Biomedical Technology Resources
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National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison

John L. Markley, Ph.D.

Center Overview

The National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (NMRFAM) is a resource for biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMRFAM aims to expand the frontiers of biomolecular NMR spectroscopy through resource technology and development programs in the important areas of (1) high throughput determination of structures and functions of smaller proteins and RNA molecules, (2) technology for investigating the structure and dynamics of challenging systems, including complexes, membrane proteins, paramagnetic proteins, and larger RNA molecules, and (3) efficient approaches to metabolomics and natural product analysis.

With the goal of broadening the scope of its scientific activities, NMRFAM hosts distinguished visiting scientists working in areas related to its research technology and development projects. NMRFAM develops and disseminates advanced approaches that cover all steps in biomolecular NMR investigations and offers start-to-finish support for biomedical NMR investigations with assistance in one or more of the following steps:

  1. strategy evaluation and experiment design,
  2. sample preparation,
  3. feasibility studies,
  4. data collection,
  5. data analysis and structure determination,
  6. data validation and deposition, and
  7. manuscript preparation.

NMRFAM receives partial support from the Biochemistry Department and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Historically this has included 20% matching support for instrumentation. User fees provide cost recovery for liquid nitrogen, liquid helium, and routine maintenance.

Impact on Human Health

Biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is the single approach that offers the most detailed information about biomolecules in solution, the milieu in which they normally function. NMR enables the discovery of three-dimensional structure, molecular dynamics, and molecular interactions-factors that reveal how biological systems work, are impacted by genetic and environmental factors, and respond to drugs.