From the Director of SSRL: Assuming the Directorship
Assuming the Directorship of SSRL has been an enormously exciting and humbling
experience. Exciting because of the opportunities and challenges that await us;
humbling because of the commitment and loyalty of the SSRL workforce sets a
high standard for achievement. I have worked hard over the past month meeting
with the SSRL team and look forward to getting to know the SSRL user community
at the User’s meeting and during the upcoming experimental run.
SSRL blazed a trail in x-ray science during the past 40 years, helping to
set the stage for the enormous expansion in x-ray facilities around the world.
Over the next few years DOE Basic Energy Sciences will significantly expand the
capabilities at NSLS-II, add LCLS-II to the facility roster, and significantly
enhance the capabilities of the APS. We have an urgent need to refine our
strategic goals in alignment with the SLAC strategic plan, and use our goals as
a road map for keeping SSRL at the scientific forefront in a world populated
with ultimate storage rings.
We must construct a strategy that will accentuate the unique opportunities
present at SLAC. Critical to our future is demonstrating that the union of the
technical and scientific expertise associated with ring and linear accelerator
based x-ray sources creates transformative scientific achievements that could
not be achieved without close collaboration. This requires LCLS and SSRL to
identify and prioritize scientific opportunities where the different facilities
present complementary capabilities. We need close interactions with the user
community in areas where investment in unique technical capabilities will drive
state-of-the-art scientific opportunities. SSRL will continue to develop
capabilities able to bridge the gap between basic and applied research, an
effort clearly aligned with the SLAC strategic plan.
The scientific success of SSRL and the scientific success of the user
community are deeply entwined. We need the insight, creativity, and effort of
user scientists to help us identify and execute our strategic plans. I
encourage all of you to reach out to me and the SSRL team with your ideas and
aspirations. Together we will define the future of SSRL.
A New Link between Human and Bacterial Signaling
Machineries – Contacts: Philip J. Kranzusch and Jennifer
Sensor proteins that detect bacteria and viruses are key players of the
human immune system. Despite their notable importance, little is known about
how these sensors emerged in humans, and the way they work often remains a
mystery. An x-ray study at SSRL has now shed light on the mechanism of the
recently discovered human sensor protein cGAS and provided unexpected evidence
that it may have evolved from related proteins in bacteria. The researchers
were also able to reprogram cGAS and alter its mechanism – an approach of
potential therapeutic interest. Read more...
SSRL Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development
Researcher Wins X-ray Science Award for SSRL Work Aiding Chemistry
Excerpted from September 2, 2014 SLAC News Feature
Chris Pollock, a postdoctoral researcher at The Pennsylvania State
University, whose research at SSRL was key in adapting an x-ray technique
to probe chemical bonds in new ways, has been named the latest recipient of an
annual scientific award. Pollock will receive the Melvin
P. Klein Scientific Development Award in an October 9 ceremony at the LCLS/SSRL Annual
Users' Meeting and Workshops.
"I was super-surprised to see the email from the award committee that
said, 'Congratulations,'" Pollock said. "I'm very happy
and appreciative that I was chosen."
The researcher had his first hands-on experience in x-ray science at SSRL
five years ago, while pursuing his PhD at Cornell University. Pollock was part
of a team that used x-rays to explore the electronic structure of an
iron-containing compound. "It was very much a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-your
pants' kind of learning experience," he said. "It was a fun and
intense way of doing science. I got hooked and I've been doing it ever
SSRL has been an ideal venue for his work, he said, because researchers can
test samples with several x-ray techniques during the same visit. "You can
get all of the data you need to tell the complete story," he
said. Read more ...
SSRL Users' Organization Update
Vote for SSRL Users' Executive Committee by October
Contacts: Colleen Hansel (WHOI, UEC Chair), Stosh Kozimor (LANL, UEC
SSRL has a Users' Executive Committee (UEC) that includes user
representatives from various scientific areas that utilize SSRL beam lines. The
UEC provides an organized framework for interaction between the users and
SSRL/SLAC Management. UEC members are elected by the scientific community to
communicate the interests of users regarding SSRL operations and user support.
The committee meets several times throughout the year – we encourage
participation, feedback and suggestions from the general scientific user
community. To get involved or to learn more about the UEC, please contact us or
join us for meetings. We encourage you to contact any of the UEC members to share your ideas.
