NRC acquires MRI for disease research
HALIFAX – A new Biomolecular
Magnetic Resonance Facility at the National Research Council Institute
for Marine Biosciences (NRC-IMB) will house the world’s most sensitive
magnetic resonance equipment for small samples, allowing universities,
healthcare providers, and private industry in Nova Scotia to work
together in developing high-tech healthcare solutions for all Canadians.
The Honourable Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
International Trade officially opened the facility on behalf of the
Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State, Science and Technology.
“Our government is committed to supporting science and technology,” said
Parliamentary Secretary Keddy. “The innovations flowing from this
facility will create jobs, improve the quality of life for families here
in Nova Scotia and across Canada, and strengthen the economy for future
The highly sensitive magnetic resonance equipment will help researchers
investigate molecular and drug interactions that were previously thought
impossible to identify. The fine details of these interactions will help
guide rational drug design, in which drugs are developed based on the
specifics of their chemical behaviour.
The Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance Facility represents a $4 million
investment in health research for the region and was completed with
contributions from the federal government and Dalhousie University.
The facility will enhance the health and well-being of Canadians by
improving drug and disease research capabilities while strengthening
Nova Scotia’s life sciences technology cluster. Access to this powerful
suite of technology has already drawn interest and commitments from
dozens of life sciences research organizations.
“Canadian researchers now have access to more sensitive magnetic
resonance instrumentation than would typically be available even to
private multinationals or large pharmaceutical companies,” said NRC
President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. “By establishing collaborative facilities
as part of NRC’s life sciences technology cluster initiative, we become
an active partner in supporting excellence in research and innovation
while contributing to regional economic growth.”
This new facility - equipped in partnership with Dalhousie University -
is designed to complete a collaborative magnetic resonance research
network, spanning the spectrum of drug development from defining the
molecular structure of a potential drug to tracking the effects of that
drug in the human body. Two other network laboratories are located at
the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD) and the IWK Health Centre
“The Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance Facility is a wonderful example of
the power of what can happen when National Research Council
laboratories, universities, hospitals, and local industries work
synergistically to make a difference in the lives of Canadians,” said
Dalhousie’s Vice President (Research), Dr. Martha Crago.
Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada’s National
Research Council (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative,
knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.