Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry receives NSF funding for NMR Spectrometer

New chemistry instrument will have broad impact on department projects

Researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry recently received a $339,000 Major Research Instrument award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the acquisition of a 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer, a primary means of characterizing chemical structures.  The spectrometer represents a big step forward in the department's ability to perform research, train students and attract new faculty.    

From researching botulism antidotes to studying the health effects of cranberries, this instrument will impact nearly all chemistry and biochemistry projects.   

Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Director of the Botulinum Research Center, will use the spectrometer to determine the structure of botulism antidotes being developed from natural compound libraries, while Dr. Sivappa Rasapalli will use it for method development in organic synthesis -- in other words, he looks for new ways to produce natural products and their derivatives as potential pharmaceuticals. 

The spectrometer will also facilitate the work of Dr. David Manke, who will use the NMR to characterize inorganic compounds his lab produces.  Specifically, his lab synthesizes inorganic molecules and solids to be applied to the capture and activation of carbon dioxide. 

The spectrometer will benefit two professors conducting cranberry health research.  Dr. Catherine Neto of the Cranberry Health Research Center will use the NMR to characterize cranberry plant compounds that have potential use as antimicrobials, antioxidants and anti-cancer agents. Dr. Maolin Guo, Director of the Center, will use the spectrometer to characterize molecular imaging sensors developed in his lab that can study the activity of cranberry antioxidants in live cells.   

The instrument will also be useful for Drs. Emmanuel Ojadi, Donald Boerth, Yuegang Zuo, and Showei Cai in Chemistry, Drs. Sankha Bhomwick and Chen-Lu Yang in Engineering as well as Dr. Brian Dixon at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. 

The award was granted under the leadership of principal investigator (PI) Maolin Guo and co-PIs David Manke, Catherine Neto, Emmanuel Ojadi and Sivappa Rasapalli.

News and Public Information