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Transnational access to the research infrastructure of the 'son nmr large scale facility for biomolecular research


The current contract for the SON NMR Large-Scale Facility for Biomolecular NMR (SONNMRLSF) started off in November 2001 and has been running now for two consecutive years. The major event that took place during this reporting period has been the arrival and installation of the new Bruker 900 MHz spectrometer in August 2003. It is the second of these costly, highly advanced spectrometers that has become available within the European Cluster of large scale facilities for biomolecular NMR for access to the European scientific community in the context of the Research Infrastructure programme. The operation of this high-end machine is an important step towards opening up new capabilities for structural biomolecular research. Visiting researchers can nowadays make use of the 900 MHz spectrometer and of 6 other spectrometers with magnetic field strengths ranging between 500 and 750 MHz for high-resolution biomolecular solution NMR, a 500 MHz wide-bore solid state system for membrane-related research, and a 200 MHz 40 cm horizontal bore in vivo NMR system for in-vivo (macroscopic) NMR experiments.

One of the 600 MHz spectrometers is equipped with a cryoprobe system for enhanced sensitivity. Further on, unique to the infrastructure are the use of two laser systems, a movable argon laser and a excimer laser that is permanently attached to one of the 500 MHz spectrometers, for which a special light-probe is available. These laser systems can be used for performing combinations of light and NMR experiments inside the NMR probe. These NMR spectrometers and the associated probes and auxiliary equipment are capable of the complete range of all currently described advanced high-resolution NMR experiments for structural biology and macroscopic (in-vivo) NMR experiments. In addition to access to spectrometers, the facility offers also access to:
i. the use of the extensive computer network to enable visitors to complement the spectroscopic work by computer calculations and simulations;
ii. to laboratory facilities tailored for biomolecular and in-vivo NMR (including laboratory animals and laboratory animal facilities that are available at cost), and;
iii. to protein characterization equipment. Simple rooms for overnight stays are available. Additionally, assistance and research expertise are provided to support the research of the users of the facility.


Guest researchers and research trainees from the EU and Associated States can apply to the facility anytime during the year. Proposal forms can either be downloaded from the WEB ( or forwarded by the facility on request. A local committee will screen the proposal on technical feasibility and give a preliminary advice on the scientific content of the proposal and the type of equipment to be used. The proposal is then forwarded to an international "Expert Panel", and after a positive decision on the acceptability of the proposal, it will be forwarded to the EC for final approval.

Call for proposal

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