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NMR Centers in the Netherlands

uNMR-NL Academic Partners


Leiden University (UL)

Groupleaders: H. J. M. de Groot, A. Pandit, M. Ubbink, H. van Ingen

The Leiden groups perform fundamental and applied NMR spectroscopy with solid state NMR, for complex systems in solution, in metabolomics and with force detection methods.

The unifying focus of the fundamental research in Leiden is on resolving functional energy landscapes. With NMR spectroscopy we analyze, explain and pave the way for mimicking the functional complexity, static and dynamic, of biomolecular assemblies driving biocatalysis and signal transduction, energy and electron transfer, self-assembly and self-organization, development and evolution. We explore the boundaries in instrumentation with ultrahigh magnetic field, paramagnetic NMR tools for protein interactions, solution NMR on very large nucleic acid-protein assemblies and micro-MRI.

Research aimed at NMR applications focuses on atomic scale MRI, new, faster methods for drug development, translational medicine and pulsed metabolomics. The groups participate in public-private partnerships for in vivo spectroscopy for translational research in medicine, metabolomics, solar fuel research and the development of novel NMR instrumentation. Commercial spin-offs comprise ZOBIO (high throughput ligand screening), PLI (labeling of cells and tissue) and isotope labeling by total synthesis as part of Buchem B.V.


Radboud University Nijmegen (RU)

Groupleaders: A. Kentgens

The research groups of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM, Radboud University Nijmegen), focusing on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, cover a broad range of research topics in the areas of Functional Materials, Sustainability and Health. Their research is structured in three layers. On the highest aggregation level are the applied projects, which are mainly focused on materials research for energy storage and conversion, structure-function relations in polymers ranging from basic polyolefins to complex biomimetic systems and hydrogels. On the biophysical chemistry side research focuses on molecular crowding and confinement. Within all these projects the structure directing forces, transport and dynamics and the existence of (dis)order can be identified as fundamental underlying concepts that we are exploring to gain an in-depth understanding of the principles that bring a specific functionality to a molecular construct or material. This approach requires appropriate methodology. The groups therefore direct a considerable amount of their research efforts towards enabling technologies with the ambition to progress from bulk characterization to an approach that allows unraveling of the inner workings of the smallest functional units in relation to the processes and functionalities under investigation. Here hyperpolarization (Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) and para-Hydrogen induced Polarization (PHIP)), microcoil-based probe developments, and computational strategies are most prominent. Spinnovation has spun-off as a company focusing on metabolic profiling and providing solids and liquids NMR analytical services.


Utrecht University  (UU)

Groupleaders: M. Baldus, R. Boelens, A.M.J.J. Bonvin, M.H. Weingarth

Research at the Utrecht NMR group centers around three focal points:

• Firstly, we are developing NMR-based concepts that permit the structural and dynamical description of biomolecular systems of increasing size and complexity. Especially in the case of large complexes or cellular preparations, we utilize and further develop hyperpolarization methods such as Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP).

• Secondly, we apply these methods to characterize elementary biological processes in close relationship to molecular function or pharmacological intervention. Current target areas include:

-      Signal transduction and substrate transport across natural  pro- and eukaryotic cell membranes
-      Transcription regulation, DNA repair and protein synthesis
-      Amyloids, drug delivery systems and other molecular assemblies
-      Biomaterials including diatom biosilica and hydrogels

• Thirdly, we develop and apply computational structural biology methods that can be readily combined with NMR and/or other biophysical and bioinformatics information sources.

All projects are embedded in a strong local and (inter)national research environment allowing us to describe molecular and cellular structure and organization on different levels of time and spatial resolution.


Wageningen (WU)

Groupleaders: H. Van As, J. van Duynhoven, A.H. Velders

Research at the Wageningen NMR Center aims to characterize structure-function relationships of complex mixtures, (supra)macromolecular complexes and complete (bio)systems, with in particular applications in life sciences (health, nutrition, ecology, plants, food, biology and medicine). A combination of various NMR and MRI spectrometers (low field portable, Time Domain, imaging, high field solid and liquid state, diffusion and imaging, home-built microfluidic probes) is exploited for these purposes.

The super-wide-bore 3T intact plant MRI and high field NMR systems, in combination with available simulation programs for identification, are unique. Rheo-MRI is available on the wide-bore 7 T system for soft matter structure studies under dynamic (stress) conditions, and micro-imaging at 14 T is exploited for monitoring plant growth and biocatalysis. Microfluidic NMR probes are being developed in-house for identification and quantification of minors and single-cell studies.

NMR & MRI hardware and methods development is directed to study intact plants (production, hydraulic conductance, transport processes, water limitation, product quality), food and fruits (composition, processing, structure, metabolomics, authenticity, safety) and food-health relationship by body fluid analyses (high throughput metabolomics, biomarker search, complex mixture analysis, small-volume NMR).