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Vol. 20, No. 2 - August 2019

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SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting – September 24-27, 2019

Our Annual SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting is approaching fast.  The September 26 plenary sessions will include a welcome from SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao, an update from DOE BES, facility updates and a town hall discussion with LCLS and SSRL Directors Mike Dunne and Paul McIntyre, invited talks from Stosh Kozimor (LANL) and Philippe Wernet (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin), award presentation/talks and a poster session/reception.    

Workshop topics on September 24, 25 and 27 include:

  • Materials Science X-ray Diffraction Opportunities
  • Metals in Structural Biology
  • Ultrafast Electron Diffraction (UED)
  • LCLS-II Early Science
  • Automated Analysis and Control for X-ray Science Experiments
  • Multi-Scale Biology
  • MXAN: Three Dimensional Structures for Metal Sites in Condensed Phases and in Catalysts
  • CryoEM of Macromolecular Machines
  • Current and Future Opportunities in Time-Resolved X-ray Science: Materials and Interface
    • Materials Phenomena
    • Ultrafast Electron and Molecular Dynamics at Interfaces
  • Recent Advances in the X-ray Spectroscopy of the Actinides
  • Development and Challenges in X-ray Spectroscopies and Ultrafast Dynamics: Experiment and Theory
  • Data-Reduction Pipeline for LCLS-II

September 18 is the deadline for online registration and poster abstract submission. Promote your poster at the Poster Blitz and compete for Joe Wong Outstanding Poster Awards.  More details are available at the Meeting website.

Science Highlight

Structure of the Full-length Clostridium difficile Toxin B – Contact: Rongsheng Jin (UC Irvine)

The bacterium Clostridium difficile (often called C. diff) can cause severe intestinal infections, responsible for about 500,000 cases and 29,000 deaths in the United States per year. While infections are more often found in ill and elderly people, infection rates are increasing in young and healthy people. The bacterium makes and secretes two related toxins, TcdA and TcdB. Understanding the structure of these molecules is a critical step to developing treatment. Unfortunately, since these toxin proteins are huge and flexible, scientists have been unable to determine the entire molecular structures until now.  Read more...

SSRL-Related News

How the Catalytic Converters in Cars Go Bad and Why it Matters

Excerpt from August 12, 2019 Article in Stanford Engineering Magazine by Andrew Myers

Modern cars rely on catalytic converters to remove carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other harmful chemicals from exhaust emissions. To do so they rely on costly metals that have special chemical properties that diminish in effectiveness over time. Assistant professor Matteo Cargnello and doctoral candidate Emmett Goodman recently led a team that has proposed a new way to reduce the cost and extend the lifespan of these materials, solving a problem that has vexed automotive engineers for years. In the process, Cargnello and colleagues have done something remarkable: made a breakthrough in a mature field where change comes slowly, if at all. Read more...

See paper published August 12, 2019 in Nature Catalysis


Arianna Gleason and Diana Gamzina Receive DOE Early Career Research Grants

Excerpt from August 1, 2019 SLAC News Article by Ali Sundermier and Manuel Gnida

SLAC staff scientists Arianna Gleason and Diana Gamzina will receive prestigious Early Career Research Program awards for studies in fusion energy and the development of next-generation radiofrequency (RF) technology. They are among 73 recipients selected from a large pool of university and national laboratory applicants, the DOE Office of Science announced today. Each will receive $500,000 per year for five years in support of their work.

Using the laser capabilities at the LCLS Gleason will investigate extreme states of matter and how they might be harnessed for fusion energy, which one day could help address the world’s energy needs. Gamzina will study how materials behave when exposed to RF fields, which will lead to the development of improved materials for particle accelerators used in cancer treatments, novel RF sources for communication systems and more. In a first step, she will use a new, unique RF-pump x-ray probe instrument at SSRL to look at microstructural changes in materials hit by RF pulses.  Read more...


  • Falling Walls Competition, September 24, 2019

    Sunday, September 8 is the deadline for applications to compete at the 2019 Falling Walls Lab Stanford on September 24, 3-6 pm at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. There are still a few open slots!

    Eligible for the competition are currently enrolled students and Postdocs as well as scholars, researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs, young professionals, and innovators from all disciplines within 10 years of Bachelor, 7 years of Master or 5 years of PhD. Application

  • Joint SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting, September 24–27, 2019 website

  • EMSL Integration 2019 – Plants, Soil and Aerosols: Interactions that Tell Stories of Ecosystems, Climate and National Security, October 8–10, 2019  announcement

  • SAVE THE DATE – Stanford-SLAC CryoEM-Center (S2C2) Image Processing Workshop, November 18–20, 2019

  • U.S. Particle Accelerator School, UC San Diego, January 13–24, 2020 website

  • SAVE THE DATE – RapiData 2020 at SSRL, March 30-April 4, 2020


The DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program is Now Accepting Applications

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2019 Solicitation 2 through Thursday, November 14, 2019. There are four new “convergence” research topical areas which are emerging areas and priorities for research that crosses disciplines. The BES and convergence topics can be found at the Office of Science Priority Research Areas for SCGSR Program site.

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory/facility in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.  Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at the SCGSR website

Update Your Bookmarks - WWW-SSRL for Access to SSRL Website

Are you using to access SSRL's web, or do you have bookmarks with this URL? Effective September 2019 you will only be able to access general SSRL web resources with URLs. We will be unable to provide automatic redirection - attempted connections will just fail. Please start using addresses now.  This change does not affect bookmarks and links to

User Research Administration

Beam Time Requests

  • September 10, 2019 – Macromolecular Crystallography (Nov 2019 – Feb 2020 scheduling)
  • November 1, 2019 – X-ray / VUV (Feb – Apr 2020 scheduling)

Proposal Deadlines

  • November 1, 2019 – X-ray / VUV
  • November 1, 2019 – Stanford-SLAC CryoEM Center (S2C2)
  • December 1, 2019 – Macromolecular Crystallography

 Submit beam time requests and proposals 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