World’s first 1.2 GHz NMR at Instruct Centre IT enables novel functional structural biology research


Thanks to the efforts of Bruker’s service engineers and the support of Instruct Centre IT technical staff, the first ultra-high field 1.2 GHz NMR was installed during the coronavirus lockdown, whilst adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Ultra-high field (UHF) NMR is unique in its capabilities to study complex protein systems and biological questions. These include the high-resolution structural and dynamic characterization of proteins, and their interactions in human living cells near physiological conditions. The new 1.2 GHz NMR system, which is the world’s most powerful commercial NMR, will enable scientists, including Instruct users, to perform novel research in functional structural biology of proteins and protein complexes, with significant impact on the development of biomolecular NMR.


Instruct Deputy Director, Professor Lucia Banci, with the new 1.2 GHz NMR system at Instruct Centre-IT.


As described in the video below, NMR can provide key information for the optimization of vaccines and therapeutics against COVID-19. Right now, Instruct Centre IT are using the new 1.2 GHz NMR to characterise SARS-CoV-2 proteins and RNA as part of the COVID19-NMR project


Video produced by Instruct Centre-IT on NMR Spectroscopy and its contribution to research against COVID-19.


The new spectrometer will also help to advance research on the structure and function of proteins linked to neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases), cancer, and viral protein functional studies. The higher resolution also enables better research on intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), which are involved in a wide range of biological processes, both physiological and pathological. The 1.2 GHz NMR spectrometer will also be extremely beneficial to characterise proteins within human cells by in-cell NMR. The increased resolution and sensitivity of the 1.2 GHz NMR will extend the application of the in-cell methodology, allowing the detection of intracellular proteins at close-to-native levels, with high impact in cellular structural biology and medicinal chemistry.

The new 1.2 GHz NMR spectrometer is a welcome addition to the Instruct catalogue, and it joins eleven other NMR instruments and a relaxometer at CERM/CIRMMP, making Instruct Centre IT one of the best NMR facilities in the world. Instruct Centre IT is open for remote access, during which users will receive advice from researchers and technical staff on the optimal experimental strategy, as well as technical support before and during the experiment.

Find out more about the technologies available at Instruct Centre IT and submit your application to Instruct-ERIC. Scientists from Instruct Member Countries can apply for fully funded access to all Instruct services.