PD Dr. Burkhard Luy: firstname.lastname@example.org
NMR (500, 600, 750, 900 MHz spectrometers)
The BNMRZ at the Technical University Munich (TUM) was founded in 2001 to establish a state-of-the-art NMR facility for applications to biological macromolecules, based on the existing high-field spectrometers (750 and 900 MHz) granted by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The facility provides access for a number of groups mainly located in Bavaria, but also beyond.
What we do:
Our Heisenberg research group is involved in the theoretical description, methodological improvements and biological and chemical applications of NMR spectroscopy.
Based on our expertise in the understanding of coherence transfer, mathematical tools are used to simulate and optimize radiofrequency pulses and whole pulse sequence building blocks. The latest developments comprise optimal control theory (an optimization method used e.g. by NASA to calculate the most fuel-efficient way to the moon) and its application to spin dynamics. The special design of optimal control-based algorithms allows now the optimization with up to 20000 independent parameters which results in shaped pulses of so far unknown complexity and performance.
Our second major field of interest is the use of residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) for the determination of configuration and conformation of small to medium-sized molecules in most common solvents. Especially the development of so-called alignment media with tunable and sufficiently low alignment strength opened a wide range of new applications. Gummy bears (i.e. gelatin) as a chiral gel can even be used to distinguish enantiomers and determine enantiomeric excess.
On the applicational side we are involved in studies of all kinds of molecules of different molecular classes. However, the effect of modified nucleosides on the 3D-structure of DNA and the study of membrane-associated peptides are currently in the center of our interest.
In 2007 we started a first small "metabolomics" series of measuremnts by examining urine of wild type and knock-out mice in collaboration with the group of Prof. Hannelore Daniel. As NMR appears to be an indispensible tool for metabolomics with its apparently unlimited range of potential applications, we are strongly looking forward to the Munich Functional Metabolomics Initiative.