The NMR Spectroscopy Shared Resource currently provides highly valued instrumentation to projects in sixteen Cancer Institute member laboratories representing five different programs. It is an essential resource for research in structural and chemical biology and has a direct impact on projects in the Cancer Institute Programs in Developmental Therapeutics, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, Neuro-Oncology, Cancer Prevention, Detection and Control, and Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapies.
The impact of this Resource on the research efforts of Cancer Institute members is well documented and is highlighted by the number of publications that include or depend on data obtained in the facility. The instrumentation available provides investigators with state-of-the-art capabilities in NMR spectroscopy, one of the most powerful tools in modern biomedical research. NMR has proven to be invaluable for solution studies of macromolecules and their interactions with other biomolecules and substrates in biological systems. A particularly attractive feature of NMR is the ability to characterize molecular dynamics along with structure as a means of understanding the determinants of biological activity and reactivity.
During the past grant period, structures of several important protein, nucleic acid, and bound complexes have been determined by Cancer Institute members using the advanced technology and instrumentation in the Resource. In addition, studies of dynamics and chemical kinetics have been carried out and analytical characterization of synthetic substrates, therapeutic agents and contrast agents have been accomplished in Cancer Institute member programs. Finally, efforts to advance the technology of these methods are continuing to be pursued by staff within the resource in order to provide new and often unique tools for Cancer Institute investigators.
The cost effectiveness of this shared resource to Cancer Institute member’s research is outstanding. Investigators have access to over $6M in equipment resources on campus as well as $10M in NMR equipment at the North Carolina Research Campus. This equipment is an essential cornerstone for structural biology and much of modern molecular biological and chemical research of interest to Cancer Institute members. The equipment in this shared resource is generally too expensive to obtain, support, and maintain in any one laboratory or even at a departmental level. The value added of having experienced senior staff members to train and help DCI investigators as they pursue their research projects is also extraordinary. In addition, the expert staff provides a very cost effective means of maintaining and optimizing the operation of the expensive equipment so that investigators can rely on obtaining quality data in a timely fashion. DCI member access to an outside vendor operated facility like this in reality, is not available.