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MX Frontiers at the One Micron Scale

July 23 - July 24, 2009

MX Frontiers Participants (click to enlarge)

MX Frontiers Speakers (click to enlarge)

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  • New scientific opportunities
  • Physics of radiation damage
  • X-ray optical requirements
  • Challenges in instrumentation
  • New crystallographic methods
  • This well-attended workshop in the 'New Opportunities' series initiated by Qun Shen, the NSLS-II Experimental Facilities Director, explored structural biology scientific opportunities made possible through the use of micro-beams. It included lectures about studies of difficult-to-crystallize systems and systems for which only small or imperfect crystals could be grown. The impact of using such small beams on mitigating radiation damage of samples was discussed from first principles to experimental verification. Challenges in producing and using such small beams and working with very tiny crystals were reviewed, including experimental methods that require development.

    Reports and Summaries

    Using the workshop's outcome, the workshop organizers prepared a report, the MX Microbeam White Paper, that guided us in drafting a 2010 beamline development proposal. Earlier, workshop reports have appeared. These are also posted below. Use the 'Agenda' link in the menu bar above to find lecture abstracts and several of the presentations.


    The following distinguished scientists have agreed to speak and lead discussions:

    David Eisenberg (University of California at Los Angeles)
    Gwyndaf Evans (Diamond Light Source, UK)
    Kenneth Evans-Lutterodt (Brookhaven National Laboratory)
    Robert Fischetti (Argonne National Laboratory)
    Elspeth Garman (University of Oxford, UK)
    Wayne Hendrickson (Columbia University)
    James Holton (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboartory)
    Antonio Lanzirotti (Brookhaven National Laboratory)
    Irene Margiolaki (ESRF)
    Sean McSweeney (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Fr)
    Colin Nave (Diamond Light Source, UK)
    Christian Riekel (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Fr)
    Gebhard Schertler (MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, UK)
    Clemens Schulze-Briese (Swiss Light Source)
    John Spence (Arizona State University)
    Masaki Yamamoto (RIKEN Harima Institute, SPring-8, Japan)


    We invite you to learn from the foremost structural biologists using micro-focused x-ray beams and from the most experienced designers of their beamlines about the unique scientific and experimental capabilities at the one-micron scale. We invite you to take part in discussions of these recent developments. We invite you to weigh in on how they may be translated to the design of new crystallography beamlines at NSLS-II in ways that will optimally serve your needs and fully exploit the uniquely small, stable, and brilliant beams expected to become available here by 2014.

    This one-day-and-a-half workshop will be held at Brookhaven National Laboratory. On the evening of July 22, an informal reception at the Brookhaven Center will encourage registration and first contacts. The workshop will convene in earnest on Thursday, July 23, and continue through midday Friday with sessions and several discussions. The Thursday evening dinner will feature an after dinner talk that is part of the workshop program and provide opportunities for more in-depth and personal discussions.


    The workshop agenda is focused on invited speakers and discussions. However, we welcome relevant poster contributions. Poster boards will be available outside the meeting auditorium during all coffee breaks. We will post abstracts of contributions as well as 8.5 by 11" sized pdf versions of posters on this website.

    Costs and Registration

    Please register early using the workshop registration page. The registration fee is a modest $75 and covers breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks. The cost for dinner on Thursday night - including the after dinner talk - is $50.


    The National Synchrotron Light Source II Project
    The National Synchrotron Light Source
    The Department of Energy OBER
    Brookhaven Science Associates
    The BNL Biology Department
    The Department of Energy BES
    The National Institutes of Health NCRR
    The National Institutes of Health NIGMS
    FMB-Oxford Ltd, Oxford, UK
    Bruker ASC, a former ACCEL Instruments Business
    Area Detector Systems Corporation