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National Biomedical Center for Advanced ESR Technology

Jack H. Freed, Ph.D.

Center Overview

The National Biomedical Center for Advanced ESR Technology (ACERT) develops methods, both experimental and theoretical, of modern Electron-Spin Resonance (ESR) for biomedical applications. The technologies upon which this Center is based are in many respects unique in the world; and they are being utilized in numerous ways. One is the development of pulse-ESR methods to determine the structure of protein complexes, which are too large for crytallography or NMR, and yet provides information at an atomic level not available to cyro-electron microscopy. This is an important method also for the study of membrane protein structure-function. Another technology is the development of multi-frequency ESR to resolve the complex dynamics of proteins, important to understanding function, for which the time-scale of ESR is particularly suited. In addition, by ESR microscopy, ACERT is bringing magnetic resonance imaging to the true micron scale of resolution to benefit many medical applications. An extensive international network of collaborators cover a wide range of relevant biomedical research areas for which ACERT's methods are well-suited. Further technological developments at ACERT will continue to improve upon current capabilities.

Impact on Human Health

The mission of ACERT is to develop methods of modern ESR spectroscopy to study the structure and functional dynamics of proteins and their interaction with membranes, which are implicated in a range of diseases. In addition, the development of ESR microscopy will aid in diagnosing disease from microscopic tissue examination.

These studies, which are performed with numerous collaborators, are aimed at understanding and combating the following diseases and ailments:. cancer, cardiac disease, AIDS, neurological disorders, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Hodgkins diseases, depressive disorders and schizophrenia, P. aeruginosa lung infections, Ebola viral infections, and allergies, primarily by studying their key proteins' structure and functional mechanisms.

Numerous collaborators from all over the world supply relevant protein samples for these studies.