Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Key Topic At 54th ENC Conference


Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Key Topic At 54th ENC Conference

It was great to see many familiar faces at this year’s ENC Conference in beautiful Asilomar. For those who couldn’t make it this year, I’d like to summarize some key takeaways:
  • Dynamic Nuclear Polarization a dominant theme: Almost two entire parallel sessions were dedicated to Dynamic Nuclear Polarization. Lectures were given by David Doty, Sudheer Jawla, Melanie Rosay, Song-I Han, Maja Cassidy, Sami Jannin, Gunnar Jeschke, Kent Thurber and Joshua Wand.
  • DNP NMR applied to biosolids and material science: Continuing last year’s trend, many posters were dedicated to DNP NMR applications to biosolids and material science. It’s encouraging to see more focus on real-world problems rather than on instrumentation, thanks to the increasing availability of off-the-shelf DNP instruments.
  • Novel approach to using reverse micelles in DNP NMR: My personal highlight was the talk by Joshua Wand, who presented a novel approach to using reverse micelles for solution state DNP NMR spectroscopy. The basic idea is to encapsulate a protein dissolved in an organic solvent with a low dielectric constant, with the polarizing agent present inside the micelle. Such samples are largely transparent to the THz radiation and thereby avoid significant heating during the DNP process. Kathleen Valentine’s poster provided additional information. This very interesting approach definitely has the potential to address some of the problems that solution-state DNP currently faces such as sample heating due to irradiation of the sample with THz radiation.
  • Laukien Prize awarded to Clare Grey: Congratulations to Clare Grey for receiving this years Laukien Prize for her accomplishments in studying battery materials using solid-state NMR spectroscopy.
I hope you enjoyed the 54th ENC as much as I did. I hope to see you all again in Boston next year.