NMR Facility – Operating Policies

Conditions of Use

Users requesting instrument time should first read and understand the operating and safety policies for the NMR facility and complete an Acceptance of Use Form which acknowledges their willingness to cover any fees incurred and to acknowledge use of the NMR facility in publications that result from its use (the Acceptance-of-Use Form is required for new users; existing users may be asked to resubmit this form when rate changes are made). Failure to abide by any of the operating policies can result in loss of access to the facility.

NMR Laboratory Safety

The NMR Core Facility houses several high field superconducting magnets.  These magnets may be harmful or fatal to individuals with pacemakers, neurostimulators or other similar devices.  Individuals with these devices should not enter the NMR Facility.

Never carry any metallic objects into the NMR laboratory. This especially applies to large metal objects (like a hammer or a pair of pliers), but also includes smaller items such as keys, screws, or paperclips. All of these objects will be attracted to the magnet if you get close enough causing danger to both you and the magnet.

In addition, the superconducting magnets contain a large volume of liquid cryogens.  Leave the doors open while you are working in the NMR room; in the unlikely event of a magnet quench, these cryogens could produce sufficient gaseous helium or nitrogen to reduce the oxygen concentration in the air to harmful levels.

Access Rules

The spectrometers in the NMR Core are available on a 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week basis. Scheduling requests and hands-on use of the instruments in the facility are restricted to trained operators who are able to function safely and effectively without supervision particularly during the evening and weekend periods.

Training

New users will be required to complete hands-on training by facility staff, preferably using samples of experimental interest to the user, with instrument time appropriately billed to the relevant project.  Once the user has demonstrated sufficient proficiency to use the instrument without supervision, the user will be certified and access will be granted to the instrument scheduling tools.

Contact the Technical Director to schedule training and if you have any questions about access.

Core Oversight Committee

The composition of the NMR Core Oversight Committee follows:

Voting Members
Dr. John Markley Committee Chair Professor of Biochemistry at UW-Madison and Director of the National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison
Dr. Eileen Lafer Faculty User Dept. Biochemistry, UT Health San Antonio
Dr. Don McEwen Faculty User Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, UT Health San Antonio
Dr. Bjorn Steffensen Faculty User Dept. Periodontics, UT Health San Antonio
Dr. Susan Mooberry Faculty User Dept. Pharmacology, UT Health San Antonio
Ex-Officio Members
Dr. Bruce Nicholson Chair Dept. of Biochemistry, UT Health San Antonio
Dr. Andrew P. Hinck Core Director and Faculty User Dept. of Biochemistry, UT Health San Antonio
Dr. Kristin Cano-McCue Core Technical Director Dept. of Biochemistry, UT Health San Antonio

User Fees

User fees will be charged based on hourly usage of the NMR spectrometers. Usage times will be determined electronically (using a script which automatically logs the number of hours each user runs the spectrometer control program TOPSPIN). User fees are determined annually and are adjusted to recover the routine (cryogens and annual cryoprobe maitenance) and non-routine (instrument and computer maitenance portion of the operating costs. Users are required to sign an acceptance of use form on an annual basis (a new form is required when the annual fees for the next fiscal year take effect (Sept 1)) to accessing the spectrometers (the acceptance of use form acknowledges the fee structure currently in place and indicates acceptance to cover any charges accrued).