SLAC Today logo

SSRL Awards Honor Soltis, Schlotter

(Photo - Soltis and Schlotter)Congratulations to scientist Mike Soltis and graduate student Bill Schlotter, recipients of the Farrel W. Lytle Award and the Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award. The two awards were presented at the 33rd Annual Stanford Synchotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) Users’ Meeting yesterday evening.

The Lytle Award, given annually since 1998, recognizes technical or scientific achievements in synchrotron radiation-based science as well as efforts to promote collaboration and efficiency at SSRL. Soltis received the honor for his leadership in developing and implementing advanced robotics and remote-access systems at SSRL's crystallography beam lines, and for developing many now-common techniques for cryo-cooling of crystals. Soltis, who has led the SSRL Macromolecular Crystallography Group since 1999, was also recognized for his role in establishing a world-renowned user-support program at SSRL.

"Mike Soltis represents perfectly what the Lytle Award represents," says Linda Brinen, a structural biologist on the faculty at UC-San Francisco and an SSRL user. "His dedication to making top-notch science succeed is constant, as is his unfailing ability to work with both staff and users. He is a true professional."

The Klein Award, presented for the first time this year, is an annual award recognizing outstanding scientific work performed at SSRL by a graduate or undergraduate student. Schlotter received the award for conceiving and developing a technique that improves the quality of x-ray microscopy images without using longer exposure times or higher illumination intensities, which can damage samples. The technique averages multiple holographic reference images of a sample, taken simultaneously and at relatively low x-ray intensities, into a single final image.

According to Joachim Stöhr, SSRL Director and Schlotter's research advisor, the technique will have applications in research performed at the future Linac Coherent Light Source, the world’s first x-ray laser. "I believe Mel Klein, who I knew quite well and for whom the award is named, would have liked Bill's clever idea and its implementation," he says.

—Jennifer Yauck
    SLAC Today, October 13, 2006

Above image: Mike Soltis (left) and Bill Schlotter were honored last night at SSRL's awards dinner. (Photo courtesy Diana Rogers. Click on image for larger version.)