The 56th Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference (ENC) was held in Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California from April 19 to April 24, 2015.
A distinct feature of ENC conference is its broad scope of topics as it aspires to present the latest developments in almost all areas of applied NMR. That was more than obvious in the presented 484 posters (a record number for ENC) that covered areas as diverse as biomolecules, inorganics, materials, dynamics, drug discovery, metabolomics, computational NMR, MRI/MRS, DNP, and instrumentation. The oral presentations were organized similarly.
Biomolecular NMR remains one of the most productive, dynamic and evolving areas of NMR. It is a driving force for innovation on both fronts of applications and hardware and in this sense, to read trends in this area is to get glimpses into the future of NMR. As more and more scientists turn their attention to challenging systems like in cell NMR, membrane proteins reconstituted in nanodiscs, huge proteins and RNAs, the solution biomolecular NMR field is moving steadily toward 1) higher magnetic fields for better resolution and sensitivity and 2) faster data acquisition techniques (NUS, Projection reconstruction, covariance NMR, parallel receivers).
In solid state Biomolecular NMR, there is a clear trend toward 1) stronger magnetic fields, 2) faster MAS, 3)integration with DNP, 4)speed up of data acquisition (NUS, DUMAS), and 5) a focus on proton detected MAS multidimensional experiments.
JEOL Ltd, a major sponsor of the event, participated in the conference with a hospitality suite and a large number of poster presentations. In some of them, we reported our latest applications at very high magnetic field, above 1 GHz and under ultra fast MAS at record speeds above 100 kHz.
JEOL hospitality suite was set up in the Fireside Pavillion, where Bruker also set its own suite. Both vendors benefited from this spatial coexistence as large numbers of people flocked the area creating an almost daily commotion till late hours.
Two large touch-panels flanked the entrance of JEOL’s suite welcoming our visitors. Their content was very informative and comprehensive. The visitors could easily navigate through different topics, and obtain information about probes, solid and liquid NMR applications, hardware and software details.
The 4 mm cryocoil MAS probe drew the attention of most of our visitors. It would not be exaggeration to say that for all the days our suite was open, there was a continuous lineup of visitors to inquire about its specifics.
On Monday evening, addressing our visitors, president of JEOL Ltd Gon-emon Kurihara emphasized the importance of “YOKOGUSHI” and “KAIZEN” in the management of JEOL businesses while Bob DiPasquale at JEOL USA enumerated our latest products like the SuperCOOL™ and UltraCOOL™ probes. Both speakers underlined our commitment to continue to serve the NMR community as we did for more than 30 years in the past, and provide for highly innovative products. For an audience still shocked by the Agilent withdrawal, the message was clear: JEOL will never follow a similar path and shy away from the challenges it faces no matter how overwhelming they may appear.
The next ENC will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2016. JEOL will be there to report its latest achievements.