SSRLUO 2022-2023 Executive Committee Members

The SSRL Users Executive Committee (UEC) encourages users to participate in SSRL events and contact UEC members to share feedback or suggestions:
Blaine Mooers, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center (Chair)
Isabel Bogacz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Sarah Bowman, Hauptman Woodward Institute
Amy Cordones-Hahn, PULSE/SLAC/Stanford University
James P. Evans, Utah State University (Vice Chair)
Woody Fischer, California Institute of Technology
Graham George, University of Saskatchewan (Past Chair)
Simon George, STAR Cryoelectronics LLC
Ailiena Maggiolo, California Institute of Technology
Stefan Minasian, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Matteo Mitrano, Harvard University (LCLS Chair; Ex Officio)
Liane Moreau, Washington State University
Jake Pushie, University of Saskatchewan
Andrew Riscoe, Stanford University
Edward Snell, Hauptman Woodward Institute (Past Chair)
Kelly Lynn Summers, Johns Hopkins University
Linda Vogt, University of Saskatchewan
Beth Wurzburg, LBNL, Joint Genome Institute, Berkeley, CA (Ex Officio NUFO/SSURF)
Limei Zhang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Leilani Conradson, SLAC (LCLS Liaison, Ex Officio)
Lisa Dunn, SLAC (SSRL Liason, Ex Officio)
Cathy Knotts, SLAC (SSRL Liaison, Ex Officio)

Blaine Mooers, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Blaine Mooers is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). In addition to faculty, he serves as the director of the Laboratory of Biomolecular Structure and Function, which is also a core facility for the Oklahoma COBRE in Structural Biology. Blaine began macromolecular crystallography as a graduate student by working on problems in DNA structure with Dr. Shing Ho at Oregon State University. He worked on problems in protein structure as a post-doc with Dr. Brian Matthews at the University of Oregon. While a post-doc, he used synchrotron radiation to collect atomic resolution data from crystals of proteins, thanks to expert guidance in data collection from SSRL staff. He determined the structures of several proteins and RNAs by direct methods with data collected at SSRL. Blaine has been a proposal spokesperson continuously since 2000, first in on OUHSC structural studies of RNAs and proteins from the unique RNA editing system in the mitochondrion of trypanosomes. He also collaborates with several OUHSC labs on structural studies of proteins related to influenza and cancer biology. He has been involved in SAXS studies since 2011 and is an active user of BL 4-2. Blaine believes that crystallography will continue to play a vital role in integrative structural biology. He served as chair of the SSRL User Executive Committee (UEC) during the existential budget crisis of 2017. He seeks re-election to the UEC to represent the concerns and needs of the users of macromolecular crystallography.

Isabel Bogacz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Isabel Bogacz is a PhD candidate in physical chemistry at University of California; Berkeley. She obtained a B.S. in chemistry from St. Lawrence University in Canton NY. For her honors thesis she used Raman spectroscopy to make in situ measurements of formic acid in materials for artificial photosynthesis. As a member of the Yano, Yachandra, Kern lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab she studies photosystem II's involvement in the water-splitting reaction step of photosynthesis. She regularly uses SSRL to measure XES and XAS of photosystem II and model compounds to gain geometric and electronic structural inside into the mechanism of water-splitting.

Sarah EJ Bowman, Hauptman Woodward Institute, Buffalo, NY
Sarah EJ Bowman is the Director of the National Crystallization Center and an Associate Research Scientist at Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in Buffalo, NY.  Her research focuses on developing new methods for crystallization of biomolecules, for detecting very small crystals, and for in situ X-ray data collection.  Her research lab is also interested in developing techniques that combine crystallographic and spectroscopic approaches to answer fundamental questions about protein biochemistry, especially in proteins that contain metals.  Her engagement with synchrotron facilities began as a graduate student with Kara Bren, doing Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy at APS on heme containing proteins. She began working with crystallography as a postdoc with Cathy Drennan at MIT. Throughout her career, she has collected X-ray diffraction data at APS, NSLS, NSLS-II, LCLS and SSRL. Since beginning her independent career, she has been actively involved with several projects at SSRL beamlines and collaborates with beamline scientists. She has organized the Metals in Structural Biology workshop at the SSRL/LCLS User's Meeting annually since the first occurrence of the workshop in 2018. She is the current Chair of BioMac SIG in the American Crystallographic Association and is very involved in the structural biology community.  She is committed to the long-term success of the SSRL facility and its users, and seeks election to the UEC to continue and expand her involvement.
Leilani Conradson, LCLS User Research Administration Manager, Menlo Park, CA
Leilani Conradson joined the User Office of the Linac Cohrerent Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, in 2017. Prior to moving to SLAC, Leilani was the Executive Assistant, Program Manager and Experiment Coordinator at the Lujan Cetner at LANSCE, Los Alamos Neutron Science Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

Amy Cordones-Hahn, PULSE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory/Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Amy Cordones-Hahn is an Associate Staff Scientist in the PULSE Institute at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Her research interests revolve around understanding how photoexcitation of electronic excited states drives chemical reactions of functional transition metal complexes, such as molecular photocatalysts. Amy uses time-resolved x-ray spectroscopy to resolve photochemical reactions in real-time and is interested in helping to grow these capabilities and build a larger ultrafast science user community at SSRL.

Lisa Dunn, SSRL User Research Administration, Menlo Park, CA
Lisa has worked at SSRL since 1986, and has been part of the User Research Administration team since 2000. Lisa manages the administration proposal review and scheduling for macromolecular crystallography and biological small angle scattering beam lines. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University.

James P. Evans, Utah State University, Logan, UT
James Evans is Professor of Geosciences at Utah State University. He received his Ph.D. and MS in Geology from Texas A&M University. His research interests include rock deformation from the micro scale to the map scale. Quantitative analysis of fluid-rock interactions as applied to earthquake processes, energy resources, and CO2 sequestration. 

Woodward W. Fischer, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 
Woodward W. Fischer, Professor of Geobiology at CaltechPhD Harvard, BA Colorado College.  I am often referred to by my nickname “Woody”.  I am a geobiologist that combines techniques from field geology, analytical chemistry, and biology to understand and explore the relationships between life and surface environments through diverse and fundamental transitions in our planet's history.   In addition to working on Mars Science Laboratory and Mars2020 missions, his group studies the emergence and early evolution of life, the innovation of photosynthesis and the rise of environmental dioxygen, and ancient mass extinctions.

Graham George, University of Saskatchevan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Graham George was educated at King's College London (B.Sc., 1979) and the University of Sussex (D. Phil., 1983). After postdoctoral fellowships at Sussex and Exxon Research & Engineering Co. in New Jersey USA, he continued at Exxon as a Principal Investigator. Graham was Exxon Participating Research Team spokesperson for both NSLS X10-C and SSRL 6-2 between 1988 and 1992. In 1992 Graham married fellow synchrotron radiation researcher Ingrid Pickering and moved to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory where he held the position of Physicist until 2003. In 2003 he became full professor and Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy at the University of Saskatchewan. Graham's first experiments using synchrotron radiation were on the EMBL XAS beamline at DESY Hamburg in April 1982, and his first experiments at SSRL were on Beam Line 7-3 in December 1983. Since that first run at SSRL Graham has taken part in over 185 different beamtime experiments at SSRL, and has published more than 270 papers using data collected at SSRL. His research bridges the chemical, the environmental and the life sciences and includes a career-long interest in metalloenzymes, toxic metals and fuel science.

Simon George,  STAR Cryoelectronics LLC, Richmond, CA
Simon J. George has been an SSRL User for almost 30 years. After graduating from the Universities of London and East Anglia and working as a postdoc at East Anglia, he moved to the NSLS where he measured his first EXAFS spectrum. Since then he has been employed at the University of California, Davis, the John Innes Centre (Norwich, UK) and at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Much of his career has been focused on studying problems in biological chemistry and related materials, using synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopies and X-ray imaging, together with laboratory techniques. While most of his synchrotron work has been performed at SSRL and the ALS, he has also measured data at the APS, CLS and SPring-8. Today, he owns his own scientific consulting company, Simon Scientific, which focuses on using synchrotron and related techniques, as well as developing novel spectroscopic instrumentation. He also collaborates with and is employed by a small business, STAR Cryoelectronics LLC, where he a Principal Investigator funded by the NIH to develop applications for cryogenic X-ray detectors for use in both the laboratory and at synchrotron lightsources. Simon is enthusiastic about the world-class facilities and outstanding User support culture that define SSRL and strongly believes in supporting SSRL's long-term future.

Cathy Knotts, SSRL User Research Administration Manager, Menlo Park, CA
Cathy has managed  SSRL User Research Administration since November 2000, taking on the additional responsibilities for establishing and managing a joint SSRL/LCLS User Office from 2007-2015 (LCLS began operations with the first user assisted commissioning experiments in 2009). Before joining SLAC, Cathy managed administrative operations and corporate communications in the biotechnology industry (1994-2000). Prior to moving to California to help start a biotech company, she was a management analyst for the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health in Maryland. Cathy graduated from the University of Maryland majoring in Health Science and Policy.

Ailiena Maggiolo, California Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Ailiena Maggiolo is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She has been a user on the Macromolecular Crystallography and XAS beamlines at SSRL since her first visit as an undergraduate in 2015. She has also been a user at APS, CHESS, and ALS. She is currently studying nitrogenase proteins in the lab of Prof. Douglas Rees, where she aims to combine XAS and MMX to understand complex metal clusters and their dynamics. As a member of the bioinorganic community, she has been particularly thankful for the diversity of methods that SSRL has made possible. Her research has depended on the tremendous achievements and collaborative nature of the beamline scientists and staff.

Stefan Minasian, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Stefan Minasian is a Staff Scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Research in the Minasian Lab addresses current challenges in the energy sciences by leveraging expertise in inorganic synthesis with advanced methods for physical characterization. A central goal is to understand the design principles controlling the properties of molecules and solids containing the lanthanide and actinide elements. A wide range of existing and emerging techniques in imaging and spectroscopy have been employed through close collaboration with staff at lightsources including SSRL and the ALS, CLS, and APS. The work occurs primarily at the interface of coordination chemistry, materials science, and inorganic spectroscopy, and relies on innovative methods to synthesize and characterize compounds that are highly reactive or otherwise difficult to isolate and study.

Matteo Mitrano, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (LCLS UEC Chair; ex officio)
Matteo Mitrano, Assistant Professor of Physics at Harvard University, is an experimental condensed matter physicist. He is interested in investigating fundamental problems in quantum materials, as well as in controlling their nonequilibrium properties with light. The goal of his research is to discover novel, emergent physical phenomena and solve long-standing problems in the physics of interacting electron systems. He makes use of advanced ultrafast optical methods, e.g. THz time-resolved spectroscopy, and of ultrafast scattering probes (hard/soft X-rays, and electrons) both in his laboratory and at large-scale facilities (e.g. free electron lasers). 

Liane Moreau, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Liane Moreau has been an SSRL user on XAS and RXES beamlines since 2017. She is currently a faculty member in the department of chemistry at Washington State University, where she leads a research group towards exploring nanoscale properties of f-element materials and the structure of their surfaces and interfaces through pairing new synthetic developments with in-depth X-ray characterization. Liane completed her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering under the direction of Michael Bedzyk and Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University. Subsequently, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow under Corwin Booth at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in the heavy element chemistry group. Historically, Liane's work has relied upon synchrotron XAS and SAXS studies, specifically aiming to map the growth and transformation processes involved in the synthesis of nanoparticles, spanning the periodic table from first row transition metals to actinides. She has experience developing containment strategies for safely measuring radioactive samples and analysis strategies for systems with complex backgrounds. Liane had her first taste of synchrotron XAS work in 2009 as an undergraduate at Cornell University studying nanoscale oxidation processes and hasn't stopped since. She has experience working at CHESS, APS and ALS in addition to SSRL and looks forward to contributing to the continued growth and development of the synchrotron community for years to come.

Michael Jacob Pushie, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Jake Pushie is a full-time staff scientist in the Department of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). My first visit to SSRL was in 2003. Autumn 2007 I became a regular user and over the past 15 years have had the pleasure of working and collaborating alongside some of the most amazing scientists and friends while visiting and collecting data at SSRL. My areas of interest are in the role of bio-metals in human health and disease, with particular focus on transition metal trafficking and coordination structure, as well as changes in trace elements associated with blood-brain barrier disruption and neurodegeneration. I have 66 peer reviewed publications, 35 of these have employed bio-spectroscopy beamlines at SSRL and 17 employed X-ray fluorescence microscopy beamlines at SSRL - and I feel like I’m only getting started! Much like the loss of wasted photons when we have beam, the loss of CPU cycles is also of concern to me as I use a broad range of computational chemistry tools at my home institution to help inform most of my synchrotron research. I was very impressed with how SSRL as a facility, and its staff, stepped-up and aided the user community during the pandemic. This only cemented my firm belief that SSRL is a facility like no other that researchers can rely on to enable the carrying-out of great science, no matter what. As a user I am also keenly aware of how difficult it is to train new users and grow the community. Such endeavours and outreach must start from within the user community itself and as a member of the UEC I envision opportunities to facilitate building user-led mentorships to educate, advise, and support new users - while also representing the needs and future interests of the existing user community.


