International success in chemistry

As a participant in a 26-member European consortium, the University of Debrecen has become one of the winners of the HORIZON-INFRA-2021 tender. The NMR Instrument Center of the Institute of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science and Technology is to join an international network formed to solve problems related to material structure, chemistry and biology.

One of the winners of the HORIZON-INFRA-2021 tender, whose aim is to optimize the use of the rather expensive NMR instrumentational infrastructure available in all of the countries of Europe, is the University of Debrecen, acting as a member of a 26-strong European consortium. The nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) laboratories of the Institute of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science and Technology will be contributing to the so-called remote-NMR (R-NMR) project, coordinated by Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt in order to provide support for the solution of topical and urgent material-structure, chemical and biological problems.

“The spectrometers are controlled digitally, which also allows for remote operation modes. This option is already available within a specific city, but the aim of the project is to send a sample to Frankfurt, for example, if the Frankfurt instrument is more suitable for determining the structure of a complex protein than the one in Debrecen, and then control the series of measurements remotely from Debrecen for as long as several days or even weeks. This procedure is fairly safe and advantageous in the current pandemic situation, as it eliminates the need on the part of the researchers to travel and, thus, it reduces the overall cost of research,” said professors Katalin Kövér and Gyula Batta, members of the supervisory body of the project, to

The general objectives of the R-NMR project are to establish standard Internet access protocols, to develop secure and safe practices for the transportation of scientific samples within Europe, to create Internet-based training programs for researchers in order to prepare for remote infrastructure operation and data analysis, to develop common methods for storing data and establishing research protocols, and to publish the methods and the results of all these efforts.

Professors from the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Debrecen explained that the plans of the so-called DEBNMR group include the following elements: the standardization of liquid and solid phase biomolecular and small-molecule NMR experiments for remote users in European NMR infrastructures, the development of safe and user-friendly protocols for the remote access and control of NMR spectrometers as well as for the management of NMR raw data and metadata, and the testing of protocols developed in the work program, involving facilities that have not taken part in the development activities.

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