Universiteit Leiden

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17.9 million euro for national NMR Roadmap consortium

The National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities programme of NWO enables the building or renovation of research facilities with international allure. Leiden NMR groups take part in the uNMR-NL consortium coordinated by Marc Baldus (Utrecht University) that has been awarded almost 18 million euro to increase the capacity of a national grid that links all Dutch high-field NMR centers and strengthen accessibility to cutting-edge NMR equipment. The roadmap consortium will use the grant for acquiring new and upgrading existing NMR instrumentation.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) and Imaging (MRI) exploit the magnetic properties of atoms to non-invasively study structure and dynamics of biomolecules, living organisms and solid materials. In Leiden, advanced NMR and MRI is applied within the Chemistry clusters Chemical Biology and Energy & Sustainability and at the LUMC to understand enzyme evolution and protein-ligand interactions, characterize photosynthetic and energy-transducing complexes and determine biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Further, new MRI hardware and in-vivo imaging techniques are being developed for pre-clinical applications.

Leiden will invest in upgrade and maintenance of the high-end NMR spectrometers at the NMR facility. The 750 MHz spectrometer for solid-state NMR and micro imaging will receive a new console and 1.3 mm probe for ultrafast magic-angle spinning (MAS) and high-resolution spectroscopy. The 850 MHz and 600 MHz spectrometers for solution NMR will be equipped with new cryoprobes and cryo-platforms. This will give a new impulse to the NMR research in Leiden and expand the range of applications using state-of-the-art facilities.

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In 2012 the uNMR-NL roadmap was already granted 18,5 million euro to place the first ultra-high field instrument, a 1.2 GHz standard bore NMR spectrometer, in the Netherlands. The upgrades supported by the current grant will facilitate exchange of samples and novel detection and analysis methods between the Leiden NMR facility and the 1.2 GHz multi-user facility in Utrecht. The new roadmap investment will further optimize exchange of expertise among the national grid. 

At Leiden University the following researchers are involved in uNMR-NL: Marcellus Ubbink, Huub de Groot, Anjali Pandit, Alia Matysik, Andrew Webb and Louise van der Weerd. 

About uNMR-NL

The uNMR-NL consortium consists of research groups at Utrecht University, Wageningen University, Radboud University, Leiden University, the private-public partnership COAST and associated members at the medical centers in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Leiden and Nijmegen. The consortium is coordinated by Marc Baldus (Utrecht University). 

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