Bruker Announces First 1.2 GHz NMR Installation in the United States at The Ohio State University

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Bruker Corporation, the leading provider of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy solutions for life and materials research announced the successful installation of a 1.2 Gigahertz (GHz) NMR system at the National Gateway Ultrahigh Field NMR Center at The Ohio State University.

Ultra-high field NMR is complementary to other structural biology technologies in that NMR can measure functional molecular dynamics and structural rearrangements for functionalstructural biology. Key areas of NMR applications include organic chemistry, macromolecular structure determination, drug-target binding, protein-protein or protein-RNA interactions – all at close to native conditions and in solution, or even in situin cell membranes. NMR also has unique capabilities to elucidate ‘hidden’, short-lived protein transition states from healthy to disease biology, e.g., in active enzymes or in the onset of protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, many key proteins in cell biology, e.g., transcription factors, or proteins implicated in cancer, infectious disease or neurodegeneration are intrinsically disordered, or partially disordered, and GHz-class NMR enables pivotal research of functional molecular disorder in many areas of pathobiology.

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has played a crucial role in funding the 1.2 GHz NMR instrument at The Ohio State University. Dr. Robert Fleischmann, who is the NSF program officer of the grant that funded the 1.2 GHz NMR instrument (NSF Award 1935913), considers this instrument an important advancement of the scientific infrastructure in the United States: “Supported by one of the first awards made by NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences as part of the agency’s Midscale Research Infrastructure program, the 1.2 GHz NMR will fulfill a national need and enable U.S. researchers to be competitive in a global research environment and advance the U.S. bioeconomy. It’s a prime example of the type of infrastructure the program was designed to support – the critical tools and technology that fall between major research instrumentation and large facilities.”

The 1.2 GHz AVANCE® NMR spectrometer is a state-of-the-art instrument that enables high-resolution liquid and solid-state NMR experiments. It will be used by researchers at Ohio State and across the U.S. to study advanced materials, e.g., for batteries, and the structure and dynamics of biological molecules, with the goal of advancing the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, viral infections, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Rafael Brüschweiler, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The Ohio State University, and PI of the National Gateway Ultrahigh Field NMR Center, is a leading expert in NMR. His cross-disciplinary research has been instrumental in the development of new techniques to understand the role of protein dynamics and interactions, as well as to analyze complex biological mixtures in metabolomics.

Professor Brüschweiler stated: “The installation of the 1.2 GHz NMR instrument gives us the capability to explore the structure and dynamics of biological molecules at an unprecedented level of detail. This breakthrough will enable significant advances in our understanding of how these molecules function, ultimately leading to the development of new treatments for diseases. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and look forward to the discoveries that this new technology will facilitate.”

Dr. Falko Busse, President of Bruker BioSpin, described the installation of the OSU 1.2 GHz NMR as a milestone: “We are honored to work with The Ohio State University to bring this groundbreaking technology to the United States. GHz-class NMR represents a leap forward in the ability to study the structure and function of biological molecules. We look forward to the scientific impact that GHz-class NMR will have on cutting-edge life science and materials research at OSU and in the US.”

The Ohio State University has the first 1.2 GHz NMR in the United States, a milestone in advancing US life science and materials research infrastructure, with leadership and funding by the National Science Foundation. In Europe, eight 1.2 GHz NMRs are installed, with four more on order, while in Asia-Pacific the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) has taken the lead with a 1.2 GHz on order, while Riken in Japan already has the first single-story 1.0 GHz NMR installed.

NSF has also funded two 1.1 GHz NMRs, with a solid-state research system recently installed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (www.wisc.edu), and a liquids research system on order for the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (www.ccrc.uga.edu) at the University of Georgia. Together with the 1.1 GHz at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org), these ultra-high field instruments can enable significant advancements in US scientific research.

Finally, with high interest recently also in compact, single-story 4 Kelvin 1.0 GHz NMRs, there are now nine 1.0 GHz systems installed at customer sites, with six in Europe, and one 1.0 GHz system each in Israel, Canada and Japan (including earlier two-story 2 Kelvin magnets).