The Head of the MRC Biomedical NMR Centre has responsibility for the operational management of this MRC/Crick national facility, within the overall remit for the Centre as agreed by the Crick Director and MRC.  This includes managing the Centre’s resources to maximise scientific output and efficiency, setting objectives and monitoring progress, training users and Centre staff, and carrying out research activities in collaboration with users in support of the Centre’s scientific remit. 

A world-leader in Magnetic Instrumentation for Industrial, Research and Magnetics technology seeks a Physicist with significant experience in Magnet technology utilised in MRI and NMR equipment. Working as the technology expert on the full range of magnets technology within the organisation ranging from being the technical reference and solutions provider through to systems co-ordination between different technology teams. This will include working on the design and development of Magnets from Permanent to High Field Superconducting Magnets based on technology such as NbTi, Soft and Hard Magnet materials application, Cryogenic cooling systems including non-liquid helium based, Magnetic field stability and homogeneity issues, Shimming/Field Optimisation, Ferromagnetic blocks, Shim Coils at various temperatures, Gradient Coils via Golay coils and similar (inclusive of Inductance, Resistance and Efficiency issues), EPI, RF Coils design – both Surface & Volume based and to both Transmit and Receive, Resonant Frequency & SNR control, Magnetic Circuits, related RF/Analogue Electronics, general Electromagnetic performance, and an ability to bring all these technologies together.

his project is sponsored by Shell and focusses on improving the performance of redox flow batteries (RFBs). RFBs are particularly interesting for storing renewable energy because unlike traditional lithium-ion batteries, they store energy in electrolyte tanks rather than in solid electrodes. This allows their capacity to be scaled up in a cost-efficient way by changing the volume of electrolyte. This project focusses in particular on the development of RFBs using aqueous organic electrolytes and addressing the optimisation of the electrodes and catalysts for these organic RFBs. Operando measurement techniques (e.g. NMR, MRI, FT-IR and UV-VIS) will be set up for studying and optimising the architecture of the RFB cells and the material chemistries used in these batteries.

This role will involve working on the group’s NMR ‘food-omics’ workstream covering a range of areas spanning human, animal and environmental medicine and combining interdisciplinary approaches to deliver clinically-actionable solutions to real-world problems. You’ll be responsible for managing a flagship project on benchtop NMR for food authenticity, as well as working with the institutional and external high field facilities to further process samples. You’ll cover the spectrum of NMR experimental work from designing and implementing pulse sequences, sample preparation and data acquisition through to spectral assignment and data analysis.

Applications are invited for a Research Associate position in Magnetic Resonance to work in the group of Dr Meghan Halse in the Department of Chemistry. This fixed-term position for up to 36 months is part of the Hyperpolarised NMR Solutions beyond the Laboratory (HyperSoL) project, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the European Research Council Guarantee scheme. The goal of the HyperSoL project is to develop portable NMR technologies that exploit the signal amplification potential of parahydrogen hyperpolarisation to enable analytical applications beyond the typical laboratory environment.

The research group to which the post is associated studies the functional mechanisms of proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes by integrative structural biology. The laboratory uses and develops high-field NMR spectroscopy methods as major structural biology tool, in combination with several other techniques. The Research Fellow will work in the field of RNA metabolism, regulation of gene expression, DNA repair or signalling

The research group to which the post is associated studies the functional mechanisms of proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes by integrative structural biology. The laboratory uses and develops high-field NMR spectroscopy methods as major structural biology tool, in combination with several other techniques. The Research Fellow will work in the field of RNA metabolism, regulation of gene expression, DNA repair or signalling

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in organic chemistry, conducting research supervised by Dr Paul McGonigal in the Department of Chemistry. This fixed-term position is funded by the EPSRC through an award entitled ‘Shapeshifting Molecules’. The post holder will synthesise shapeshifting molecules to investigate their dynamic rearrangements and their applications as ligands for transition metals. The position will suit a candidate with a background in synthetic chemistry and expertise in multistep synthesis and/or screening transition metal-catalysed reactions. Experience of DFT modelling or using NMR spectroscopy to characterise dynamic processes would be beneficial but is not essential.

The project is funded for 2.5 years (30 months) by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and will involve solving high-resolution structures of complexes of FGFR intracellular domain with HSP90 and Cdc37 chaperone components using cryo-EM, as well as investigating dynamics and interaction epitopes using NMR spectroscopy and hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX-MS). Exceptional facilities and training are available in Leeds to support the project, including two Titan Krios electron microscopes equipped with the latest detectors as well as state-of-the-art cryoprobe-equipped NMR spectrometers including Bruker Avance III HD Aeon 950 MHz and Waters Synapt HDMS IM-MS, HDX and FPOP mass spectrometers.

PhD position at the Astbury Centre, University of Leeds, UK, for a project starting in October 2023, centred on structural and mechanistic investigations of plant enzymes of interest to the agriscience industry as potential targets for novel herbicides.

The goal of this PhD project is to develop theoretical approaches and computational algorithms that would allow prediction of the effects of molecular motions on various types of solid-state NMR data, from the results of state-of-the-art molecular modelling.

In this project you will work with an established switching molecule based on a calix[4]arene and develop it into a range of smart materials with different responsive properties. This will involve exploring how structure effects switching, finding new triggers for switching and developing new switchable macrocycles for a range of application including the controlled release of pharmaceuticals.

The project will enable the successful candidate to receive a highly interdisciplinary and unique training covering organic synthesis and physical characterisation; gaining synthetic skills for both small molecules and polymeric systems as well as developing and applying physical methods including advanced solution and solid state NMR, powder and single crystal X-ray crystallisation and calorimetry.

Our experimental approach focuses on the use of magnetic resonance techniques specifically Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in combination with molecular biological, and biochemical approaches.

This project will study a specific sodium symporter transporter LeuT, a small amino-acid transporter from Aquifex aeolicus, which is a structural homologue of the human neurotransmitter transporters for dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and amino butyric acid.

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) is increasingly applied in studies of metabolites because it is arguably one of the most powerful methods for obtaining structural and dynamic information in complex mixtures. Comprehensively monitoring the patterns of metabolites can be useful to both the analysis of underlying metabolite networks (e.g. the responses to the changing environment or the presence of stress, pest or disease) and as metabolite fingerprinting approaches (e.g., to confirm a food product’s authenticity or to demonstrate lack of potentially toxic adulteration). One exciting possibility to further improve the value of NMR-based metabolomics – which is still lacking sensitivity compared to conventional mass spectrometry approaches – is to take advantage of photo-chemically induced dynamic nuclear polarisation (photo-CIDNP), where observed NMR signal intensities of aromatic compounds in the presence of a photosensitiser are modulated and often significantly increased upon illumination.

Commercially available benchtop NMR spectrometers with fields of 1-2 T and better than 20 ppm field homogeneity have been demonstrated for use in reaction monitoring and control, including being incorporated into automated reaction screening systems. However, due to their relatively weak magnetic fields these instruments suffer from low sensitivity and significantly reduced chemical shift dispersion. This is not prohibitive for 1H NMR applications at moderate analyte concentrations; however, the resolution issue is very acute in 1H NMR. By contrast, 13C NMR spectra of natural abundance compounds are easily interpreted at fields of 1-2 T because of the relatively large ppm range for 13C and the lack of homonuclear couplings. However, the exceptionally low sensitivity of 13C means 13C NMR spectra can only be observed for highly concentrated samples and following large numbers of signal averages. The goal of this project is to target the hyperpolarisation of 13C at natural isotopic abundance using novel parahydrogen-based hyperpolarisation techniques and to implement these techniques on a benchtop NMR spectrometer. The focus of the project will be on improving the efficiency and broadening the scope of this approach through the design and implementation of novel in situ and ex situ methods for enhancing 13C signals in order to achieve high sensitivity 1D and 2D NMR spectra in reasonable experiment times. This project will involve the design and implementation of 1D and 2D NMR experiments and will focus on the development of novel NMR pulse sequences and data analysis strategies as well as instrumentation development, where appropriate.

The general aim of this project is to understand how different food processing approaches and ingredients may affect nutrient bioaccessibility by the development of cutting-edge NMR tools for mapping the impact of digestion on bioaccessibility of nutrients from food.

This project will involve the use a hyperpolarisation battery (HB) to improve the ability of NMR to characterise materials. It will achieve this through the synthesis of a series of pyridine and amine derivatives that can store the magnetism of parahydrogen in longer-lived magnetic states. These agents will then be evaluated as scaffolds to sensitise the detection of a series of metal complexes through reversible ligand binding. We will evaluate this process to optimise their ability to magnetise other materials and hence detect species linked to catalysis. We seek to use this outcome to overcome the low sensitivity of NMR, so that it is able to complete currently inaccessible measurements on chemical systems through the resulting spin order amplification.

This project will involve the creation of a hyperpolarisation battery (HB) that delivers magnetism rather that electric current to improve the ability of NMR to characterise materials. It will achieve this through the synthesis of novel molecular catalysts that place the magnetism of parahydrogen into long-lived magnetic states that lie on suitable molecular scaffolds to form the battery. A range of these scaffold will be evaluated to maximise the batteries storage capacity and its ability to magnetise other materials in a second stage. We seek to use this outcome to overcome the low sensitivity of NMR, so that it is able to complete currently inaccessible measurements on chemical systems through the resulting spin order amplification.

