Campus: Los Angeles -- February 15, 2006
Molecular Analysis Boosts Research Sciences at Cal State L.A.
A powerful new research capability at Cal State L.A. will enhance
science learning across multiple disciplines. The 600-megahertz NMR
(nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrometer is the most powerful machine
of its kind within the CSU, enabling researchers to analyze the
three-dimensional structure of molecules and image small animals in vivo.
"As chemists, we must understand structures at the molecular level so
we'll know how they're made up," says Yong Ba, associate professor of
chemistry and director of the NMR Lab at CSULA. "The NMR allows us to
see what's inside a molecule and living tissue without destroying anything,
in a way that no other instrument can. It's the single most important
instrument in chemistry and biological science."
Funded jointly by the W.M. Keck Foundation, National Institutes of Health
and Cal State L.A., the NMR aligns magnetic nuclei with a very powerful
external magnetic field. NMR spectroscopy is one of the primary techniques
used to obtain structural information about a molecule. It is the only
technique that can provide detailed information on the exact
three-dimensional structure of biological molecules in solution.
The NMR, already drawing faculty observers from other universities,
will be used in research across several departments, including chemistry,
biology, kinesiology and nutritional science. CSULA science faculty members
plan to invite local high-school and middle-school students to observe
and learn about the powerful capabilities of the NMR.
Desdemona Cardoza, dean of the University's College of Natural and Social
Sciences, states: "By leveraging resources from both private and public
sources, Cal State L.A. has been able to provide this state-of-the-art
laboratory facility for students and faculty in the sciences. Having
the NMR on our campus significantly enhances our ability to secure
research and training grants enabling our students to engage in research
activities with faculty and gain hands-on experience with this leading-edge
Contact: Margie Yu, Office of Public Affairs, (323) 343-3047