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The University of Southampton

Funded Research Projects

We are principal investigators on the following currently funded research projects:

Functionalized Magnetic Resonance Beacons for Enhanced Spectroscopy and Imaging

Development and demonstration of molecular agents called functional magnetic resonance beacons (fMRBs). These agents support hyperpolarized spin order locked into long-lived states which may be converted into strong NMR signals upon activation by a physical, chemical, or biochemical signal.


PI: M. H. Levitt; Co-I: none

Funding body: EU H2020, Code: FunMagResBeacons, Years: 2018-2023, Award: €2.76M

Hyperpolarization on Tap (HoT)

This project aims to construct a device which will use parahydrogen-enhanced polarization (PHIP) to generate a continuous flow of hyperpolarized material, for use in a wide range of sciences including analytical science and medical imaging.


PI: M. H. Levitt; Co-I: none

Funding body: Royal Society, Code: TMBSA-HoT, Years: 2017-2018, Cost: £150k


TISuMR: Integrated tissue culture and NMR metabolomics

This international collaboration, led by Southampton, aims to provide a radically new technological platform for the integrated culture and NMR observation of liver tissue slices, with the immediate objective to elucidate the mechanism of liver damage by cholestasis.


PI: M. Utz; Co-I: S. Verpoorte (University of Groningen, NL) and Jan Korvink (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)

Funding body: H2020 FETOPEN, Code: TISuNMR, Years: 2017-2020, Award: £2850k

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A Multidisciplinary Research Platform for Nuclear Spins far from Equilibrium

EPSRC Platform Grant on hyperpolarization and spin isomer phenomena. The projects underpinned by this grant exploit the full range of NMR techniques.


PI: M. H. Levitt; Co-I: M. Carravetta, G. Pileio, R. Whitby, R. C. D. Brown

Funding body: EPSRC, Code: EP/P009980/1, Years: 2017-2020, Award: £1780k


HyperStore: Singlet States and supercritical fluids for storage and transport of hyperpolarised spin order

This project consists in developing methodology and building equipment to store hyperpolarised nuclear spin magnetisation long enough (>2h) to transport it from the point-of-production to a remote point-of-use.


PI: G. Pileio; Co-I: M. H. Levitt

Funding body: EPSRC, Code: EP/P005187/1, Years: 2016-2019, Cost: £728k


Singlet-diffusion-NMR to Probe Translational Dynamics in Porous Media

EPSRC first grant on the development of NMR methodology using long-lived spin states in conjunction with field gradient-based methods (diffusion-NMR and q-space spectroscopy) to measure macroscopic compartmentation, tortuosity and anisotropic diffusion in porous media.


PI: G. Pileio; Co-I: none

Funding body: EPSRC, Code: EP/N033558/1, Years: 2016-2018, Award: £126k


High Resolution Solid State Nitrogen-14 NMR

Solid state NMR spectroscopy of the major naturally occurring isotope of nitrogen will be made easier and more informative. This opens a new route to characterize biomolecules, natural materials, drugs, and proteins.


PI: M. Carravetta; Co-I: P. T. Williamson, I. Kuprov

Funding body: EPSRC, Code: EP/M023664/1, Years: 2015-2018, Award: £590k


Long-lived Nuclear Hyperpolarization of Methyl Groups

This project consists of the hyperpolarization of long-lived states in methyl groups and their isotopomers. The project makes use of solution NMR and dissolution-DNP equipment.


PI: M. H. Levitt; Co-I: R. C. D. Brown

Funding body: EPSRC, Code: EP/N002482/1, Years: 2015-2018, Award: £890k


Molecular Endofullerenes: Nanoscale dipoles, rotors and oscillators

This project consists of the synthesis and multidisciplinary investigation of small molecules trapped inside fullerene cages. The host molecules in these unique molecular systems behave as quantum rotors and exhibit phenomena such as spin isomerism, spin isomer conversion, quantised molecular motion, and quantum-rotor induced hyperpolarization.

PI: M. H. Levitt; Co-I: R. Whitby

Funding body: EPSRC, Code: EP/M001962/1, Years: 2014-2018, Award: £1090k

Cell Metabolomics on a Chip by Integrated High-Resolution NMR Spectroscopy

This project explores the technical and spectroscopic foundations towards integrated microfluidic cell culture with direct observation of metabolic processes in live cells by micro-NMR spectroscopy.


PI: M. Utz; Co-I: none

Funding body: EU FP7, Code: uFNMR, Years: 2014-2018, Award: £100k


Molecular Plasticity in Antigen Processing


This project integrates cellular biochemistry and systems modelling with NMR structural and dynamics information to determine the role of protein dynamics in MHC class I function.


PI: J. Werner; Co-I: T. Elliott

Funding body: BBSRC, Code: BB/L010402/1, Years: 2014-2017, Cost: £780k



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