Andrew Riscoe, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Andrew Riscoe is a PhD candidate in Matteo Cargnello's group in the Chemical Engineering Department at Stanford University. His research interests include XAS characterization of microporous polymer encapsulated metal catalysts for several small molecule transformations, including selective oxidation of methane to methanol.

Edward Snell, Hauptman Woodward Institute, Buffalo, NY
Edward Snell is President and CEO of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo New York, an independent not-for profit research institute. He is also a professor in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation at SUNY Buffalo and adjunct faculty at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research is supported by the NSF, NIH, and NASA and focuses on dynamic systems with an interest in metalloproteins. He has been an active and continuous user of SSRL since 1996 and a user at ESRF and SRS before that. His background is in crystallography with a gradual shift to complementary techniques including Small Angle X-ray Scattering using SSRL BL 4-2.  His BioSAXS work, in close collaboration with SSRL staff, has led to an IUCr Monograph on Biological Solution Scattering published by Oxford University Press. He is also the PI of NSF funded BioXFEL Science and Technology Center which explores ultrafast dynamics and in it's current renewal focuses on the complete biological dynamics of systems. Edward (Eddie) knows SSRL and has been a strong advocate for many years. He wants to see SSRL do well in the future and and to continue to support it's users most effectively.

Kelly Lynn Summers, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 
Kelly Summers is a postdoc in Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. She received her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Chemistry. She received an MSc and a BSc (Honors) in Biology from the University of Western Ontario and received an Alexander Graham Bell Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to support her PhD research. She was a fellow in the Training in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques (THRUST) program and part of the Molecular and Environmental Sciences Group at the University of Saskatchewan, led by Canada Research Chairs, Profs. Graham George and Ingrid Pickering. Kelly has been involved in the university community through participation in departmental committees, including the Chemistry Course Council. She has also engaged in several conference organization activities including the semi-annual Graduate Student Symposium and the annual THRUST Retreat. Throughout her graduate research Kelly operated numerous beamlines at several synchrotron facilities, including the Advanced Photon Source, the Australian Synchrotron, and the Canadian Light Source, in addition to frequent runs at SSRL. Kelly received an NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement to support her travel to the Australian Synchrotron and her studies there. She has experience in both x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and x-ray fluorescence Imaging techniques and uses both in her research, as well as for collaborative projects. In fact, SSRL’s biological XAS Beam Line 7-3 has been key to her research on the role of metals, particularly copper(II), in the Alzheimer’s brain and how these metals may be manipulated using metal-binding drugs.

Linda Vogt, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Linda Vogt is a graduate student in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. She has been a synchrotron user since 2012, and has operated various beamlines at the CLS, APS, and SSRL. She worked at the CLS as a casual floor coordinator from 2015 - 2019 and as part of the CLS outreach team from 2017 - 2020.

Beth Wurzburg, Oakland, CA
Beth was a Research Associate at the LBNL Joint Genome Institute. Previously, Beth was a Research Associate in the laboratory of Prof. Ted Jardetzky. She trained as a protein biochemist (Don Wiley's laboratory) and as a crystallographer (Ted Jardetzky's laboratory), and she has been collecting data at synchrotrons since 1995. Her research interests include biophysical studies of proteins of the immune system and of human pathogens.

Limei Zhang, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Dr. Limei Zhang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been an SSRL user on XAS and Macromolecular Crystallography beamlines since 2004. Limei received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan working with Prof. Graham N George (2004-2009), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology with Prof. Douglas C. Rees (2009-2014). She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Redox Biology Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Zhang group's research focuses on the structural and mechanistic investigation of metalloproteins in redox reactions and stress response, using a combination of synchrotron light-based techniques (X-ray crystallography, XAFS and X-ray fluorescence imaging) and biochemical approaches. Limei has co-authored 26 peer-reviewed publications, among which over 20 publications contain the research conducted at SSRL. She has recently received an NSF CAREER Award and NIH MIRA Award. Limei is enthusiastic about advancing techniques at SSRL and LCLS by combining the strengths of X-ray crystallography and XAS. She is looking forward to contributing to the synchrotron community at SSRL.

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