Laboratory for Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy

The overall aim of the Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy Laboratory (formed by the groups of Prof. Niels Chr. Nielsen, Prof. Thomas Vosegaard, and Assoc. Prof. Frans Mulder) is establishment of structure-function relationships for peptides and proteins using combinations of liquid- and solid-state NMR spectroscopy, NMR metabonomics, and ultrahigh-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With specific focus on determining structures, dynamics and interactions of peptides and proteins in a solid phase – and often with targets related to human diseases – the group is part of the research center inSPIN (Center for Insoluble Protein Structures). In inSPIN close collaborations with other research groups are carried out within the areas of membrane proteins, fibril-forming peptides/proteins, and extracellular matrix proteins. Examples on project in these areas include studies on the binding of small marker molecules to amyloid fibrils (e.g., to the A? peptide involved in Alzheimer’s disease), studies on the interactions between antimicrobial peptides and membranes, and structural characterization of an antenna protein in its native heterogeneous baseplate antenna-complex environment.

The core of the activities in the group is the NMR spectrometers. The lab is currently equipped with three highly flexible instruments for both liquid and solid-state applications operating at 700 MHz, 500 MHz, and 400 MHz. In 2013 a new state-of-the-art 950 MHz spectrometer will be installed, which will be the highest field NMR magnet in Scandinavia. The laboratory is integrated with the European high-field NMR centers through the FP7 BIONMR research program and forms a Danish node in the ESFRI INSTRUCT program. As functioning as an instrument center, the group is involved in a number of projects with internal as well as external collaborators from Danish and foreign academia and industry.

The group has a large activity in NMR method development, with the invention of new pulse sequence techniques for applications in nanoscience and structural biology. New and improved MRI techniques are also being developed in the laboratory. Another focus point for the group is the development of low field instrumentation for cheap and easy use of magnetic resonance in a variety of different industrial applications. This project is carried out in collaboration with an industrial partner (NanoNord).

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