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Gary Lorigan awarded NSF grant for pulsed EPR spectrometer

11/16/2007

Gary Lorigan (chemistry and biochemistry) is the recipient of a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The nearly $600,000 grant will be used for the acquisition of a pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer - the first placed at an academic institution in Ohio. Co-principal investigators include Chris Makaroff (chair, chemistry and biochemistry) Michael Crowder and Hongcai Zhou (chemistry and biochemistry) and Michael Kennedy, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Structural Biology.

An electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer yields information on the molecular and electronic structure of molecules. Pulsed EPR spectroscopy uses short, powerful microwave pulses to perturb the magnetization between magnetic nuclei and paramagnetic centers in biological samples and monitors their return to equilibrium. This method has provided a wealth of new information for biological systems, according to Lorigan.

At Miami, the state-of-the-art instrument will be used for several major research projects including the structural characterization of membrane proteins and the characterization of several nanostructured artificial enzymes.

Researchers and collaborators from other institutions in Ohio will also have access to the new instrument, says Lorigan.

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