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£1.4m grant for researchers at St Andrews

ashbrook-NMR-mainbodyA £1.4m grant will enable chemists and biologists at the University of St Andrews to study materials and molecular structures using leading-edge technology.

The financial boost will allow a team of University researchers including Professor Sharon Ashbrook (pictured) and Professor Douglas Philp, of the School of Chemistry, and Dr Uli Schwarz-Linek, of the School of Biology, to use a high field (800 MHz) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer to be housed in a newly established centre for research, based at the University of Edinburgh.

NMR is a key technique used widely in science, from materials chemistry to medicine. The new Scottish High Field NMR Centre will provide a focal point for NMR research and industry engagement for researchers in the whole of Scotland, bringing together researchers from the universities of St Andrews, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt as well as the Beatson CRUK Institute, Glasgow. Building on the existing Scottish NMR Users Group network, it will draw on support from the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) and ScotCHEM.

The announcement was made as part of a £20m UK-wide investment in NMR infrastructure by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council also contributed to the funding.

Professor Sharon Ashbrook, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, said: “This new centre provides a step change in the facilities available for NMR in Scotland, and for NMR of solid samples in particular.

“It should transform the applications of NMR in chemical, biological, materials and environmental sciences, in both academia and industry across the country. This will ensure that Scotland remains at the forefront of international research in this area.”


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108 / 07714 140 559 or fm43@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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