The new Biological Solid State NMR Facility housed and run at the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot as an out-post of the University, and is equipped as one of the major solid state biological Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) centres in the world.
The Facility was opened in January 1998 and funded through investments by HEFCE and BBSRC, and matching funds from instrumental manufacturers. With future planned expansion, it will have some of the most advanced instruments (at 200MHz, 400MHz, 500MHz and 800MHz) and support facilities anywhere world-wide for use in structural biology.
Professor Anthony Watts is Director of the Oxford University Biomembrane Structure Unit (OUBSU), of which the NMR Facility forms a part. The main research interests of the Watts group focus on the study of the structure of small molecules when at their site of action in membrane-bound proteins whilst in their native, fully functional form in membranes. In addition, peptides which form channels in membranes are being studied to high resolution using solid state NMR methods. The potential for understanding how membrane-bound targets for hormones, solutes and drugs' function can be realised with this emerging technology.