The Minnesota NMR Center is a leading site for NMR research in the Upper Midwest. The mission of the Center is to promote both research and education in structural biology by NMR research. NMR research at the University of Minnesota covers a broad range of biomedical research including cancer, diabetes, HIV, Ebola virus infections, muscle contractility, as well as heart, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases. The MNMR Center represents the main resource for more than 200 users from around campus, as well as external users across the United States. Researchers associated with the MNMR Center are supported by 42 NIH grants. Since its inception, there have been approximately 50 papers published each year. In addition to high-field spectrometers, the MNMR Center is equipped with two Varian INOVA 600 MHz spectrometers with 20-year-old consoles. These spectrometers have previously represented the workhorses for many researchers in our facility; however, the development of the novel NMR methodologies (for both solution and solid-state NMR), the application of NMR methods to groundbreaking problems, as well as graduate and postdoctoral students' training on these machines are severely hampered by these obsolete consoles and probes. The withdrawal of Agilent (formerly Varian) from the NMR market made finding parts and support for these spectrometers almost impossible. Therefore, we propose to replace the current console for one of the two spectrometers with a state-of-the-art Bruker BioSpin Avance III HD console. The choice of Bruker is based both on performance of the electronics, flexibility in swapping from solution to solid-state NMR mode, as well as the compatibility of the current Oxford 600 MHz magnet. Therefore, the new purchase will not only benefit the current users of the Center, but will also open up a substantial amount of NMR time on the high-field NMR spectrometers, allowing the MNMR Center to serve an even more extensive network of internal and external investigators involved in biomedical research.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is becoming the method of choice to study how stimuli are relayed between signaling molecules. Specifically, NMR analysis adds a dynamic dimension to structural biology and it is becoming the leader technique for the characterization of membrane-bound proteins. The growing need of this methodology must be paralleled by state-of-the-art instrumentation. This proposal seeks to upgrade a 20-year-old console on one of the spectrometers of the Minnesota NMR Center with a new console equipped with accessories for both solution and solid-state NMR that will boost the throughput of biomedical research at the University of Minnesota.
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