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SSRL Headlines Vol. 2, No. 4  October, 2001


Contents of This Issue:

  1.   Science Highlight — Multidrug Resistance-ABC Transporters
  2.   SSRL and CCLRC Enter into Memorandum of Understanding
  3.   28th Annual SSRL Users' Meeting and Associated Workshops
  4.   Britt Hedman Receives Annual Farrel Lytle Award
  5.   Stanford Board of Trustees Visit SLAC and Tour SSRL
  6.   Startup Activities on Track for User Beam on November 1
  7.   SSRL Users Organization Executive Committee Update
  8.   User Research Administration Announcements
  9.   Job Opportunities at SSRL

1. Science Highlight - Multidrug Resistance-ABC Transporters
    (contact: Geoffrey Chang, gchang@scripps.edu)

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a serious medical problem and presents a major challenge to the treatment of disease and the development of novel therapeutics. ABC transporters that are associated with multidrug resistance (MDR-ABC transporters) translocate hydrophobic drugs and lipids from the inner to the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. To better elucidate the structural basis for the "flip-flop" mechanism of substrate movement across the lipid bilayer, Chang's group from Scripps determined the structure of the lipid flippase MsbA from Escherichia coli using diffraction data collected on SSRL BLs 11-1 and 9-2. MsbA is organized as a homodimer with each subunit containing six transmembrane -helices and a nucleotide-binding domain. The asymmetric distribution of charged residues lining a central chamber suggests a general mechanism for the translocation of substrate by MsbA and other MDR-ABC transporters. The structure of MsbA can serve as a model for the MDR-ABC transporters that confer MDR to cancer cells and infectious microorganisms.

More information regarding this research, including the reference to the recent publication in Science, can be found at:

2. SSRL and CCLRC Enter into Memorandum of Understanding
     (contact: Keith Hodgson, hodgson@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

Drs. S. S. Hasnain, Head of Molecular Biophysics at CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory and Joint Coordinator of the North West Structural Genomics Centre and H. Price, Director, CLRC Daresbury Laboratory and Deputy Chief Executive, CCLRC, traveled from the U.K. to sign on Monday, October 29, a Memorandum of Understanding between SSRL and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils operating through Daresbury Laboratory. The Memorandum establishes a framework for a collaboration that will combine the expertise and specialized knowledge of the two labs in pursuit of unique scientific goals. Possible subjects for joint research and development could include SR high-throughput tools, structural genomics, accelerator science and technology, beam line optics and data collection and analysis software.

3. 28th Annual SSRL Users' Meeting and Associated Workshops
     (contact: Cathy Knotts, knotts@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

The 28th Annual SSRL Users' Meeting, co-chaired by Corwin Booth (LBNL) and Ana Gonzalez (SSRL) was held October 18-19, 2001. Also in association with the Meeting, three workshops were held on Wednesday, October 17. The topics were "Thin Film Scattering", "The Role of XAS and SAXS on Structural Genomics/Proteomics", and "Metrology with Sub-picosecond X-ray Pulses". The workshops and meeting were well attended and provided an exciting and engaging forum for discussion of new developments, research and new scientific discovery.

The meeting itself highlighted recent achievements in science and technology made possible by research done at SSRL and elsewhere. The meeting opened with a presentation on the university's role in science and research by Stanford University President, John Hennessy. SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan gave welcome remarks, including an update on plans for the new user lodging facility (construction is scheduled to begin in February). SSRL Director, Keith Hodgson, followed with an overview talk covering achievements and activities for the last year. Dr. Patricia Dehmer, the Director the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, gave a report from Washington. Following, there were sessions on materials science, biology, SSRL specific reports (summary of the activities of the SSRLUO-EC, SPEAR3 project, SPEAR performance, LCLS and the SSRL beam line upgrade project) and on environmental sciences. The last session of the meeting focussed on techniques and development.

A highlight of the meeting was the poster session and reception on October 18. This session, which included 45 posters, was well attended and facilitated an open exchange of research ideas and techniques between users and staff. Three posters were selected to receive the Graduate Student Poster Award. The recipients were: Kyle M. Shen for the poster "From Mott Insulator to Superconductor: ARPES Studies of Ca2-xNaxCuO2Cl2"; Pieter Glatzel, "Ni 1s-2p Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering"; and Alexis Templeton, "Long-Period XSW Studies of the Reactivity of Mineral Surfaces in the Presence and Absence of Biofilms".

4. Britt Hedman Receives Annual Farrel Lytle Award
    (contact: Cathy Knotts, knotts@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

Britt Hedman received a standing ovation from the users and staff present at the Users' Meeting dinner on October 18 when it was announced that she was the recipient of the 4th annual Farrel Lytle Award. The award, which was presented by Jo Stohr with help from Piero Pianetta and Gordon Brown, recognized Britt's operations support efforts and instrument development programs, her student and user mentoring, as well as her scientific accomplishments. It was noted that Britt, through her constant support and encouragement, was instrumental in developing several programs at SSRL, including spectroscopy research for the low-Z elements under ambient conditions, the separate high flux beam line for studying dilute samples of biological interest, and the now substantial molecular environmental sciences program. At the end of the presentation, the Gordon Brown's group tipped their cowboy hats and bowed to Britt to show their respect and admiration.

5. Stanford Board of Trustees Visit SLAC and Tour SSRL
     (contact: Peter Kuhn, pkuhn@slac.stanford.edu)

On October 8, 2001, Stanford Trustees visited SLAC and heard from the Director, Jonathan Dorfan about the SLAC programs, the science and future opportunities. This was followed by a SLAC tour that included SSRL. At SSRL, there were stops at Beam Lines 9-2, 6-2, and 11-2 where they learned about exciting new science in the areas of structural biology, materials science and molecular environmental science. The Board engaged enthusiastically in discussions about interdisciplinary research approaches for which SLAC and SSRL are known worldwide. At one of the tour stops, the group donned special glasses to view a 3-D model of the DNA-bound protein RNA-polymerase, which represents one of the recent scientific breakthroughs achieved by the research group of Roger Kornberg of Stanford's Structural Biology Department with diffraction data collected at BL9-2 (see the April, 2001 edition of Headlines). The Board learned how basic sciences and new developments in the engineering and computer sciences have a high impact on research programs in a broad range of scientific disciplines.

The complete story can be found at:

6. Startup Activities on Track for User Beam on November 1
     (contact: Ed Guerra, guerra@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

Accelerator and beam line startup activities are proceeding very well for beam delivery to users on November 1. Technical support groups did a good job putting systems back together after the downtime work. Beam was established in the injector relatively fast and into SPEAR after a few problems with the transport line were resolved.

Beam line steering development is progressing rapidly. With the exception of the macromolecular crystallography lines, which require additional beam alignment and testing, beam lines are expected to be ready for Users by the start of the run. The beam lifetime is presently 14 hrs with 100 mA in the ring and improving steadily. The projection is to fill SPEAR two times per day through the month of November.

7. SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee Update
     (contact: Corwin Booth, SSRLUO-EC Chair, chbooth@lbl.gov)

Thank you to all the users who attended the 28th Annual SSRL Users' Meeting, gave a talk, presented a poster, voted in the election, or participated in any other way. A special thanks to the members of the SSRLUO-EC who have completed their terms: Paul Alivisatos, Pat Allen, Bruce Clemens, Marilyn Olmstead and Bob Scott.

The election results are in, and we are pleased to announce the new members of the EC for the next two years:

Nicholas Pingitore, UTEP - Environmental/Geosciences
Dave Stout, TSRI - Macromolecular Crystallography
Uwe Bergmann, LBNL - Materials/Chemistry, and new vice chair
Erik Nelson, LLNL - Materials/Chemistry
Jane DeWitt, CSU San Francisco - Structural Molecular Biology
Ben Bostick, Stanford Univ. - Grad Student, Environmental/Geosciences

These new representatives, along with myself and the other continuing members (Paul Foster, Lipika Basumallick, Satish Myneni, John Peters, and Vittal Yachandra) look forward to working with and representing SSRL users in the coming year. The Executive Committee will hold three meetings each year, and the next meeting will be held at the end of February or early March. The exact date and time will be announced later, but all users are invited to attend at the open session part of these meetings.

8 .  User Research Administration Announcements
     (contacts: Cathy Knotts, knotts@slac.stanford.edu, Lisa Dunn, lisa@slac.stanford.edu)

  • X-ray/VUV Beam Time Requests Due November 19:
    Beam time requests for X-ray and VUV beam lines for the second scheduling period of the FY02 SSRL experimental run, January 31, 2002 - April 30, 2002, must be submitted by Monday, November 19, 2002.

    The forms were mailed recently to spokespersons with active proposals and can also be submitted by fax at 650-926-3600 or electronically at:

    http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/users/user_admin/xray_btrf.html   (for X-ray lines)

    http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/users/user_admin/vuv_btrf.html   (for VUV lines)

    Please contact us as soon as possible if the availability you indicate on your request form changes prior to issuance of the schedule. If you have any questions or require assistance, please feel free to contact us.

  • Monochromator Installations Planned in Early 2002:
    Several beam lines will be receiving equipment upgrades in the near future and will be down briefly for installation and commissioning, including:

    BL10-2/10-1 will be down from January 22 - February 7, 2002
    BL11-2/11-1 will be down from February 4 - 15, 2002
    BL6-2 will be down from March 18 - April 1, 2002

  • Macromolecular Crystallography proposals are due December 1, 2001:
    Proposals submitted for this deadline will be rated in January and eligible for beam time starting in March 2002.

    More information regarding proposal submittal can be found at:

  • New Photo ID Requirements:
    Given the current national emphasis on increased awareness and security, everyone entering the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) must be prepared to present photo identification to gain access to this site. Please have your ID out as you approach the main gate to facilitate more rapid entry for yourself and those behind you. > For the upcoming run, SSRL will be issuing new user photo identification badges. Users should plan to arrive a few minutes earlier than usual to be photographed for the new badges. These user photo ID badges will be valid through the remainder of the FY 2002 experimental run, so users should keep these badges for subsequent visits to SSRL during the year.

9 .  SSRL Job Opportunities
     (contact: Rochelle Roberts, rroberts@slac.stanford.edu)

SSRL currently has positions available for mechanical, electronic and beam line engineers and technicians. More information is available at the following web site:
http://www- ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/jobs.html

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 Stanford University for 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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Last Updated: 24 OCT 2001
Content Owner: L. Dunn
Page Editor: L. Dunn