The NMR staff provides the highly critical support for the successful operation of all the high-tech instruments at the Central Alabama High Field NMR Facility. They assist users (faculty and students) of the facility with experimental design, training, data collection, and advice on data processing and interpretation, in order to promote and enhance research in structural biology and drug discovery efforts across the UAB campus.

Organizational Structure


William J. Placzek, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, (205) 975-2465


Richard A. Dluhy, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, (205) 975-5381

Lab Manager

Ronald Shin, PhD, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, (205) 934-5696

Lab Manager

Michael Jablonsky, PhD, Department of Chemistry, (205) 975-9942

Dr. William J.Placzek

Dr. William J.Placzek did his doctoral research thesis in the laboratory of Prof. Kurt Wuthrich at the Scripps Research Institute, and subsequently he did his postdoctoral work in drug discovery with Prof. Maurizio Pellecchia at the Samford-Burnham Institute. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (BMG) at UAB as an Assistant Professor in 2011. His NIH-funded research is primarily focused on unravelling the detailed molecular level mechanisms of cellular apoptosis, and the structural basis behind the unique properties of anti- apoptotic and pro-apoptotic BCL-2 family members. In addition to multidimensional NMR and NMR-screening of compound libraries, Dr. Placzek utilizes high through-put screening and a variety of biophysical and cell biology techniques in his research program. He was appointed as the Director of the Central Alabama High-Field NMR Facility starting January 1st, 2017. He is a Co-Director of the Structural Biology Shared Facility of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance (ADDA).

Dr. Richard A. Dluhy

Dr. Richard A. Dluhy became the Chair of the UAB Chemistry Department in July 2015. He is in charge of the Chemistry Department’s NMR Facility consisting of Bruker NMR systems operating at 700 MHz, 400 MHz and 300 MHz, as well as other Facilities such as the Mass Spectrometry, small molecule X-ray crystallography, and Biophysical Spectroscopy laboratories. His laboratory utilizes a wide range of bioanalytical and biophysical techniques in addressing fundamental questions in his NIH-funded research program. Current projects involve techniques for the detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, identification of factors that influence the pathogenicity of influenza, and direct spectroscopic characterization of heme protein in clinical applications.

Dr. Ronald Shin

Dr. Ronald Shin is an expert in multidimensional NMR spectroscopy, NMR Pipe data processing, and protein structure refinement calculations using CYANA. In addition, he is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the 850 MHz, 600 MHz, and 500 MHz NMR systems, software updates, and instrument calibration and user training.

Dr. Mike Jablosky

Dr. Michael Jablonsky is an expert in small molecule NMR (medicinal and synthetic chemistry products) and 2D-NMR. In addition, he is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the 700 MHz NMR, two 400 MHz systems, and the 300 MHz NMR system, software updates, and instrument calibration and user training.

Previous Personnel

Dr. N. Rama Krishna Dr. N. Rama Krishna stepped down at the end of 2016 after having served for 32 years (May 1984 – December 2016) as the Director of the Cancer Center NMR Facility, and as the first Director of the Central Alabama High-Field NMR Facility (from 2009 to 2016) that he established at UAB. During his tenure, Dr. Krishna kept the NMR Facility state-of-the-art with periodic upgrades through several major NSF and NCRR Instrumentation grants including a NCRR High End Instrumentation Grant for $2 million for establishing the Central Alabama High Field NMR Facility at UAB with a Bruker Biospin 850 MHz NMR system as its center piece. He is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (BMG) and a Senior Scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for AIDS Research. He has an extensive background in NMR theory and techniques including the development of NMR methodology for the structure determination of proteins and protein-ligand complexes, and in protein structural biology. His laboratory is currently focusing on drug discovery research. Dr. Krishna retired in 2018, and is now a Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine at UAB.

Dr. David Graves

Dr. David Graves is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He served as the Chair of Chemistry from 2003-2015, and during that time he was in charge of the Chemistry Department NMR Facility (700 MHz, 400 MHz and 300 MHz). He has a background in biophysical characterization of nucleic acids and drug discovery.