The NMR methodology group is jointly supervised by Gareth Morris and Mathias Nilsson, and currently has 13 members. Our research concerns the development of novel techniques in high resolution NMR spectroscopy, and their application to problems in chemistry, biochemistry, and medicine. In many cases this work leads to new pulse sequences and software tools, some of which are freely available here.
NMR is uniquely flexible, allowing great scope for ingenuity in modifying experiments to increase the amount of chemical information available from spectra. Multidimensional NMR methods can allow detailed structure determination for molecules as large as proteins, while recent advances in technique and instrumentation allow the non-invasive measurement of localised proton spectra of metabolites in human beings. Despite fifty years of development in both spectrometer hardware and experimental techniques, the pace of change shows no sign of slackening: NMR methods continue both to expand their range of application and to improve the ease with which they can be used to probe chemical, biochemical and biological structures.
Among current and recent projects in NMR research are work on diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) and matrix assisted DOSY (MAD), implementing homonuclear decoupling / pure shift methods, automated shimming methods, development of stabler NMR spectrometer hardware, and reference deconvolution and multivariate processing methods for improved data processing, along with a variety of other applications of NMR spectroscopy and the analysis of magnetization transfer contrast phenomena in magnetic resonance imaging.
The University of Manchester is fortunate in being one of the best-equipped NMR research centres in the country, with eleven superconducting spectrometers in the School of Chemistry alone. We have recently upgraded the NMR equipment, with the aid of a £1M grant from the EPSRC. In the Medical School there are first-class facilities for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with both whole-body and high-field small-bore systems. The School also hosts the EPSRC National EPR Service, providing multi-frequency CW EPR facilities to all UK academic institutions.