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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S013393/1
Title: Very-High Field NMR in the Physical and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool
Principal Investigator: Blanc, Dr F
Other Investigators:
Barsukov, Dr I Iggo, Dr J Lian, Professor L
Luzyanin, Dr K
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry N8 Research Partnership
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2018 Ends: 31 December 2020 Value (£): 1,277,656
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Biology
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Materials Characterisation
Structural biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Manufacturing
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
29 Nov 2017 High-Field NMR for Physical and Life Sciences Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The objectives of the proposal are to upgrade and reconfigure the existing 800 MHz solution-state NMR spectrometer to a dual solution-solid NMR spectrometer. This dual configuration is similar to other NMR systems successfully used worldwide and is strategically differentiated from any of the existing UK high field provision. The upgraded system will provide opportunities to do new science not previously possible in Liverpool and the UK, in both academia and industry. In addition, the new system will become one component of the UK hub and spoke network of NMR instrumentation, with up to 30% of its time offered to the wider UK research community across the physical and life sciences, and is configured to complement other high field instruments (> 600 MHz), providing the flexibility for NMR infrastructure at the highest available field to respond to changes in research priorities and opportunities.

NMR spectroscopy is the most versatile of all the analytical tools; it provides insights into molecular structure, dynamics, and interactions. The higher sensitivity and resolution delivered with very-high field NMR are transformative, providing information not accessible at lower field strength.

The new dual solution-solid capabilities will support, extend and enhance research activities where there is excellence in the region and UK-wide (see Academic Beneficiaries) such as advanced chemical- and bio- materials, renewable energy, industrial biotechnology, personalised medicine and human/animal health. They will also strengthen and/or catalyse new academic-industrial collaborations, focusing on and exploiting areas of priority to the region and the UK. Examples include:

(1) Structure determination of biological and chemical molecules and supra-molecular aggregates in solution and solid states;

(2) Folding of linear polypeptides into complex biologically-active 3D structures, and the ways in which these processes can be altered or subverted in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer;

(3) Catalytic processes, and the detailed analysis of the structure and dynamics of complex materials;

(4) Metabolism within intact cells and organisms.

UK research support targets strengthening the UK's competitive position in key priority areas. By upgrading to state-of-the-art instrumentation, the proposed 800 MHz upgrade will enable UK research communities to continue to make major contributions across the range of research challenges aligned with national agendas and strategic priorities, and to respond rapidly and flexibly to initiatives such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge and the Global Challenges Research Funds.

We will deliver on this major investment in NMR by:

(1) Progressing a challenging scientific agenda based on national priorities such as advanced materials, renewable energy, industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, and core health challenges;

(2) Ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of NMR technique development in both solution and solid state, by capitalising on our collective knowledge and experience, and providing training to the community through courses and summer schools;

(3) Attracting industrial support, partnerships and engagement, founded upon a strong collective track record of using our scientific capabilities and assets to support economic growth;

(4) Maximising the effective use of capital assets to ensure efficient provision of NMR access, building on our pioneering experience in equipment sharing of the N8, and operating and managing national facilities, within a long-term sustainability plan;

(5) Aligning with the core individual institutional strategy of the University, as demonstrated by substantial institutional contributions towards the costs;

(6) Developing annual reporting systems and symposia to disseminate findings and open new research strategies, and monitoring performance using defined Key Performance Indicators.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk