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Vol. 18, No. 2 - August 2017

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From Our Director


I am looking forward to sharing SSRL's recent scientific achievements, facility developments and future plans with you at our upcoming Annual SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting.

The Meeting will start off on Wednesday, September 27 with a number of parallel workshops. The Plenary Session follows the next day with facility updates, an update from the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences and keynote talks. Presentations honoring awardees for their outstanding science and roles in the community will take place that afternoon as will the poster session. Additional workshops will be held on Friday, September 29.  See the Meeting site for more details.

Science Highlights


Structures of the CRISPR Genome Integration ComplexContacts: Addison V. Wright and Jennifer A. Doudna, University of California, Berkeley

CRISPR, a powerful new tool that can target and change specific sequences of DNA, is based on a prokaryotic immune system response. The first step of bacterial immunity via CRISPR is placing sequences of foreign (viral) DNA between specific palindromic DNA repeats in the bacterial genome. The enzyme complex Cas1-Cas2 must target the correct DNA locus for integration, since insertion of the viral DNA into other areas of the genome may cause damage to the bacteria. Read more...

Citation: Wright et al., Science (2017), doi: 10.1126/science.aao0679.

See also:  CRISPR star Jennifer Doudna calls for public debate on embryo editing


Unraveling the Assembly Principles of Bacterial MicrocompartmentsContacts: Cheryl Kerfeld, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Bacterial cells have subcellular features that function as organelles called microcompartments. Bacterial microcompartments organize cellular metabolism. These compartments help increase reaction rates by colocalizing reaction components. They can also sequester sensitive or damaging reactants or products from the rest of the cell. Part of bacterial microcompartment function is to allow only some molecules to cross into the compartment while keeping out others. How this selectivity is possible is not well understood.   Read more...

Citation: Sutter et al., Science (2017), doi: 10.1126/science.aan3289.

Awards and Honors

Kathryn Hastie Wins Spicer Award for Lassa Virus Work at SSRL

Excerpted from August 18, 2017 SLAC News Feature by Angela Anderson


Kathryn Hastie, staff scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, has spent the last decade studying how the deadly Lassa virus – which causes up to half a million cases of Lassa fever each year in West Africa – enters human cells via a cell surface receptor.

Her efforts were recently rewarded when she solved the first structure of a surface glycoprotein for any member of the arenaviruses, the lethal family that includes Lassa, in experiments at SSRL. The work was featured on the cover of Science and has been instrumental in accelerating development of a Lassa virus vaccine. She went on to determine three related structures with therapeutically relevant antibodies, all at SSRL.

In honor of her dedication and determination, Hastie has won SSRL’s 2017 William E. and Diane M. Spicer Young Investigator Award. The award is given each year to early-career x-ray scientists who perform research at SSRL.  Read more...

See also: TSRI and SLAC press releases.

Stacey Bent Receives ACS Award


Stacey Bent, Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and a long-time SSRL user, has been awarded the 2018 American Chemical Society National Award in Surface Chemistry. The Bent laboratory is focused on understanding and controlling surface and interfacial chemistry and applying this knowledge to a range of problems in semiconductor processing, micro- and nano-electronics, nanotechnology, and sustainable and renewable energy.

The award recipients will be honored at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in conjunction with the 255th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Submit Abstracts by September 20 to Compete for Joe Wong Poster Awards


The Joe Wong Poster Awards have been established to promote multi-disciplinary interactions among the user community, to recognize the best poster presentations at the Annual Users' Meeting, and specifically to help students in preparing for their science careers. The poster awards are open to users of both the SSRL and the LCLS.

The best poster presentation by an undergraduate or graduate student (BS or PhD student user) will be awarded $500. Up to two more posters will be selected for a $250 award. Presenters at any stage of their research career and in any field can compete for the $250 award.

You must register and submit a poster abstract by September 20 to participate in the poster session.  Students presenting posters get free registration at the Annual Users' Meeting.   Abstract Submission

SSRL Users' Executive Committee

Vote for UEC Membership


The SSRL Executive Committee (UEC) provides an organized framework for interaction between the scientific user community and SSRL/SLAC Management to communicate the interests of users regarding SSRL operations and user support.  The UEC meets several times a year and includes representatives from various scientific areas utilizing SSRL beam lines.  Elected UEC members generally serve three-year terms and elections are held each fall as some of the members rotate out.  This election is held in conjunction with the Annual Users' Conference.  Please take a few minutes to review the candidates and cast your ballot for the 2017/2018 SSRL UEC.  Vote: SSRL UEC Ballot

Upcoming Events

7th International Conferences on Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, September 11-15, 2017, Berkeley, CA

We are looking forward to an exciting week of the latest developments in HAXPES, with plenary and invited speakers, contributed talks and poster sessions. Conference website

SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting & Workshops, September 27-29, 2017, Menlo Park, CA

Register to attend the SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting on September 27-29, 2017 to share results over the last year and learn about new capabilities, technology advances and facility plans.  Please see the Meeting website


The activities scheduled over this multi-day event provide many opportunities to interact with colleagues and discuss current/future capabilities and science. A number of focused-topic workshops are scheduled on September 27 and 29. The Plenary Session will take place on September 28 with facility updates, a DOE BES update by Linda Horton (BES Materials Science and Engineering Division), keynote talks by Henry Chapman (DESY) and Serena DeBeer (Max Planck) and presentations by Kathryn Hastie (TSRI) and Suhas Kumar (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) on their award-winning research.

Students presenting a poster will receive free registration and free lunch during the Users' Meeting. For everyone else, catered lunch during the Users' Conference is available for an additional $30 fee at the time of registration (or you may provide/purchase your own lunch at the SLAC Cafe or Starbucks).

We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Users’ Meeting. Early registration ends September 20.

Cathy Knotts and Leilani Conradson, Managers, SSRL and LCLS Users Services & the SSRL/LCLS UEC and Joint Users' Meeting Organizing Committee

5th High-Power Laser Workshop, September 27-28, 2017, Menlo Park, CA

The 5th HPL workshop will be held co-jointly with the general SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting to bring together the international high-energy density physics community with the LCLS user groups. The workshop will have a dedicated day to discuss recent experimental results from matter in extreme conditions enabled by the combination of high-power laser drivers with the world-class LCLS x-ray beam.  Although registration is separate, participants will take part in the general Users' Meeting plenary session on the second day and further have a session related to the MEC instrument.  The goal is to discuss the scientific opportunities at the MEC instrument, propose future standard configurations, and provide time to discuss important physics proposals and experimental needs for cutting-edge research at MEC.  Workshop registration

Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2018), June 10-15, 2018, Taiwan

Save the date for the 13th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2018) to be hosted by the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC), at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), June 10-15, 2018. Organized by the community of worldwide synchrotron radiation (SR) and x-ray free electron laser (XFEL) facilities, the triennial international SRI conference will cover advances in light-source instrumentation, techniques, and methodology including accelerators, beamlines and experimental endstations as well as the newest development in x-ray science. Conference website

User Research Administration

SSRL Beam Time Request Deadlines

  • September 12, 2017 – Macromolecular Crystallography requests for beam time beginning fall 2017.
  • November 8, 2017 – X-ray/VUV requests for February-April 2018.

SSRL Proposal Deadlines

  • September 1, 2017 – X-ray / VUV
  • December 1, 2017 – X-ray/VUV and Macromolecular Crystallography

Submit proposals and beam time requests through the User Portal.

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

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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn