A state-of-the-art center within the Department of Structural Biology for biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy across St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The Biomolecular NMR Center enables cutting-edge studies of protein structure and dynamics; how these fundamental physical properties are related to biological function; and, importantly, how they are altered in human diseases such as cancer. In addition, the NMR facility is used extensively for drug-discovery research and is currently involved in the Blue Sky Initiative "Seeing the Invisible in Protein Kinases".
NMR spectroscopy uses very strong, superconducting magnets and high-power radio-frequency pulses to study the chemical structure and dynamics of molecules, ranging from small chemical compounds (e.g., drugs) to biological macromolecules (e.g., proteins, nucleic acids). NMR spectroscopy can provide critical molecular insights into biomolecule function and mechanisms of human diseases.
The Biomolecular NMR Center is managed by expert scientists who facilitate the application of a wide array of NMR methodologies to research projects across St. Jude. The Center's staff supports and trains researchers on designing and performing NMR experiments, enabling research and discovery in the Structural Biology Department and many other departments at St. Jude.
The Biomolecular NMR Center infrastructure is undergoing expansion to further increase the contribution of NMR spectroscopy across the breadth of biomedical research at St. Jude. Our equipment includes eleven high field NMR spectrometers: 1.1 GHz (among the world's most powerful NMR instruments), 850 MHz (1), 800 MHz (4), 700 MHz (2), 600 MHz (3). The center also manages two low-field NMR spectrometers, at 500 MHz (1) and 400 MHz (1), for the Chemical Biology & Therapeutics Department.
Access: Researchers from inside or outside the Department of Structural Biology who are interested in applying NMR approaches should refer to its intranet pages for information on NMR techniques and for the Center's policies and guidelines. New users should understand basic NMR concepts and are required to undergo training and a proficiency test before gaining access to the Center’s instruments. Projects requiring extensive collaboration with Center staff members should be approved by the Director or by Dr. Kriwacki (Director of NMR Operations).
Youlin Xia obtained his PhD at the Wuhan Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and received postdoctoral training at the University of Toronto and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was a Lecturer at Department of Physics, Hunan Educational Institute, and a Lecturer and Associate Professor at School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China. Dr. Xia became Research Associate Professor and Manager of the NMR Center at the University of Houston in 2002; and Research Associate Professor and Manager of Structural Biology at the NMR Center at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2010. He became the Director of the Biomolecular NMR Center at the Structural Biology Department at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2017.
Youlin Xia, PhD – Director
Structural Biology MS311
St. Jude Children Research Hospital