Navigation Links
University of Maryland receives $1.9M from NSF for investigations of biomolecular structure
Date:8/24/2010

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has received a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to acquire a superconducting 800 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer that will help scientists and engineers to solve complex problems in biology and medicine. The instrument will be the highest field NMR spectrometer to be located on the College Park campus and will enable scientists to investigate the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules and study their interactions with a degree of resolution and sensitivity not previously possible.

Kwaku Dayie, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is the principal investigator on the grant, and will utilize this technology to advance his research on the biophysics of RNAs (ribonucleic acids). RNAs are biological molecules that are critical to life, and that play a role in many diseases for which effective treatments are still sought.

"RNAs do a lot more in cells than we have given them credit for," explains Dayie, who is associated with the university's Center for Biomolecular Structure and Organization (CBSO). "They can speed up chemical reactions by up to 100 billion fold without the need of protein enzymes, and they can regulate gene expression just as proteins can. Being able to map out their 3D architecture using this high field NMR technology means we'll be able to see more clearly how we could target them for drug discovery and delivery."

Two other faculty members of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the CBSO, Professor David Fushman and Assistant Professor Vitali Tugarinov, and one in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Assistant Professor Ganesh Sriram, will be co-principal investigators. Both Fushman and Tugarinov are experts in the study of protein structure and dynamics using NMR methods, and they will now be able decipher interactions between important biological macromolecules that they could not study before with available technologies.

Sriram will use the NMR to advance research into metabolic engineering, the modification of organisms to improve specific cellular properties. He uses stable isotope labeling to quantify carbon traffic through cells and applies this information to develop metabolic engineering strategies.

"The new higher resolution 800 MHz NMR instrument will enable us to measure isotopes more accurately, and thereby accelerate our understanding of metabolic pathways," explains Sriram. "We use NMR technology to quantify metabolic pathways in plants or organisms that might be used to produce biofuels or pharmaceuticals."

The NMR instrument will strengthen the research programs of 15 scientific groups working in several departments at the University of Maryland in College Park Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, and Biology as well as in the new Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR).

"We have an outstanding group of researchers with expertise in NMR spectroscopy at UM who are among the international leaders in this area," says Professor Michael Doyle, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "This award will help to advance their discoveries in several biomedical research areas, and to assist others who will utilize the technology to advance their research programs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelly Blake
kellyb@umd.edu
301-405-8203
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Rice University establishes National Corrosion Center
2. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
3. Case Western Reserve University project ties soil conservation and river management together
4. Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital expand national childrens study to Bristol County
5. NIH selects Case Western Reserve University to participate in National Childrens Study
6. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
7. University professor stresses links between US Navy sonar and whale strandings
8. Scent on demand: Hebrew University scientists enhance the scent of flowers
9. University success at national engineering awards
10. University of Leicester professor adds new perspective to rainforest debate
11. Providing toilets, safe water is top route to reducing world poverty: UN University
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Paris Police ... video security solution to ensure the safety of people and ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international technology ... services, announced today that its video security solution will be ... back up public safety across the country. The system roll-out ...
(Date:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that Dr. ... STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that Dr. ... STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from ... also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the ... shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help ... obstacle for many early stage organizations - access to ... sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: