Magnetic Resonance

John S. Dunn, Sr. Gulf Coast Consortium for Magnetic Resonance

Enabling essential insights and advances through cross-disciplinary research and education in the field of magnetic resonance imaging

The purpose of the John S. Dunn, Sr.Gulf Coast Consortium for Magnetic Resonance (GCC MR) is to foster excellent cross-disciplinary research and education in the field of magnetic resonance and imaging, particularly in the Houston/Galveston geographical area.

We have increased substantially the capacity in this geographic region for both nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the addition of three specific pieces of equipment: two high-field NMR instruments and an MRI instrument targeted for small animal imaging.

The GCC MR serves as a means of building and maintaining a community of interest among researchers at member institutions, as well as building a robust infrastructure of magnetic resonance equipment. These techniques provide atomic insight and dynamic structure on one end of the spectrum and molecular detail in whole tissues and intact organisms at the other.

The GCC MR seeks to fulfill this mission through activities in three areas: education, communication, and research funding.


About GCC MR

The GCC MR was one of the first research consortia in the GCC and was funded by the original Keck Foundation award of $3.5M in 2001. From this award, $2.0M was used to purchase two shared 800 MHz Varian NMRs with cold probes (one placed at UTMB and the other at Rice University). In addition, $500K from the Keck award was used to help purchase a 9.4 T shared small animal imager at Baylor College of Medicine.

In addition, Dow Chemical provided $286K, the John S. Dunn, Sr. Foundation, provided two awards of $750,000 and $550,000, and UTMB another $480K for the remaining cost of high field NMR purchases and maintenance and repair contracts for the two cold probes. In 2006 an application was submitted by Dr. Joel Morrisett to the NIH Shared Instrumentation Program for a Magnetic Resonance Microimaging system. The instrument was funded in the amount of $329,900 that was used to purchase a 9.4T Bruker AVANCE MRI.

utmb-nmr

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Instrumentation

UTMB GCC 800 MHz NMR, 2011
Supported by FEMA, the 800-MHz spectrometer in UTMB’s NMR facility was upgraded in November/December 2011. A new Bruker Avance III console and a TCI (1H/2H/13C/15N) cryogenic probe system were successfully installed for the 800-MHz magnet. The cryogenic probe permits detection of NMR signals with a ~3-fold higher sensitivity than the RT probe (S/N=2000:1).

Since the upgrade, the 800-MHz NMR instrument has been in an excellent working condition. With typical monthly usage > 85%, the 800-MHz instrument is actively used for biomedical research. The building of the NMR facility was renovated as part of UTMB’s effort for mitigation of potential hurricane damage.

The renovation includes installation of three high-capacity uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units, stabilization of the emergency power supply, and most importantly, construction of waterproof walls to protect the facility from a 15-ft tidal surge that may happen again due to a hurricane. The UPS units have greatly reduced the spectrometers’ down time due to short power outage that had happened many times.

Contact, Operations and Training
Dr. Junji Iwahara, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTMB, serves as contact. Dr. Tianzhi Wang serves as NMR facility manager. For members of the GCC, the instrument is available on a fee-for-service basis ($8/hr). The NMR facility manager offers personalized instruction in the operation of the instrument. Instrument competence is required for a user to qualify for unassisted use.

See https://scsb.utmb.edu/resources/nmr_spec.asp for more information.

Rice GCC 800 MHz NMR, 2006
In June of 2006, the H/C/N cold probe was installed on the NMR. This probe substantially increased the sensitivity of the instrument (an s/n of ca. 6000:1 on the proton standard). In September of 2006, the cryogenic switch opened again for the 3rd time, but was rapidly returned to service. An agreement with Varian and Magnex on service for this continuing issue is largely complete.

Contact, Operations and Training
Dr. Edward Nikonowicz, Vice Director of the GCC MR, serves as the contact at Rice for the 800 MHz. Dr. Quinn Kleerekoper serves as laboratory manager. For members of the GCC, the instrument is available on a fee-for-service basis ($8/hr). The lab manager offers personalized instruction in the operation of the instrument. Instrument competence is required for a user to qualify for unassisted use.

Rice Biochemistry Department NMR Inventory
Varian Inova 500 w/HCNP quad probe
Varian Inova 600 w/HCN cold probe (H and C double-enhanced)
Varian Inova 800 w/HCN cold probe (H only enhanced); GCC MR instrument
UTMB NMR via Sealy Center for Structural Biology
Varian Direct Drive 750 w/HCN triple probe
Varian Direct Drive 800 w/HCN cold probe (H only enhanced); GCC MR instrument
Varian Inova 600 w/HCN triple probe

Additional MR Capabilities Available to GCC Members

University of Houston NMR laboratory
This facility gives GCC members access to a Bruker Avance TM 800 w/HCN cryoprobe. For details and to schedule access, contact Xiaolian Gao, Professor of Biology and Biochemistry.

The UT-Houston NMR laboratory
Lab includes a Bruker AvanceTM 600 MHz NMR spectrometer system with 54 mm bore UltrashieldTM magnet, and electronics console capable of monitoring 4 channels, and a TXI (Inverse Triple Resonance) Cryoprobe (5 mm sample diameter) for observation of 1H while decoupling 13C and 15N, including 2D lock with actively shielded Z-gradient coil. Signal to noise is 1H > 6000:1 (0.1% ethyl benzene).

NMR at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston's MDA makes available a Bruker 300 MHz DPX and a Bruker 500 MHz DRX instruments on the North Campus and a Bruker 600 MHz Avance at the El Rio Facility.

The 300 MHz instrument features:

A 5 mm broad band observe probe (BBO) for monitoring most magnetic nuclei
A custom built "quad" probe for observing 1H, 13C, 19F, and 195Pt
Changing nuclei accomplished under software control
The 500-MHz instrument features:

  • X, Y, and Z triple-axis pulsed field gradient capability
  • Six probes
    • 2.5-mm broad band observe probe for microsamples
    • 5-mm broad band observe probe
    • 5-mm broad band inverse detected probe
    • 5-mm triple resonance probe for observing 1H, 13C, and 15N
    • 5-mm triple resonance probe for observing 1H, 13C, and 31P
    • 10-mm custom built "quad" probe for observing 1H, 13C, 19F, and 31P in biological samples such as cultured cells.
    • Changing nuclei is accomplished under software control

A Case autosampler, which can process up to 24 samples, is also available for use with either spectrometer.

The 600-MHz spectrometer has the following features:
Z-axis pulsed field gradient capability
Seven Probes

  1. 5-mm broad band observe probe
  2. 5-mm broad band inverse detected probe
  3. 5-mm triple resonance probe for observing 1H, 13C, and 31P
  4. 5 mm dual resonance probe tunable to 1H and 19F
  5. 10-mm custom built "quad" probe for observing 1H, 13C, 19F, and 31P in biological samples such as cultured cells. Changing nuclei is accomplished under software control
  6. High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning probe for solids tunable to 1H and 13C
  7. High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning probe for solids tunable to 1H and 31P

For more information, contact:

Rice University
Quinn Kleerekoper, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Phone: 713-348-3475
Email: qkk1@rice.edu

UT Medical Branch at Galveston
Tianzhi Wang, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Phone: 409-747-6821
Email: tiawang@utmb.edu

Gulf Coast Consortia
Suzanne Tomlinson, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-348-4772
Email: smtomlin@rice.edu

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GCC MR FAQs

What are the member institutions of the GCC MR?
The member institutions are Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, Institute of Biosciences and Technology of Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Does the GCC MR offer a degree program?
The GCC MR is a collaborative effort between the member institutions; all degree programs are offered through one of the member institutions. Interested students are encouraged to explore the individual admissions websites for background information and then contact the GCC office for additional information.

How do I contact the GCC MR?
For more information, contact Suzanne Tomlinson, Ph.D., Director, GCC Research Consortia Programs

How do I become affiliated with the GCC MR?
For more information on upcoming GCC MR events and news, please join our mailing list.

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GCC Magnetic Resonance Steering Team

Chair

Ed Nikonowicz, Ph.D.
Professor, Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Rice University

Vice Chair

Junji Iwahara, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Gerd Brunner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine-Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine

Xiaolian Gao, Ph.D.
Professor, Chemistry
University of Houston

John McMurray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Experimental Therapeutics
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Ponnada Narayana, Ph.D.
Professor, Medical School
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

John Putkey, Ph.D.
Professor, Medical School
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Damian Young, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Baylor College of Medicine

Industry Representative

David Redwine, Ph.D.
Dow Chemical

Emeritus Member

Joel Morrisett, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine

Gulf Coast Consortia Representative

Suzanne Tomlinson, Ph.D.
Director GCC Research Consortia Programs

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