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NIGMS energizes NMR research with world's biggest magnets

For some scientists, bigger is better. Larger telescopes allow researchers to see further in space. Similarly (but for more complex reasons), bigger magnets enable researchers who use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to have faster, more accurate glimpses of the inner workings of molecules and to study ever-larger molecules, rolling back a major limitation of the technology.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences will support the construction of four new custom-built 900 MHz NMR magnets--the largest size available. Currently, there are only six such instruments in the world. NIGMS is awarding an average of $4 million this year to each of the institutions below. The names of principal investigators are indicated in parentheses.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Robert Griffin, Ph.D.)
  • New York Structural Biology Center (David Cowburn, Ph.D.)
  • University of Georgia (James Prestegard, Ph.D.)
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison (John Markley, Ph.D.)

The scientists will use their new NMR magnets to study the structure and behavior of biological molecules. Such studies reveal insights about normal cellular processes and shed light on diseases that develop when these processes go awry.


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Contact: Alisa Machalek
alisa.machalek@nih.gov
301-496-7301
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
1-Jul-2002


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