Aiming at solving important and frontier scientific problems in life science and materials science, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) basic research department carries out researches on theory, instrument, methodology and applications of NMR. The core research is directed to the development ofhigh fieldmagnetic resonance spectroscopy, imaging and data processing technologies with improved sensitivity, spetral/spatial resolution and speed. Liquid- and solid-state NMR spectroscopy technologies developed are used to study the structures and dynamic processes of biological macromolecules related to viral/bacterial infection and neurodegenerative diseases (i.e., membrane proteins and fibrosis proteins), trying to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying their functions (or dysfunction). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technologies are used for translational researches of major human diseases.
Our main research areas include NMR physics and instruments at high fields, methodological developments of NMR spectroscopy and imaging, NMR spectroscopy of biological macromolecules, analysis of molecular self-assembly process by NMR, spectral analysis of complex systems, NMR molecular probes, NMR-related mathematics and computation etc.
The department currently hosts six research fellows, four research associates, six research assistants, four postdoctoral research assistants, and around thirty graduate students. Our equipments include a 850 MHz standard bore NMR spectrometer, a 800 MHz standard bore NMR spectrometer equipped with magic angle spinning (MAS) probe, four 600 MHz standard bore NMR spectrometers, among which one has the micro-imaging capability, a 600 MHz wide bore NMR spectrometer for solid-state NMR, two 500 MHz NMR spectrometers (1 standard bore and 1 wide bore), a 400 MHz solid-state NMR spectrometer, and two small animal MRI scanners (4.7T/30 cm and 7T/20 cm). We also have well-equipped biochemical laboratory, featuring a circular dichroism spectrometerand a fluorescence spectrometer.
The department was currently funded by a number of major national grants, including 973 program projects from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the innovative research group program, key projects, a developmental project of the key research program and a major international cooperation project from the Natural Scince Foundation of China (NSFC), the “Hundred Talents Program” projects from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a “Youth Thousand Plan” project etc. A number of achievements has been made in the past, including developments of methodology for water supression (W5), recovering spectrum under the saturated water peak, measuring diffusion and interactions of biomolecules, editing complex NMR spectra, elucidating three-dimensional structures of proteins, studying protein dynamics and measuring ATP synthesis rate in vivo.