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National Biomedical Center
for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance Technology

Our research is supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health.


last update:   June 19, 2020


The National Biomedical Research Center for AdvanCed ESR Technology (ACERT) is an outgrowth of extensive experience in developing the methods of modern electron spin resonance (ESR, a.k.a. EPR-Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) by Prof. Jack H. Freed’s research group at Cornell University. The technologies upon which this Center is based are in many respects unique in the world, and their development has proven necessary for the many studies on protein structure and conformational dynamics conducted with numerous collaborators at Cornell and around the world. ESR characterization of proteins is of great importance in the better understanding of many diseases, including AIDS, allergies and inflammations, ALS, Alzheimer's, bacterial infection, cancer, cardiac disease, depressive disorders and schizophrenia, Ebola viral infections, eye disorders, infertility, neurological disorders, Parkinson's, SARS, and Wernicke Encephalopathy. We engage in several different technological development efforts to support such studies: 1) High-Sensitivity Pulse Dipolar ESR Spectroscopy and 2D Fourier Transform ESR from X to Ka Band 2) ESR with Ultra-High Sensitivity for Very Small Biological Samples; 3) Developments in High Frequency ESR; and 4) Improved Computational Methods for ESR Analysis and Spectral Processing.

RECENT EVENTS can be found on our ACERT News page.

The principal areas of our expertise are:

Pulsed Fourier Transform and Two Dimensional ESR

  • Distance Measurements in Proteins and Aggregates using Double Quantum Coherence ESR and Related Methods;
  • Dynamic Structure of Membranes and Proteins by 2D-ELDOR;
  • Functional Dynamics of Proteins by Time Resolved FT and 2D-ESR;

High Frequency-High Field (HFHF) ESR

  • New Instrumental Developments in HFHF ESR;
  • Development of High Power Pulsed HFHF ESR;
  • Multifrequency Studies of Dynamics in Proteins and Membranes.

High Resolution ESR Microscopy

  • Development of Continuous Wave and Pulsed ESR Microscopes
  • Biomedical Applications of ESR Micro-Imaging

Theory and Computational Methods for Modern ESR

  • Improved Theoretical and Computational Methods for Analyzing Modern ESR Experiments.

Our activities include:

  • making resources available to the biomedical community,
  • publishing results,
  • running workshops on the new methodologies,
  • addressing the need to bring these new technologies to other laboratories.

See our Dissemination page for further details, and the News page for recent events and articles.

The researchers that comprise ACERT are:

Prof. Jack H. Freed
Director & Principal Investigator

Petr P. Borbat
Senior Research Associate
Associate Director

Curt R. Dunnam
Director of Operations
Engineering Physics

Boris Dzikovski
Senior Research Associate

Zhichun Liang
Senior Research Associate

Alex L. Lai
Research Associate

Art Samplaski
Administrative Manager

Diane Patzer

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