Furman National Science Foundation
Photo provided by Furman University

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, students and professors at Furman University will have a new, high-tech spectrometer that will allow them to better study the structure of molecules.

The $485,000 grant will pay for the 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which the university said it would share with neighboring schools, with a focus on historically black schools and schools with a high number of first-generation students.

Furman spectrometer“Essential to chemists who are carrying out frontier research, NMR spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available for clarifying the structure of molecules,” a statement from the university said. “It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules and to study how chemicals interact with each other.”

The university said the device will be used by 10 research groups whose studies include “the exploration of the origins of biological metabolism; the development of biosensors and drug-delivery vesicles; enhancing the efficiency of solar energy conversion; and the synthesis of new classes of anticancer, anti-fungal, and antibiotic drugs.”

The grant was based on a proposal written by several professors in the university’s chemistry department — professor Greg Springsteen, professor and chair Timothy Hanks, and assistant professor Mary Beth Daub.

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