NMR spectrometer offers new possibilities for TU faculty and students

Advanced technology allows TU research chemists to characterize the structure of molecules

TOWSON, Md. (June 23, 2010)—This spring, with more than $307,000 provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, TU acquired a 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer now located in the Department of Chemistry.

The NMR spectrometer is a powerful analytical instrument used by research chemists to characterize the structure of molecules. Principal investigator Clare Muhoro and co-principal investigator Lev Ryzhkov, working collaboratively with other department faculty, expect the NMR acquisition to expand the department’s research capabilities and enhance its productivity to allow for better integration of faculty research with undergraduate education.

In the past, faculty needing access to an NMR spectrometer were forced to travel to either Goucher College or to Johns Hopkins University. The commute was highly inconvenient, and it was not feasible for TU researchers to continually pay for laboratory access. Muhoro says the new equipment significantly reduces the amount of time and effort needed to carry out experiments and also provides greater opportunities for multidisciplinary research. TU faculty will soon begin meeting to discuss potential projects on which to collaborate.

By enhancing efficiency and productivity within the lab, this spectrometer will also offer valuable research experiences to undergraduate students pursuing degrees certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Taken with several ongoing educational activities*, the TU chemistry program will continue to promote and mentor underrepresented students in an effort to enhance and diversify the scientific community at both regional and national levels. In addition, the instrument will be used in organic chemistry courses. It is anticipated that the NMR will also attract quality faculty to the department, thus facilitating the overall growth of the program and the college as a whole.

On June 30, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Smith Hall 583 to celebrate the addition of the NMR to the Department of Chemistry.

*These activities include the NIH Bridges grant, NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduate programs, and TU’s Women in Science program.




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