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SUNY ESF to house sophisticated new research equipment

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Biomedical researchers across central and western New York are getting a new piece of sophisticated machinery that will allow them to get a closer look at the way cells and proteins interact.

Officials announced a $2 million federal grant this week that will allow a consortium of six upstate colleges and universities to buy what's called an 800-megahertz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.  

Right now, there's a 600-MHz machine housed at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. But this more powerful piece of equipment will allow closer looks at cell interaction. Upstate Medical University Vice President for Research Rosemary Rochford said that will help researchers discover drugs to treat disease.

"So if we can look at those really carefully, and dive down and see how they interact with each other, we can get a better understanding when they go wrong. So in a cancer cell, if there's a protein that goes wrong, we have different ways to look at it.  But the 800 MHz NMR spectrometer will allow us to look at those at a very fine level," Rochford said. "So the long term is to really think about drug discovery and ways we can improve help that way."

This will be the only instrument of its kind in central and western New York. Along with SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical University, researchers at Syracuse University, Cornell, the University of Buffalo and the University of Rochester, will have access to the new high-tech instrument.  It will be housed at the SUNY ESF campus in Syracuse.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.