On 20th Nov, 2015 AAPS student chapter hosted a workshop for learning NMR spectroscopy and instrumental training. NMR is an analytical instrument used in various fields of research for identification and characterization of compounds or drugs.
Joe is an expert in many analytical instruments like HPLC, FTIR, NMR and GC-MS . He has a BA/MS degree from the Department of Chemistry at New York University and specializes in analytical chemistry. Joe has served at Pfizer for 8 years in the Technical Services and Quality Operations groups before coming to St. John’s. It was our immense pleasure to have Joe to share his expertise with us.
We started the workshop with the introduction to this analyt instrument- NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance). He discussed the theory and practical aspects of using this instrument. He specified intricate details to enable handling of various components of NMR in order to avoid huge losses (in terms of repair of course!). Speaking of which, it was great to have Dr. Graham who gave his valuable inputs regarding the working and use of NMR.
Joe explained us the importance of taking certain precautions like making sure that the NMR room is kept under cold conditions etc. It was fun to understand more about the technique by watching videos which Joe had compiled to familiarize us with the software. The enthusiasm of students was appreciable, we found them asking questions and getting there doubts cleared from Joe. Towards the end we had a short quiz to check how well were the theoretical and practical aspects received.
On Jan 26th, 2016, the second day of the workshop the agenda was to provide hands on training on the instrument. Selected students were explained the operation of NMR instrument (Bruker) in a stepwise manner. Important measures were considered like mobile phones or any devices possibly with magnetic features must be kept away from NMR. This is because the NMR has strong magnetic field which can deactivate or destroy such devices. Moving on, he explained with the example of a reference how sample is prepared and why do we use deuterated solvents for proton NMR. It is always a challenge to just read and actually use a piece of instrument, isn’t it? We could experience this exactly, since it took a lot of time for us to do shimming (one of the steps to fine tune the probe)! Later on, he explained the analytical part using the software (Topspin) and how to interpret the data.
Overall, it was a great opportunity to learn about NMR. We are grateful to Joe for his time and efforts in making this event a success !