The primary objective of the Molecular NMR Shared Facility is to provide NMR instrumentation and expertise for elucidating the structure and dynamic behavior of macromolecules. To achieve this goal, the facility provides training and educational activities for Cancer Center members in their research programs and drug discovery efforts. In addition, the facility provides expertise and technical support in experimental design and sample preparation. The Molecular NMR Shared Facility was one of the original shared facilities established in 1972 by the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and continues to be a mainstay by providing critical, state-of-the-art resources. In just the last year, the NMR Facility has dramatically expanded its cutting-edge research capabilities in support of Cancer Center members. First, a grant to Dr. Rama Krishna from the NCRR High-End Instrumentation Program funded nearly $2 million for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art 800 MHz NMR System equipped with a cryoprobe. This 800 MHz NMR system will be devoted primarily for structural investigations on high-molecular weight systems. The installation of this 800 MHz NMR system is anticipated to be completed during the next few months, following the renovation of the proposed housing area in the Chemistry Building. Second, a state-of-the-art cryoprobe-equipped 700 MHz NMR system in the Chemistry Department has been added to the Cancer Center NMR Facility. This instrument will be devoted primarily for drug discovery and development research projects in the Cancer Center. Third, the existing 600 MHz NMR system was upgraded with a TCI cryoprobe. During the previous funding period, 98% of facility usage was devoted to support Cancer Center members from five different programs. CCC investigators who use the facility are involved in work on the design and synthesis of several novel anticancer drugs (paclitaxel conjugates, curcumin conjugates, nucleoside analogs, new retinoid derivatives active against breast and skin cancers, etc.), metastasis suppressor protein KISS1, protein interactions in cholangiocarcinoma, DNA oligonucleotides that induce TLR-9-mediated metastasis, structural studies on HIV1 proteins, etc. Continued NMR Facility support to these on-going projects as well as several new NCI-funded research projects is proposed during the next five-year period.
NMR is a technology used in research to be able to understand three-dimensional structure at the atomic level in such a way that the dynamics of molecular motion and the interactions of drugs with targets can be accurately measured. This shared facility provides UAB CCC members with the capacity to analyze molecular interactions critical for both understanding basic mechanistic structures and using that information to refine potential therapeutics for cancer.
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