This project will use hyperpolarisation to improve the ability of NMR to examine aspects of frustrated lewis pair reactivity, homogeneous catalysis and biomarker sensitization. It will achieve this through the use of parahydrogen based sensitisation methods that involve the reversible binding of specific substrates to a series of metal complexes. We will seek to evaluate these approaches as routes to probe chemical transformations by frustrated Lewis pairs, palladium based catalyst and the detection of key biomarkers like glucose and pyruvate. This will require us to overcome the low sensitivity of NMR, so that we can make currently inaccessible measurements on these systems through the resulting spin order amplification.

Sebum, a waxy lipid-rich biofluid, is produced from the sebaceous gland and is traditionally connected with skin conditions such as acne2, psoriasis3 and seborrhoea4. However, its potential as a diagnostic matrix could go well beyond skin-related ailments. We have recently shown that sebum has a critical diagnostic role in other diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, tuberculosis5 and COVID-196.

As sebum is readily available, it is close to an ideal candidate for use in non-invasive diagnostics. Only the basic makeup of sebum is known, and a thorough investigation of the metabolome is overdue. This metabolome contains both metabolites produced endogenously from the sebaceous glands and those created by the skin microbiota, often called the exposome. A better understanding of host sebum and skin microbiota symbiosis is critical for understanding sebum’s role in health and disease. This project will use tandem mass spectrometry approaches together with high-resolution NMR to analyse sebum. The MS methods have unparalleled sensitivity, while NMR has the advantage of being directly quantitative and is the method of choice for metabolite identification, providing detailed structural information. Sebum samples will be analysed to obtain a vastly improved understanding of its composition and the variation of that composition. With this information, improved diagnostic methods for several diseases should be possible and tested in a metabolomics approach focused on Parkinson’s disease.

In this PhD studentship, you will develop and apply cutting-edge nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to reveal how divalent metals (M2+, M = Ca, Mg, Zn) are distributed between the various molecules present in the small intestine. Working with researchers at the Quadram Institute, you will construct lab-based models of the gastrointestinal tract to simulate the digestion of M2+-containing foods and supplements. Your work will forge a crucial link between the dietary intake of food and the quantity of M2+ absorbed. This work will greatly aid the development of new foods and supplements to treat individuals suffering from deficiencies of Ca, Mg or Zn.

Plants employ a range of distinct biosynthetic and metabolic strategies for photosynthesis and isoprenoid biosynthesis. A number of the enzymes that catalyse key steps in plant biosynthetic pathways utilise thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) as a cofactor. TPP-dependent enzymes typically catalyse reactions involving the transfer or removal of carbonyl-containing units from pathway intermediates. A prominent example is 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXS), the key control point of the methylerythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) or ‘non-mevalonate’ pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis. Given its absence in animals, this pathway is considered a potentially attractive target for development of herbicides.

Despite belonging to a generally well-understood class of enzymes, mechanistic understanding of DXS and its inhibition is still relatively limited, at least in part because structure determination, particularly of substrate-, catalytic intermediate-, product- or inhibitor-bound forms by X-ray crystallography has proved to be quite challenging. We propose to use cutting-edge ultra-high field methyl NMR and hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to build on our earlier work. Specifically, we will transfer our methyl NMR approach based on the E. coli DXS system to orthologue(s) from plant species that will be more relevant model systems for herbicidal inhibitor development.

Applications are invited from students with independent funding for a PhD in the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy applied to Drug Delivery. In the recent years, Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) have attracted much attention for their application in enhance the solubility and availability of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API).

DES are eutectic mixtures which present thermodynamical properties that differ from the ideal eutectic mixtures, specially characterised by a strong depression in the melting point. They can be designed to be 100% biocompatible, to be liquids at room or corporal body temperatures with the desired mechanical properties or to enhance the solubility of an API by several orders of magnitude respect to water. The highest levels of solubility are reached when the API is a main component in the DES.

However, very little is known about the supramolecular structure of DES in the liquid state that can justify for their thermodynamical behaviour or the molecular basis for the solubility enhancement of APIs and other organic compounds. Very recently NMR has emerged as a powerful technique able to study the intermolecular interactions inside de DES at atomic level, giving the key knowledge to design better mixtures for specific applications or to solubilise a specific API.

Applications are invited for a fully funded 3-year PhD project in the areas of chemical biology and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) in the School Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia.

At the first stage of the project, the student will design and synthetise new glycosyltransferase inhibitors based on the natural substrate with reduced polarity. To this end they will use molecular simulation software to predict the inhibition properties of the designed compounds.

Afterwards, the PhD candidate will make use of advanced NMR experiments, supported with bioinformatic tools and biophysical techniques, to study the structure and molecular interaction between several human glycosyltransferases and new inhibitors. The valuable information extracted from this study will feedback the design/synthesis process in order to obtain stronger inhibitors with increased specificity for each glycosyltransferase studied.

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