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Cargill Gift Will Assist with Spectrometer Purchase
For release: June 2, 2005
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Cargill Global Scientific Resources has donated $20,000 to the Chemistry Department at the University of Memphis to help purchase a 500 megahertz (MHz) NMR spectrometer, an instrument for measuring the interactions of electromagnetic energy with matter.

The Chemistry Department had already received a grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a 400 MHz spectrometer. The Cargill gift will allow the department to upgrade to the 500 MHz model, which will provide enhanced sensitivity and better resolution, said Dr. Abby Parrill, associate professor of chemistry. Parrill will use the spectrometer to study protein structure and function.

"Understanding how proteins behave in food products is very important to Cargill from a product and process development standpoint," said Doug Elmore, senior research scientist at Cargill. "We are investigating protein structure-function relationships in food materials at the molecular level using spectroscopy."

Cargill plans to purchase time on the spectrometer when available. "The greatest value for Cargill lies in the opportunities for our Scientific Resources Center to collaborate with professors at the University of Memphis," said Elmore. We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Dr. Parrill and her colleagues on future protein research projects."

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis offers undergraduate and graduate degrees up to and including the Ph.D. The Bachelor of Science degree program is certified by the American Chemical Society. Two research areas have been identified as strategically important for the Chemistry Department – biological chemistry, with an emphasis on pharmacological applications, and materials chemistry, with a current emphasis on nanoscale properties.

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