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In this issue:
People: Marco Cammarata Tracks the Ultrafast
Structural Molecular Biology Summer School Is Coming Soon!
Volunteers Needed for Commencement Tours

SLAC Today

Wednesday - May 19, 2010

People:
Marco Cammarata Tracks the Ultrafast

(Photo)
Marco Cammarata.
(Photo by Julie Karceski.)

Marco Cammarata studies the superfast, from both a biological and a physical perspective. As a researcher at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, he studied the quick movements of the photosynthetic protein found in the bacteria strain Blastochloris viridis. Now at SLAC, he works as an instrument scientist with the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray Pump Probe instrument, which uses the ultrafast X-ray pulses of the LCLS to study molecular movement, among other phenomena. The XPP team is currently busy fine-tuning and testing the equipment in preparation for commissioning, slated to begin in early June.

Photosynthetic proteins are much craftier than humans at harnessing sunlight and converting it into chemical energy. And because of this almost magical ability, scientists are eager to better understand the structure of these proteins and the sequence of events that leads to chemical energy production.  Read more...

Structural Molecular Biology Summer School Is Coming Soon!

(Image - SMB summer school logo)

The application deadline is approaching for Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource's Structural Molecular Biology Low-Z XAS Summer School. This workshop, which runs from July 20-23, will train scientists on low energy X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques. With only one day of lectures, participants will have three days to collect and analyze data at SSRL, providing a hands-on opportunity to understand new methods.

"Presentations from experts in the field and hands-on training sessions will be aimed at the graduate student level," said co-chair Ritimukta Sarangi. "But it will also be appropriate for researchers with more extensive experience in hard X-ray techniques." For those more familiar with these methods, this workshop will be an opportunity to expand the scope of their research by delving into low-Z XAS.

Applications are due by June 5. For more information, see the Structural Molecular Biology Summer School 2010 Web site.

Volunteers Needed for Commencement Tours

Each year, the friends and families of about 2,000 graduating Stanford students converge on Palo Alto. For nearly four decades, SLAC tours have been a part of their visits. This year's commencement tours take place on Saturday, June 12. The Communications Office is once again looking for volunteers to lead informal tours.

"This tour is so popular, parents coming to their student's graduation started in January to call and e-mail asking how to sign up—we are a month out and already 75% filled," said Pat Kreitz, event coordinator. "We need both tour guides and logistics volunteers to help spread the word about SLAC and our science."

Two informational meetings for people who may be interested in volunteering will be held in the Sierra Room, Building 40, on Wednesday May 26 from 3–4 p.m. and again on Friday, May 28 from 12:30–1:30 p.m. Please attend one of these meetings or contact Pat Kreitz.

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