The flagship solution-state 950 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometer in the Department of Biochemistry has been upgraded recently with a high-sensitivity 5mm TCI “CryoProbe” and an automated sample changer. This new probe increases 1H signal-to-noise by a factor of up to 3, allowing more challenging macromolecular systems to be studied. The sample changer improves throughput by enabling fully automated, round-the-clock data collection. This upgrade was funded through a grant of almost £500K from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) awarded to group leaders in the Departments of Biochemistry (Profs Christina Redfield, Jason Schnell and John Vakonakis) and Chemistry (Profs. Andy Baldwin and Tim Claridge) under the “Very- and Ultra-High field NMR for the physical and life sciences” initiative.
The 22.3T Oxford Instruments magnet, which, alongside a custom-built electronics control console and probe, formed the basis for the first 950 MHz spectrometer in the world, was installed in the Rex Richards Building, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in October 2005. This was funded from the Wellcome Trust’s contribution to the Joint Infrastructure Fund. The spectrometer console was upgraded in 2015/16 with internal funding of £340K secured from the Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF), the John Fell Fund (JFF) and Edward Penley Abraham Cephalosporin Fund. The recent upgrade funded by the EPSRC ensures that Oxford continues to have a state-of-the-art ultra-high field NMR spectrometer.
Funding from the ISSF for a pilot project to provide access to the 950 MHz NMR spectrometer to a wider range of researchers in the Medical Sciences and Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisions is available. Researchers who are addressing scientific problems, within the broad remit of the Wellcome Trust, for which NMR at the highest field can provide answers but who have not previously carried out NMR at 950 MHz are encouraged to contact Prof. Christina Redfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss access.
18th December 2019