the future.

The Nanoscience Initiative has a distinct research vision in nanoscience, focusing on the study and application of dynamic nanoscale systems, from fundamental understanding to applications ranging from biomedicine to food science and green energy.

The Neuroscience Initiative actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches for the study of environmental influences on brain function and behavior and to develop transformative technologies and advanced platforms aimed at promoting mental health.

Research in the Photonics Initiative encompasses biology, medicine, physics and technology fields such as computer display and lighting, as well as the futuristic fields of quantum information processing and quantum encryption, in which data reside on single photons, which are to light what electrons are to electricity.

Structural biology header image

Structural Biology

Research in the Structural Biology Initiative brings together biologists, chemists, and physicists to tackle many of life’s central questions. How do cells respond to their surroundings? How do they make copies of themselves? What determines the balance between health and disease?

A photo of the CUNY ASRC building.

The Advanced Science Research Center at the CUNY Graduate Center is equipped with 17 high-end core facilities that provide sophisticated equipment and staff support to researchers across CUNY and beyond.

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