UAB will establish a state-of-the-art 800 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facility with a grant of $2 million from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health. N. Rama Krishna, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at UAB and the principal investigator on the grant, will direct the facility.
The grant is part of the High End Instrumentation Program of NCRR, which awards research institutions nationwide with one-time grants to support the purchase of sophisticated research equipment costing more than $750,000. Until the most recent competition, $2 million was the maximum that could be requested.
The new facility will primarily support NIH-funded research initiatives from UAB faculty, along with collaborating biomedical researchers from Auburn University, University of Mississippi, University of Alabama, Tuskegee University and Mississippi College.
Krishna says the high-tech system will help researchers working on the discovery and design of novel drugs for treating cancer, AIDS, atherosclerosis and other diseases.
"The new 800 MHz NMR system will enable researchers to study the three dimensional structures of much larger proteins and protein complexes than has been possible with the existing NMR instrumentation at UAB." Krishna said.
"The higher field strength together with the enhanced sensitivity provided by the 800 MHz cryoprobe will enable studies on even trace quantities of proteins and natural products," he said.
Since its inception in 2002, the HEI Program has provided 120 awards and 2 supplements to biomedical research institutions in 26 states, totaling $187,215,654.