CERM was established in March 1999 when the NMR facility moved as first settlement in the new scientific campus of the University of Florence outside the city. Indeed, the 800 MHz acquired in 1996 had already be installed in the campus-to-be because it could not find any suitable location in the downtown city of Florence. The first brick of the facility was the 600 MHz acquired in 1989. It was located in a former church, with frescos of the 16th Century on the walls. The specialization was and is on paramagnetic systems.


The first publication from Florence dates back to 1966 (Thwaites, J. D., Bertini, I., and Sacconi, L., Proton resonance studies of the solution equilibria of nickel(II) complexes with Schiff bases formed from salicylaldehydes and N,N-substituted ethylenediamines. II, Inorganic Chemistry, 5, 1036-1041, 1966) when the senior researcher, Ivano Bertini, went to do experiments at ETH Zurich. At that time he got in touch with the company Trub Tauber, that eventually merged into Bruker (now Bruker BioSpin) and with Varian (today Agilent), which lead the European laboratory in Zug.


In 1970 a fundamental book "NMR of paramagnetic molecules" edited by La Mar, Horrocks and Holmes appeared and quoted the works of the young Bertini. In 1974 he visited Harry B. Gray at Caltech and his interest moved towards metalloproteins and biology. The researches were mainly devoted to enzymology by following the nuclei experiencing interactions with unpaired electrons and to the understanding of the subtleties of the electron nucleus coupling. For the latter purpose the Florentine team eventually contributed to build a relaxometer at the end of the last century which is now available from Stelar (of course updated). The first solution structure of a paramagnetic protein obtained by NMR was published by Florence in 1994 (Banci, L., Bertini, I., Eltis, L. D., Felli, I. C., Kastrau, D. H. W., Luchinat, C., Piccioli, M., Pierattelli, R., and Smith, M., The three dimensional structure in solution of the paramagnetic protein high-potential iron-sulfur protein I from Ectothiorhodospira halophila through nuclear magnetic resonance, European Journal of Biochemistry, 225, 715-725, 1994). In that year the laboratory was recognized by the European Commission as analytical infrastructure and was funded to receive European scientists to perform measurements. Such recognition is maintained up to now. Nowadays CERM has a very broad battery of NMR spectrometers for solution and solid state experiments.


Since 2007 CERM is also an e-infrastructure for NMR structural determination. Finally, NMR-based metabolomics is pursued, in connection with the implementation of a biobank hosted by CERM. These achievements were possible thanks to the strict collaboration among Ivano Bertini, Claudio Luchinat (from 1975), Lucia Banci (from 1983), and in the past Andrea Scozzafava.

 

"Il Cubo": the first settlement of the Polo Scientifico

 

P1010004

The CERM under construction

 

02LUG_S

The "Ellisse" NMR lab under construction in 2001

 

CERM TT

The new "CERM TT" lab inaugureted in 2015