Kurt Zilm

Member of Yale faculty since 1982

Research Interests


Research in the Zilm lab involves development of new NMR methods and their application to important problems in chemistry and materials science. Recent interests include the use of site specific solid state NMR relaxation measurements to characterize protein backbone motions and to measure difficult to access long range distance constraints. We are also studying the dynamics of water in proteins and other materials where nanoscopic confinement effects depress the freezing point by over 60 K. Instrumentation is currently being developed for 1.5 GHz high resolution solid state 1H NMR, and dynamic nuclear polarization in microliter sample volumes. The latter will be used to enhance NMR sensitivity sufficiently to make practical biophysical studies on 10 nanomole quantities of membrane proteins, and for surface sensitive NMR of nanostructured materials.


B.S. University of Utah, 1976
Ph.D. University of Utah, 1981
Postdoctoral study in Chemical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1982-83


IBM Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1982-83
Dreyfus Newly Appointed Young Faculty in Chemistry Award, 1983
Franz-Vögt Prize of the Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, FDR, 1987
Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1988
Fellow of the AAAS, 2006
Robert Vaughn Lecturer, 2009

Recent Publications

E.K. Paulson, C.R. Morcombe, V. Gaponenko, B. Dancheck, R.A. Byrd, & K.W. Zilm. Sensitive High Resolution Inverse Detection NMR Spectroscopy of Proteins in the Solid State. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 15831-15836.

C.R. Morcombe, V. Gaponenko, R.A. Byrd, & K.W. Zilm. Diluting Abundant Spins by Isotope Edited Radio Frequency Field Assisted Diffusion. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2004, 126, 7196-7197.

E.K. Paulson, R.W. Martin, & K.W. Zilm. RF Homogeneity in High Field Solid State NMR Probes. J. Magn. Reson. 2004, 171, 314-323.

E.K. Morcombe, V. Gaponenko, R.A. Byrd, K.W. Zilm. 13C CPMAS Spectroscopy of Deuterated Proteins: CP Dynamics, Line Shapes and T1 Relaxation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 12, 397-404.

E.A. Fry, S. Sengupta, V.C. Phan, S. Kuang, & K.W. Zilm. CSA Enabled Spin Diffusion Leads to MAS Rate Dependent T1s at High Field. Accepted for publication, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010.