Researchers will develop new treatments to prevent deadly condition.

Federal grant to fund new tools for biology research in high magnetic fields

This week at the lab, the staff bids farewell to a scientist who joined the lab even before there was a building to work in.

William Denis Markiewicz, who goes by his middle name, has worked a quarter century in the MagLab’s Magnet Science & Technology department, a career book-ended by two flagship magnets that he designed.

Markiewicz was recruited by the brand new lab to oversee design and construction of the world-record 900 MHz Ultra-Wide Bore NMR spectrometer magnet.

Markiewicz vividly remembers those heady first years.

"I thought that I would be part of something brand new, and part of all of the excitement and high expectations that come with the start of something new," he said. "And I was not disappointed."

Now 11 years old, the famed 900 MHz magnet enabled nearly 70 publications on health-related discoveries in its first decade — and is still going strong.

Markiewicz departs the lab just as another magnet he designed, the 32 tesla all-superconducting magnet, is in its final stages of testing. Projected to smash magnet records and enable exciting new science in the years ahead, it uses novel high-temperature superconductors that generate stronger magnetic fields than conventional low-temperature superconductors.

The 32 tesla magnet program, said Markiewicz, "is an example of a very large and capable team at the MagLab working together to produce something that is very unique. There is no other facility now that is capable of doing this."

Among other highlights of his career, Markiewicz received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers‘ Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions in the Field of Large Scale Applications of Superconductivity in 2015, and Florida State University's Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008.

Text by Kristen Coyne. Photo by Stephen Bilenky.

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We celebrate one of our flagship magnets and its decade of service to science.

Ten years ago the 900 Ultra-Wide Bore magnet became available to an international user community for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the National High Magnetic Field Lab. Since then 69 publications have been published from this instrument spanning many disciplines and the number of publications per year continues to increase with 26 in just the past 18 months demonstrating that state of the art data continues to be collected on this superb magnet.

By coupling selective band excitation of metabolites with high magnetic fields, relaxation-enhanced 1H MR spectroscopy can be performed in living specimen and patients to achieve high sensitivity over very short acquisition times for the examination of cellular dysfunction. This sensitivity can be used to evaluate otherwise inaccessible metabolites or regions of the proton spectral regime and can be used to probe cell-specific environments, such as neurons versus astrocytes, that may undergo differential changes during dysregulation.

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