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1.2 GHz NMR spectrometer for Frankfurt

April 2014. The German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) has approved the Goethe University Frankfurt application for a 1.2 GHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer and dedicated research building. The €24 million grant will allow the Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (BMRZ) at the Goethe University to  maintain and expand its international standing as a leading European research facility and will enhance national capabilities.

The new 1.2 GHz NMR spectrometer is a large technological challenge. New, high-temperature superconducting material is required to achieve large, homogeneous fields that are 20% above the currently available fields in Frankfurt. Four groups in Frankfurt will benefit from the new machine: Volker Doetsch, CEF speaker, Clemens Glaubitz, Jens Wöhnert and Harald Schwalbe. Part of the team of applicants are Teresa Carlomagno, EMBL Heidelberg, and Christina Thiele, TU Darmstadt. A new opening for a W1 group to be led by a female scientist will be announced this summer.

What research will then become available: The new machines offers significantly enhanced sensitivity. With these gains, the study of proteins and RNA in the cell at physiological concentration will come in reach. Light activated states of membrane receptors will be studied at millisecond time-resolution. Macromolecular complex formation will be tested, and RNA regulation, coupled to in-situ mRNA synthesis will be studied. All of the topics are well embedded and supported by research in CEF and in the two SFBs at Campus Riedberg.

BMRZ is a European large scale research infrastructure facility for high-end nuclear (NMR) and electron magnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) located on Riedberg Campus in Frankfurt. Research at BMRZ is dedicated to the elucidation of structure and functional mechanism of biomolecules ranging from RNA and RNA-protein complexes via large soluble protein complexes to membrane proteins. The new building housing the 1.2 GHz spectrometer is expected to be completed by 2017.


Press release German Council of Science and Humanities


Harald Schwalbe, Clemens Glaubitz & Volker Dötsch, Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (BMRZ), Campus Riedberg, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Tel.: +49 (0)69 798-29737, schwalbe@nmr.uni-frankfurt.de; glaubitz@em.uni-frankfurt.de, vdoetsch@em.uni-frankfurt.de