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National Biomedical Center
for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance Technology

Our research is supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

ACERT News

News Archive

last update:   August 21, 2018


ACERT Hands-On Tutorial Workshop on Denoising ESR Signals via Wavelets

The ACERT 2018 Hands-On Tutorial Denoising Workshop took place on July 30-31. Participants came from a number of U.S. and international institutions: the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Denver, Vanderbilt University, University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, the University of Maryland, ETH Zürich, and the Technion, as well people from Cornell. In addition, two employees of our corporate sponsor, Bruker Biospin Corp., attended. Day One consisted of a variety of presentations on the theoretical background of wavelets and the methodologies we have developed to use them for denoising ESR signals, followed by several case studies by our invited speakers–Sandra Eaton of the University of Denver, Songi Han of the University of California Santa Barbara, Igor Dikiy of the Structural Biology Initiative at the NY Advanced Research Center in NYC, and Siddarth Chandrasekaran of the Brian Crane lab at Cornell–of how the new methods have helped research labs achieve better research results. Day Two had participants learn in the morning how to use the software we have developed, followed in the afternoon by using the software to denoise datasets that they had brought themselves. The participants provided a large number of very helpful comments and suggestions, which we are using to improve the software and user interface.

Further details can be found here.


September, 2017--New ACERT X/Q Pulsed ENDOR Spectrometer Facility.

In June, 2017, a state-of-the-art Bruker Elexsys-II E580 X/Q-Band pulsed Electron-Nuclear Double Resonance (ENDOR) ESR spectrometer was installed at the NIH P41-funded National Biomedical Center for Advanced ESR Technology (ACERT) at Cornell University, housed in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Research groups at Cornell, the University of Rochester, SUNY Buffalo, and other future collaborating institutions can now use this modern commercial instrument. ACERT possesses the necessary expertise and technical capability to maintain the facility, which is unique in the Northeastern US.

ACERT, since its establishment in 2001, provides EPR expertise and service to many research groups nationally, which represent many biomedical fields. While the EPR currently performed in ACERT has been crucial in obtaining structural and functional information on paramagnetic cofactors in biological systems such as iron sulfur clusters, copper active sites etc., additional studies using ENDOR were often necessary but not available at Cornell for such users. Having an ENDOR shared capability at Cornell housed in ACERT will dramatically improve the quality of research for the groups participating in this proposal, as well as others who interact with ACERT. Facility users will have direct control of their ENDOR measurements, which will become part of their daily research. Also, importantly, ENDOR and EPR studies can now be carried out at the same time on the same samples and under the same conditions. As described below in the projects of major/minor users, ENDOR and EPR (e.g. ESEEM) are complementary to each other in terms of revealing different aspects of interactions between the unpaired electron and nuclear spins present in biological systems under study.

There are currently five major user groups planning to use our proposed ENDOR spectrometer, as well as additional minor users. The NIH-supported research projects of the major users include: (1) ENDOR study of novel chemistry of a [4Fe-4S]-cluster containing radical enzyme in diphthamide biosynthesis; (2) ENDOR and Electron-Spin Echo Envelope Modulation (ESEEM) to probe the role of hydration in membrane fusion; (3) ENDOR spectroscopy studies of proteins that mediate signal transduction through redox and photochemistry; (4) mechanism of inhibition of ribonuclease reductase by anti-cancer drugs; and (5) structure and dynamics of porphysomes — new photosensitive agents in cancer therapy and drug delivery. Additional projects from minor users include: (6)structure and function of artificial hydrogenases; (7) nitrification of enzymes and electron transfer proteins; and (8) hydration at lipid surfaces. Given the growing interest in ENDOR we also anticipate additional users.

The ACERT Elexsys-II ENDOR system is user-friendly and suitable for multiple users with a range of spectrometer configuration requirements. The types of user-friendly operations available at ACERT allow a rapid feedback between the expression, design, or synthesis of the system of interest and the analysis of its detailed structural parameters. For this reason, it was deemed appropriate to establish a fast-throughput ENDOR capability at ACERT, motivated by an initial group of key biomedical investigators. The good resolution for ENDOR at Q-band is a very important advantage of the proposed system. At the higher fields associated with Q-band frequencies, orientational spectra are spread over an almost 4 times larger range of frequencies than at X-band. This increases the ENDOR experiment's sensitivity to and resolution of small structural changes, in turn improving the quality of results for important biological applications of ESR, such as the determination of structures and mechanisms of enzyme catalytic centers.


July, 2017--Prof. Jack H. Freed is named a Fellow of the IES (International Electron spin/paramagnetic resonance) Society at their July 23-28 Quebec City meeting.

A Fellowship of the Society may be conferred on individuals who have made influential and distinguished contributions to the practice of EPR (ESR) Spectroscopy and its welfare over a long period.


June, 2017--Prof. Jack H. Freed is awarded the Voevodsky Prize during the IXth Voevodsky conference in Novosibirsk, Russia, June 25-30.

The Voevodsky Prize is awarded once every two years, in the memory of Academician V. V. Voevodsky of the Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the International Tomography Center. The Prize is awarded to Russian and foreign scientists, in turn, for outstanding contributions to the investigation of mechanisms of chemical reactions, structure and properties of active intermediates, and elementary reactions in photo- and radiation chemistry by radiospectroscopic methods.

Awarding of the Voevodsky Prize is based on a competition. Candidates are nominated by scientific institutes or by individual scientists. The final decision is made by an Award Committee, consisting of 7 members. Members of the Committee are selected by the Scientific Council of the Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion and are renewed each five years. The Voevodsky Prize is presented either at the session of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion or during the conference dedicated to the memory of V. V. Voevodsky. An Awardee is expected to participate in these meetings and deliver a lecture on his scientific work.

 

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