**** **** **** * * * * * * **** **** **** * * * * * * **** **** * * **** HEADLINES - a digital monthly publication
Contents of This Issue:
1. August Proposal Review Panel Meeting- the 49th
Meeting of the Panel
The 49th Meeting of the SSRL Proposal Review Panel was held August 10-11.
The PRP has a key role in SSRL operations as its proposal ratings guide the assignment of all the general user beam time at SSRL (more than 90%). The opening session on Thursday morning was devoted to overview talks given by Keith Hodgson (on the SSRL scientific program and strategic issues), Jo Stöhr (on developing the LCLS scientific case - see July Headlines) and Lisa Dunn (on user operations during the FY2000 run).
The PRP broke into subpanels in the afternoon to rate 51 new proposals and to consider a number of proposal extension requests. The Structural Molecular Biology Panel participated in an NIH Advisory Committee Meeting held that afternoon as well. The PRP observed that the overall quality of the proposals remains excellent. As a highlight, they noted an outstanding new proposal to "Extend X-ray Crystallography to Non-Crystals (J. Miao, P.I.).
A protein crystallography collaboratory advisory committee meeting (the collaboratory being a special program funded by NIH-NCRR) was held on Friday afternoon in conjunction with the PRP. Dr. Peter Kuhn gave a progress report on collaboratory developments and led discussions/demonstrations on tools, software and specific milestones for further development. A new scientific software developer, Fred Bertsch, has just joined the collaboratory effort.
Of special note, this was the last PRP meeting for Prof. Doug Rees (CalTech). Doug has served on the PRP since 1989. Throughout these 11 years, Doug has provided immensely helpful guidance on the scientific program at SSRL in general and especially helped guide the dramatic growth in the structural biology program. SSRL owes Doug a great deal of thanks for his commitment and service in support of our activities. A replacement for Doug is currently being identified.
2. MOU Executed between Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (SRRC, Taiwan)
and SSRL for Collaboration in Structural Biology
SRRC and SSRL have just signed a MOU that provides the basis for collaboration between the two laboratories in the area of structural biology. Scientists from SRRC will visit SSRL to participate in the development of advanced methodologies, to share technologies and be trained in state-of-the-art techniques that are now in use at SSRL. SSRL will provide software and guidance in helping develop forefront crystallography resources both at SRRC and on the SRRC beam lines at SPRING8.
3. New Faculty Hires Add Excellence and Breadth to SSRL Faculty
(contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, SSRL faculty chair)
The Stanford Faculty Senate Advisory Board recently approved two professorial tenure appointments to the SSRL faculty.
Dr. Axel Brünger, formerly of Yale University, joined the faculty in July. Axel holds a joint appointment between SSRL and the Stanford Medical School (there in the Departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and of Neurology). He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation. Axel's research interests include the structural basis of neurotransmission and computational crystallography and he is widely recognized for outstanding contributions in these areas. Space for his molecular biology research will be in the new Bio-X Clark Center on campus and his crystallography activities will be centered at SSRL.
Dr. Anders Nilsson, from Uppsala University, has accepted a position as an Associate Professor of SSRL, effective this fall. His research interests up to this time have been focused in surface reactivity (soft x-rays, x-ray emission). In addition to several awards received from Uppsala and the Royal Academy of Science in Sweden, he also received the Shirley Award for Excellent Research using Soft X-rays from Berkeley in 1998. His current research activity is moving into the area of liquid/solid interfaces, complex surfaces and metalysis.
4. SPEAR3 Update and Recent Major Construction Activities
by Tom Elioff, SPEAR3 Project Director and Brian Choi, Facilities Mgr.
SPEAR3 - The third DOE Quarterly Review of the SPEAR3 project for FY 2000 was held August 7. The DOE project manager assessed that the cost, schedule and technical systems were proceeding very well and no significant issues were identified. A new obligation profile for the project was presented as requested by DOE. This profile extends project completion to the end of FY 2003 in accordance with the DOE guidance, which increased costs to $58M. NIH funding is already at SSRL to cover almost 1/2 of this total cost. Detailed schedules and milestones have been adjusted and it is anticipated that the project can be completed on time and on budget.
The SPEAR3 shielding construction project began in force on July 10th - the experimental floor quickly became a maze of taped plastic, opened walls and dust. Since then all of the earthwork has been completed. New concrete has been poured for the footings, platforms and the entry mazes for the East and West Interaction Buildings. A new reinforced concrete interior wall and its footing has also been completed for the Beam Line 2 alcove. As of August 15th, the project was approximately one week ahead of schedule. The construction safety record for this project has also been outstanding. No reportable injuries have occurred during five weeks of heavy construction. The projected completion date of September 15th should be met and preparations for startup of SPEAR will begin with users expected back in early November.
5. Accelerator Maintenance - Keeping SPEAR2 Running Well
by Ben Scott, E&TS Manager (email@example.com)
In parallel with the SPEAR3 shielding modifications, the SSRL Engineering Group is proceeding with a program of accelerator maintenance to help insure continued high reliability operations. A major item on the schedule is a complete refurbishment of some 80 horizontal and vertical corrector trim power supplies in SPEAR. The actuator cards and electrical chassis of these 50 amp supplies were removed from the racks and the electrical and cooling circuit tested and faulty components replaced. Extensive upgrade of the Injector Power Supplies is also in progress - work in preparation for running at the 3 GeV injection energy of SPEAR3. This includes replacement of the regulator and interlock circuits of the large steering dipoles of the Booster to SPEAR transport line.
6. SSRL 2000 Users' Meeting/Workshops - PLEASE Note for Your Calendars
(contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
The SSRL Annual Users' Meeting - the 27th in the series - will be held October 18-21. The main Users' Meeting (10/19-20) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of recent developments and experimental results. Science highlight talks will be presented by invited speakers and through a poster session. This is also the occasion for the annual presentation of the Farrel Lytle Award and awards will be given for the best student posters. Five workshops will be held in conjunction with this upcoming meeting.
October 18 Workshops:
Application of Synchrotron Techniques to Materials Issues in Art and Archeology
Sulfur K-edge X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy: Applications, Opportunities and Future Directions in the Biological, Environmental and Chemical Sciences
Soft X-ray Speckles: Nanoscale Dynamics in Liquids and Solids
Sub-Micron Resolution X-ray Diffraction and Its Application to Problems in Materials Science (jointly with ALS - held in Berkeley)
October 21 Workshop:
New Scientific Opportunities in Ultra-high Resolution Spectroscopies: from Nanomaterials to Complex Quantum Systems
For more detailed information regarding the 2000 Users' Meeting and workshops see: http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/conferences/ssrl27/
7. New SSRL X-ray/VUV Beam Time Proposal Fall Deadline
In order to provide equally spaced deadlines and better manage the time needed for proposal review, the Fall deadline for submission of beam time proposals has been changed from October 1 to November 1. This does not apply to macromolecular crystallography proposals and for now, those deadlines, and the Spring proposal submission deadlines remain unchanged.
SSRL Headlines is published electronically monthly to inform SSRL users, sponsors and other interested people about happenings at SSRL. SSRL is a national synchrotron user facility operated by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Additional support for the structural biology program is provided by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, the NIH National Center for Research Resources and the NIH Institute for General Medical Sciences. Additional information about SSRL and its operation and schedules is available from the SSRL WWW site: http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/
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