Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Congratulations to Rachel Martin for being Awarded the Eastern Analytical Symposium Award for Outstanding Achievements in Magnetic Resonance! This award honors Analytical Chemists who have distinguished career achievements. The recipients of these awards advanced these fields by superior work in developing theory, techniques or instrumentation. As a faculty member at UC Irvine, Martin has continued to develop unique NMR instrumentation. Her group has built contactless switched-angle spinning (SAS) probes for high-resolution NMR of liquid crystals and oriented biological membranes. They have developed stabilized bicelle mixtures that hold up well under the mechanical challenges of SAS, and also have a favorable useful temperature range for solution-state NMR. The Martin group has also built a quadruple-resonance MAS probe for 1H/13C/2H/15N experiments, enabling the 2H that is often used to simplify the 1H spectra of proteins to also provide information about structure and dynamics. Along the way, they have developed new transceiver coil designs for specific biological experiments. One recent line of work focuses on developing strategies for enabling more researchers to participate in fabricating NMR instrumentation using 3D printing and automation. Dissolvable coil templates, 3D printed mechanical components, and inexpensive automated test devices can make NMR instrumentation development more accessible. The goal is to ensure that the next generation can build and use custom instrumentation, which is historically one of the greatest strengths of the NMR community. On the applications side, the Martin group has explored the relationship between structure and optical properties in eye lens proteins, as well as discovering and characterizing novel proteins, notably a membrane-binding antimicrobial peptide. Since its founding in 2005, the Martin group has trained 7 postdoctoral fellows and 21 PhDs in a wide range of fields, including Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Physics.