UK universities benefit from NMR investment

EIGHT universities in the UK are to benefit from a £20 million fund to upgrade nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

The equipment includes two new 1.0GHz systems (the highest field currently commercially available) plus upgrades to systems with field strengths of 800-950MHz.

The systems will boost the capability and the capacity of solid and solution-state NMR across the UK.

“This investment in very high and ultra-high field NMR means researchers will have systems that provide greater sensitivity and a greater understanding of molecular structures, with potential impacts in pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, materials science and biotechnology” said UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) chief executive Professor Sir Mark Walport.

At the University of Birmingham, a 1.0GHz solution state system configured for predominantly medical use will be used in biomedical applications such as real-time measurements of cancer cell metabolism.

The University of Warwick receives a solid state 1.0GHz system for mixed use, predominantly in materials science.

The University of Oxford has an existing 950MHz NMR which will get a new cryoprobe for increased sensitivity.

The University of Sheffield‘s 800 MHz NMR will be upgraded for additional high-pressure analytical capability to support research programmes in chemical manufacture, bioenergy materials, photosynthesis and green energy, cancer treatment, and biopharmaceutical development.

An upgrade to the existing 800MHz system at the University of Nottingham will provide insight into catalytic processes, next-generation pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, energy materials, food and nutrition, and improved understanding of antibiotic resistance.

The University of Edinburgh‘s upgraded 800MHz system and probes increase capability in solution and solid-state NMR, with applications in chemistry, materials sciences and biology.

The University of Leicester gets an upgrade to its existing 800MHz instrument, and plans to be the first UK facility to develop in-cell NMR technology.

The University of Liverpool‘s 800MHz instrument will be upgraded to provide additional solid state capacity and used to investigate materials, personalised medicine, biotechnology, food science and animal health.

The investment was announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of three other research councils, the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

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