MRI-R2 Grant

Award Date: April 2010


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Associate Professor Joanne Kehlbeck (Chemistry) a $309,950 grant through the Major Research Instrumentation - Recovery and Reinvestment (MRI-R2) program.  Funding for this project, entitled "MRI-R2: Acquisition of a 400 MHz NMR Spectrometer for Union College" is made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Along with Dr. Kehlbeck, several other Union faculty will use the instrumentation for research and teaching, including Co-PIs Susan Kohler (Lecturer, Chemistry), Laura MacManus-Spencer (Assistant Professor, Chemistry), and Laurie Tyler (Assistant Professor, Chemistry) as well as other major users of the instrumentation: James Adrian (Professor, Chemistry), Janet Anderson (Professor, Chemistry), Mary Carroll (Professor and Chair, Chemistry), Kristin Fox (Associate Professor, Chemistry), Michael Hagerman (Associate Professor, Chemistry), and Kathleen LoGiudice (Associate Professor, Biology).


With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program Professor Joanne D. Kehlbeck and colleagues Susan Kohler, Laura A. MacManus-Spencer and Laurie Tyler from Union College will acquire a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. The instrument will be used to support research activities such as: 1) understanding and using hyperpolarized agents for magnetic resonance imaging and NMR spectroscopy, 2) determining molecular conformations, 3) identifying bioactive natural products, 4) advancing knowledge of nanoparticle structure and function, 5) increasing knowledge of J-coupling in inorganic transition metal complexes, and 6) understanding fluorocarbon/protein binding in the environment. The acquisition will foster collaborations between student and faculty researchers and increase student access to modern instrumentation in laboratory courses, summer programs, and community outreach activities.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available to chemists for the elucidation of the structure of molecules. It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the dynamics of interactions between molecules in solution. Access to state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers is essential to chemists who are carrying out frontier research. The results from these NMR studies will have an impact in synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research.