Magnetic resonance network for Queensland

Monday, 26 September, 2005

The University of Queensland is establishing the Queensland Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Network (QNN), placing UQ at the forefront of international research in structural biology, biodiscovery and animal neuroimaging.

The $17 million QNN will establish a network of state-of-the-art high field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) equipment, including the most powerful machine of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere - a 900 MHz high-resolution spectrometer.

"The 900 MHz spectrometer has the highest field strength of any machine in Australia or the Southern Hemisphere, and is also the most powerful commercially available machine of its type in the world," said Professor Brereton (inaugural director).

"The facilities will allow researchers from universities, institutes and companies to carry out research in a broad range of fields, in particular biodiscovery, drug design, neuroscience and instrument development." He said NMR was a key technology for determining the structures of molecules and visualising the anatomy of living tissue and microscopic structure.

"NMR is one of only two techniques available for determining the structures of proteins, providing the fundamental molecular information used in drug design programs."

He said researchers in regional Queensland centres would also benefit by having access to QNN's research infrastructure from areas such as Townsville and Rockhampton, as well as provide access to the technology for the first time on the Sunshine Coast.

The state government recently announced it will contribute $5 million to the QNN, as part of its Smart State strategy, which will go towards the purchase of the 900 MHz instrument at UQ, a 400 MHz instrument at QUT and an enhancement of an existing 600 MHz instrument at Griffith University.

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