FACILITY TO HOUSE A NEW INSTRUMENT TO SPEED BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

MADISON – Already home to one of the world’s most impressive collections of huge research instruments, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (NMRFAM) is about to add another giant.

Located deep within the biochemistry addition at UW-Madison, the facility houses a number of high-tech machines called NMR spectrometers, which use a magnet and radio waves to reveal the structures and dynamic properties of molecules in fine detail. The most powerful of these machines – which can be up to a story tall and cost as much as $5 million – are too large and expensive for ordinary labs to own, and UW-Madison’s NMR lab is used regularly by academic and industry researchers working at the leading edge of medicine and biological research.

Now, those capacities are set to expand. The National Center for Research Resources, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, announced today (July 17) that UW-Madison is among 20 U.S. universities that will receive grants to purchase the tools they need to stay at the forefront of biology and medicine.

UW-Madison’s grant, totaling more than $1.6 million, will be used to purchase a high-end instrument that integrates a mass spectrometer, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and a liquid-chromatography system. The NMRFAM will become the first academic facility to house an instrument combining these three technologies, which is expected to benefit a wide variety of research projects, including the search for new antibiotics and drugs and the quest to identify new metabolic pathways.

According to NMRFAM head John Markley, research conducted in the facility addresses a range of human diseases, such as cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. He says the new technology will speed up the facility’s work and open new frontiers for some of biology’s most far-reaching work.
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– Nicole Miller, (608) 262-3636, [email protected]

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