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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance & Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

900-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
The William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory's 900-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer being tuned and calibrated for a triple-resonance experiment of a 66 kDa protein-lipid complex.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) instruments at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are housed in the High-Field Magnetic Resonance Facility (HFMRF), which is part of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL). Current research in the HFMRF is focused on determining the structures of molecules that could affect biological health and remediation of environmental damage.

Our scientists have used the facility to carry out some of the most exciting research in modern molecular biology and biochemistry, including:

  • structural genomics - to determine the three-dimensional structure of DNA, RNA, proteins, and enzymes as well as their intermolecular association
  • functional genomics - to determine the interaction domains among DNA, RNA, and proteins, with particular emphasis on DNA damage recognition and repair processes
  • biological imaging - to acquire images and corresponding chemical information in biological samples, with particular interest in development of combined magnetic resonance and optical spectroscopy techniques to elucidate biological processes
  • solid state - for low gamma nuclei detection and slow magic-angle spinning methodologies for cells, tissues, small animals, and bacterial colonies
  • novel low-temperature solid-state NMR spectroscopy - for sensitivity enhancement; this technique has been applied to allow direct observation of the Zn2+ in carbonic anhydrase (highlight).

Instrumentation and Technologies

Note: The following links are to the EMSL website
slow-spinning NMR technique reveals hidden biology
Slow magic-angle spinning magnetic resonance spectrometry can be applied to diagnose cancer and other diseases, as well as to monitor drug treatments in the body. View press release


  • EPR Spectrometer with ENDOR (Electron-Nuclear Double Resonance)/ELDOR (Electron Double Resonance) capability

Additional Technologies

  • Combined optical and magnetic resonance microscope
  • Low temperature probes for metalloprotein chemistry and structure
  • Virtual NMR capability enables use and collaboration with EMSL scientists for remote users via secure shell over the Internet

Systems Biology at PNNL

Research & Capabilities


Applying Capabilities to Research

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