The University of Maryland School of Medicine has received a $7.9 million federal grant to acquire a superconducting 950 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) magnet that will help researchers unravel the mysteries of molecules and develop new agents to treat cancer, AIDS and other diseases. The grant is among the largest of its kind ever awarded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The funds were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The proposal to acquire the two-story spectrometer (with the super magnet) was a partnership between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), and two other University of Maryland campuses the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UM). The instrument will be shared equally among the three campuses.
The University of Maryland will be the only academic institution in the United States and one of only two sites in the country to have a 950 MHz NMR spectrometer once it is installed in November of 2011.
David J. Weber, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the NMR core facility at UMB, is a co-director of the grant, along with Michael F. Summers, Ph.D., of UMBC, and David Fushman, Ph.D., of UM.
The eight-ton magnet produces a supercharged magnetic field that enables scientists to investigate the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules and study their interaction with the highest degree of resolution.
"NMR spectroscopy plays a critical role in many areas of cancer research, and having a 950 MHz NMR spectrometer on our campus is a phenomenal resource for researchers at our cancer center. It will greatly enhance and speed our efforts to uncover new information about cancer and design new drugs to treat it," says Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., di
|Contact: Karen E. Warmkessel|
University of Maryland Medical Center