Smart State Research Facilities
Fund (SSRFF) Grant for Queensland NMR Network
Beattie reveals mega-magnet
The strongest magnet in the
southern hemisphere, to be used for biomedical research, was unvealed
by Premier Peter Beattie yesterday. The almost 4m-tall instrument,
which is equal to the strongest of its kind in the world, will be
housed at the University of Queensland for researchers to set up projects
for the early stages of drug development.
Targets for pharmaceuticals include
those against cancer, tuberculosis, Alzheimer's disease and multiple
sclerosis. The nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer uses intense
fields to determine the structure and functional relationships of
protein compounds. On determining the structure, scientists can design
drugs to interact with the molecules.
The machine is powered by a superconductor
and has a magnetic field 40,000 times that of the Earth's magnetic
field. Currently, UQ, Griffith University and the Queensland University
of Technology have signed on to use the machine, with five other universities
interested in becoming involved.
Officially opening the operation
yesterday, Mr Beattie said it was a necessary plank to build the Smart
State's knowled economy...
The Queensland Government contributed $5 million to
the $17 million Queensland NMR Network centre, which Mr Beattie said
would contribute to the furthering of the technology and underpinning
The Courier Mail, 26/9/2006
UQ’s Professor Ian Brereton, inaugural Director
of the QNN, said “The facilities will allow researchers from
universities, institutes and companies to carry out cutting-edge research
in a broad range of fields,” Professor Brereton said.
“In particular the research will focus on biodiscovery, drug
design, neuroscience and instrument development,”
He said NMR was a key technology for determining the structures of
molecules and visualising the anatomy of living tissue and microscopic
“It has revolutionised chemistry, diagnostic
medicine and structural biology,” he said. “NMR is one
of only two techniques available for determining the structures of
proteins, providing the fundamental molecular information used in
drug design programs.”
Professor Brereton's speech
at the launch.