This year we will elect new members in the areas listed below. Please take a
few minutes now to review the candidates and cast your ballot for the 2014/2015 SSRL UEC for users from
these areas (ballots close at 9 am PACIFIC on October 9):
Biospectroscopy/Bio Small Angle Scattering
Graduate Student Representatives (from any
Vote at: http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl-lcls/2014/SSRLvoteForm.asp#
We will announce the election results at the beginning of the afternoon
plenary session of the SSRL/LCLS Users' Conference.
We hope that you are able to participate in the October 7-10 Annual
Users' Conference and workshops as well as the Users’ Organization
discussion with facility directors at noon on October 9 (in the ROB).
Upcoming Onsite Events
SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting and Workshops, October 7-10,
Help us spread the news about the SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting and
Workshops, October 7-10, 2014. The activities scheduled over this multi-day
event provide opportunities to learn about the latest user research results,
current/future capabilities and new science opportunities as well as to
interact with other scientists and vendors of light source related products and
services. Meeting website
Come out to hear updates from the SLAC Director, LCLS & SSRL Directors,
DOE, speakers and exhibitors during the plenary session on October 9:
Keynote Speakers: Brian Kobilka, Thomas Elsaesser, Wanli Yang
Ying Diao will give the Spicer Award talk titled,"From Molecules to Devices – Controlled Assembly of Organic
Semiconductors During Solution Printing"
Chris Pollock will give the Klein Award presentation on "Kβ
Mainline X-ray Emission Spectroscopy (XES) as a Quantitative Probe of
In addition to the plenary session on October 9, several parallel workshops
will be held October 7, 8 and 10
In-situ/Operando Characterization of Soft Materials
Progress Toward Single Particle Imaging (Oct. 7)
Application of LCLS in Industrial Research (Oct. 7-8)
Advances in Actinide Science from Synchrotron Spectroscopy
-Joint SSRL/ALS Workshop (Oct. 8)
LCLS Detector Development (Oct. 8)
LCLS Data Collection, Diagnostics, Analysis, Interpretation
In-Situ Studies of Inorganic Transition-Metal
Complexes (Oct. 8)
International Year of Crystallography - X-ray Diffraction
Success Stories (Oct. 8)
Characterizing and Controlling Chemical Dynamics - New
Approaches to Resolving Long Standing Questions in Chemical Reactivity (Oct.
Looking Ahead: SAM Developers Forum (Oct. 10)
Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering (Oct. 10)
Sample Delivery Systems (Oct. 10)
Software for Serial Crystallography (Oct. 10)
The SSRL & LCLS Users' Organizations look forward to seeing you at
the Annual Users' Meeting!
Other Events and Announcements
High Power Laser Workshop, October 7-8, 2014
A workshop on High Power Lasers will be organized on October 7-8, 2014 at
Stanford University Munger Graduate Residence Conference Center. Paul Brest
Hall is located in Building 4 at 555 Salvatierra Walk and Nathan Abbott
Way. Shuttle service will be provided between SLAC and campus.
ALS User Meeting, October 6–8, 2014
More information is available at the Meeting website
12th International Conference on Synchrotron
Radiation Instrumentation, July 6-10, 2015, New York City
More information is available at the Conference website
NUFO Incorporation in Progress
In the months ahead, NUFO will undergo a transition from its long-standing
ad hoc status to formal incorporation as a non-profit organization. The new
structure will help to clarify the relationship between NUFO, scientific users,
and facilities, while also broadening options for fundraising and operations.
Incorporation is also a necessary step in order to address potential legal
liabilities. Read more in the NUFO August
User Research Administration Update
Beam Time Requests
Submit SSRL X-ray/VUV Beam Time Requests by November 15 to be
considered for beam time in the scheduling period covering February-May
The next deadline for both X-ray/VUV and Macromolecular
Crystallography proposals is December 1.
Submit proposals and beam time requests through the user
The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) is a third-generation
light source producing extremely bright x-rays for basic and applied
research. SSRL attracts and supports scientists from around the world who
use its state-of-the-art capabilities to make discoveries that benefit society.
SSRL, a U.S. DOE Office of Science national user facility, is a Directorate of
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by Stanford University for the
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SSRL Structural
Molecular Biology Program is supported by the DOE Office of Biological and
Environmental Research, and by the National Institutes of Health, National
Institute of General Medical Sciences. For more information about SSRL science,
operations and schedules, visit http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu.
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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn