SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Showing 1-32 of 32 Results

  • Alex Aiken

    Alex Aiken

    Alcatel-Lucent Professor in Communications and Networking and Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and of Photon Science

    BioAlex Aiken is the Alcatel-Lucent Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Alex received his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Music from Bowling Green State University in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1988. Alex was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center (1988-1993) and a Professor in the EECS department at UC Berkeley (1993-2003) before joining the Stanford faculty in 2003. His research interest is in areas related to programming languages.

  • Axel Brunger

    Axel Brunger

    Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, of Neurology, of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Structural Biology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOne of Axel Brunger's major goals is to decipher the molecular mechanisms of synaptic neurotransmitter release by conducting imaging and single-molecule/particle reconstitution experiments, combined with near-atomic resolution structural studies of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery.

  • Philip Bucksbaum

    Philip Bucksbaum

    Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science and Professor of Photon Science, of Applied Physics, of Physics and Director, Stanford PULSE Institute

    BioPhil Bucksbaum holds the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Chair in Natural Science at Stanford University, with appointments in Physics, Applied Physics, and in Photon Science at SLAC. He conducts his research in the Stanford PULSE Institute ( He and his wife Roberta Morris live in Menlo Park, California with their cat. Their grown daughter lives in Toronto.

    Bucksbaum was born and raised in Iowa, and graduated from Harvard in 1975. He attended U.C. Berkeley on a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and received his Ph.D. in 1980 for atomic parity violation experiments under Professor Eugene Commins, with whom he also has co-authored a textbook, “Weak Interactions of Leptons and Quarks.” In 1981 he joined Bell Laboratories, where he pursued new applications of ultrafast coherent radiation from terahertz to vacuum ultraviolet, including time-resolved VUV ARPES, and strong-field laser-atom physics.

    He joined the University of Michigan in 1990 and stayed for sixteen years, becoming Otto Laporte Collegiate Professor and then Peter Franken University Professor. He was founding Director of FOCUS, a National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center, where he pioneered research using ultrafast lasers to control quantum systems. He also launched the first experiments in ultrafast x-ray science at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab. In 2006 Bucksbaum moved to Stanford and SLAC, and organized the PULSE Institute to develop research utilizing the world’s first hard x-ray free-electron laser, LCLS. In addition to directing PULSE, he has previously served as Department Chair of Photon Science and Division Director for Chemical Science at SLAC. His current research is in laser interrogation of atoms and molecules to explore and image structure and dynamics on the femtosecond scale. He currently has more than 250 publications.

    Bucksbaum is a Fellow of the APS and the Optical Society, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has held Guggenheim and Miller Fellowships, and received the Norman F. Ramsey Prize of the American Physical Society for his work in ultrafast and strong-field atomic and molecular physics. He served as the Optical Society President in 2014, and also served as the President of the American Physical Society in 2020. He has led or participated in many professional service activities, including NAS studies, national and international boards, initiatives, lectureships and editorships.

  • Wah Chiu

    Wah Chiu

    Wallenberg-Bienenstock Professor and Professor of Bioengineering and of Microbiology and Immunology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research includes methodology improvements in single particle cryo-EM for atomic resolution structure determination of molecules and molecular machines, as well as in cryo-ET of cells and organelles towards subnanometer resolutions. We collaborate with many researchers around the country and outside the USA on understanding biological processes such as protein folding, virus assembly and disassembly, pathogen-host interactions, signal transduction, and transport across cytosol and membranes.

  • Thomas Devereaux

    Thomas Devereaux

    Professor of Photon Science, of Materials Science and Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Instiute for Energy

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy main research interests lie in the areas of theoretical condensed matter physics and computational physics. My research effort focuses on using the tools of computational physics to understand quantum materials. Fortunately, we are poised in an excellent position as the speed and cost of computers have allowed us to tackle heretofore unaddressed problems involving interacting systems. The goal of my research is to understand electron dynamics via a combination of analytical theory and numerical simulations to provide insight into materials of relevance to energy science. My group carries out numerical simulations on SIMES’ high-performance supercomputer and US and Canadian computational facilities. The specific focus of my group is the development of numerical methods and theories of photon-based spectroscopies of strongly correlated materials.

  • Mike Dunne

    Mike Dunne

    Professor of Photon Science

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is the world's first X-Ray Free Electron Laser. It represents a revolution in x-ray science. The x-rays produced by LCLS are a billion times brighter than can be produced by conventional sources, such as a synchrotron, and are delivered in ultrafast bursts- typically a few tens of femtoseconds (10^-15 seconds). This opens up transformational opportunities for the study of structural biology, quantum materials, ultrafast chemistry, and novel states of matter

  • Kelly Gaffney

    Kelly Gaffney

    Associate Professor of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Chemistry

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe research team Professor Gaffney leads focuses on time resolved studies of chemical reactions. Recent advances in ultrafast x-ray lasers, like the LCLS at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, enable chemical reactions to be observed on the natural time and length scales of the chemical bond – femtoseconds and Ångströms. The knowledge gained from x-ray and optical laser studies will be used to spark new approaches to photo-catalysis and chemical synthesis.

  • Siegfried Glenzer

    Siegfried Glenzer

    Professor of Photon Science

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPlease see our website for detailed information:

  • Britt Hedman

    Britt Hedman

    Professor of Photon Science

    BioHedman’s research program is focused on the development and applications of x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies using synchrotron radiation, with a scientific emphasis primarily on study of the electronic and structural aspects of metal ion active sites in bioinorganic and biological systems. A common theme is to investigate how structure at molecular and macromolecular levels relates to function.

    A major long-term focus has been the active site of the enzyme nitrogenase, and the various nitrogenase metal clusters, including elucidating the electronic and geometric structure of those that are formed and changed along their biosynthetic pathways. Other systems of systematic studies include iron-sulfur cluster containing enzymes, blue and multi-copper proteins, heme-copper oxidases, and iron-containing oxidases. Methods developments include x-ray absorption spectroscopy (edge and extended fine structure - or EXAFS), including the application of multiple-scattering analysis in EXAFS studies of metal clusters relevant to bioinorganic systems, the development of methodology for polarized single crystal x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and methodology and instrumentation development for soft- through hard-energy XAS.

    Hedman received her B.S and B.A. in Chemistry, M.Sc. in Inorganic Chemistry, and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Umeå, Sweden. She was Assistant Professor (equivalent) in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Umeå before coming to Stanford, initially as Senior Academic Scientific Staff, followed by appointed as Professor (Research) in 2002, and Professor of Photon Science in 2007.

  • Tony Heinz

    Tony Heinz

    Professor of Applied Physics and of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsElectronic properties and dynamics of nanoscale materials, ultrafast lasers and spectroscopy.

  • Keith Hodgson

    Keith Hodgson

    David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Photon Science at SLAC

    BioCombining inorganic, biophysical and structural chemistry, Professor Keith Hodgson investigates how structure at molecular and macromolecular levels relates to function. Studies in the Hodgson lab have pioneered the use of synchrotron x-radiation to probe the electronic and structural environment of biomolecules. Recent efforts focus on the applications of x-ray diffraction, scattering and absorption spectroscopy to examine metalloproteins that are important in Earth’s biosphere, such as those that convert nitrogen to ammonia or methane to methanol.

    Keith O. Hodgson was born in Virginia in 1947. He studied chemistry at the University of Virginia (B.S. 1969) and University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1972), with a postdoctoral year at the ETH in Zurich. He joined the Stanford Chemistry Department faculty in 1973, starting up a program of fundamental research into the use of x-rays to study chemical and biological structure that made use of the unique capabilities of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL). His lab carried out pioneering x-ray absorption and x-ray crystallographic studies of proteins, laying the foundation for a new field now in broad use worldwide. In the early eighties, he began development of one of the world's first synchrotron-based structural molecular biology research and user programs, centered at SSRL. He served as SSRL Director from 1998 to 2005, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) Deputy Director (2005-2007) and Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Science (2007-2011).

    Today the Hodgson research group investigates how molecular structure at different organizational levels relates to biological and chemical function, using a variety of x-ray absorption, diffraction and scattering techniques. Typical of these molecular structural studies are investigations of metal ions as active sites of biomolecules. His research group develops and utilizes techniques such as x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy (XAS and XES) to study the electronic and metrical details of a given metal ion in the biomolecule under a variety of natural conditions.

    A major area of focus over many years, the active site of the enzyme nitrogenase is responsible for conversion of atmospheric di-nitrogen to ammonia. Using XAS studies at the S, Fe and Mo edge, the Hodgson group has worked to understand the electronic structure as a function of redox in this cluster. They have developed new methods to study long distances in the cluster within and outside the protein. Studies are ongoing to learn how this cluster functions during catalysis and interacts with substrates and inhibitors. Other components of the protein are also under active study.

    Additional projects include the study of iron in dioxygen activation and oxidation within the binuclear iron-containing enzyme methane monooxygenase and in cytochrome oxidase. Lab members are also investigating the role of copper in electron transport and in dioxygen activation. Other studies include the electronic structure of iron-sulfur clusters in models and enzymes.

    The research group is also focusing on using the next generation of x-ray light sources, the free electron laser. Such a light source, called the LCLS, is also located at SLAC. They are also developing new approaches using x-ray free electron laser radiation to image noncrystalline biomolecules and study chemical reactivity on ultrafast time scales.

  • Thomas Jaramillo

    Thomas Jaramillo

    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, of Photon Science and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy

    BioRecent years have seen unprecedented motivation for the emergence of new energy technologies. Global dependence on fossil fuels, however, will persist until alternate technologies can compete economically. We must develop means to produce energy (or energy carriers) from renewable sources and then convert them to work as efficiently and cleanly as possible. Catalysis is energy conversion, and the Jaramillo laboratory focuses on fundamental catalytic processes occurring on solid-state surfaces in both the production and consumption of energy. Chemical-to-electrical and electrical-to-chemical energy conversion are at the core of the research. Nanoparticles, metals, alloys, sulfides, nitrides, carbides, phosphides, oxides, and biomimetic organo-metallic complexes comprise the toolkit of materials that can help change the energy landscape. Tailoring catalyst surfaces to fit the chemistry is our primary challenge.

  • Chi-Chang Kao

    Chi-Chang Kao

    Director of SLAC, Professor of Photon Science and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy

    BioSLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao, a noted X-ray scientist, came to SLAC in 2010 to serve as associate laboratory director for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. He became SLAC’s fifth director in November 2012.

    Previously, Kao served for five years as chairperson of the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. He undertook major upgrades to the light source's scientific programs and experimental facilities while developing potential science programs for NSLS-II, one of the newest and most advanced synchrotron facilities in the world. His research focuses on X-ray physics, superconductivity, magnetic materials and the properties of materials under high pressure.

    Kao earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1980 from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1988. He joined Brookhaven shortly afterward, working his way from NSLS postdoctoral research assistant to chair. Kao also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University.

    He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2006 and was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010 for his many contributions to resonant elastic and inelastic X-ray scattering techniques and their application to materials physics, as well as for his leadership at the NSLS.

  • Aaron Lindenberg

    Aaron Lindenberg

    Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Photon Science

    BioLindenberg's research is focused on visualizing the ultrafast dynamics and atomic-scale structure of materials on femtosecond and picosecond time-scales. X-ray and electron scattering and spectroscopic techniques are combined with ultrafast optical techniques to provide a new way of taking snapshots of materials in motion. Current research is focused on the dynamics of phase transitions, ultrafast properties of nanoscale materials, and charge transport, with a focus on materials for information storage technologies, energy-related materials, and nanoscale optoelectronic devices.

  • Wendy Mao

    Wendy Mao

    Professor of Geological Sciences, of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Geophysics

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsUnderstanding the formation and evolution of planetary interiors; experimental mineral physics; materials in extreme environments.

  • Agostino Marinelli

    Agostino Marinelli

    Assistant Professor of Photon Science and of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsX-ray free-electron lasers and applications.
    Advanced particle accelerators.

  • Todd Martinez

    Todd Martinez

    David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry and Professor of Photon Science

    BioTheoretical chemist Todd Martínez develops and applies new methods that predict and explain how atoms move in molecules. These methods are used both to design new molecules and to understand the behavior of those that already exist. His research group studies the response of molecules to light (photochemistry) and external force (mechanochemistry). Photochemistry is a critical part of human vision, single-molecule spectroscopy, harnessing solar energy (either to make fuels or electricity), and even organic synthesis. Mechanochemistry represents a novel scheme to promote unusual reactions and potentially to create self-healing materials that resist degradation. The underlying tools embody the full gamut of quantum mechanical effects governing molecules, from chemical bond breaking/formation to electron/proton transfer and electronic excited states.

    Professor Martínez was born in Amityville, New York, but spent most of his childhood in Central America and the Caribbean. His chemical curiosity benefitted tremendously from the relaxed safety standards in Central American chemical supply houses, giving him unfettered access to strong acids and bases. When he also became interested in computation, limited or nonexistent computer access forced him to write and debug computer programs on paper. Today, Prof. Martínez combines these interests by working toward theoretical and computational modeling and design of molecules. Martínez received his PhD in chemistry from UCLA in 1994. After postdoctoral study at UCLA and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1996. In 2009, he joined the faculty at Stanford, where he is now the Ehrsam and Franklin Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Photon Science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He has received numerous awards for his contributions, including a MacArthur Fellowship (commonly known as the “genius award”). He is co-editor of Annual Reviews in Physical Chemistry, associate editor of The Journal of Chemical Physics, and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Current research in the Martínez lab aims to make molecular modeling both predictive and routine. New approaches to interactive molecular simulation are being developed, in which users interact with a virtual-reality based molecular modeling kit that fully understands quantum mechanics. New techniques to discover heretofore unknown chemical reactions are being developed and tested, exploiting the many efficient methods that the Martínez group has introduced for solving quantum mechanical problems quickly, using a combination of physical/chemical insights and commodity videogaming hardware. For more details, please visit

  • Emilio Alessandro Nanni

    Emilio Alessandro Nanni

    Assistant Professor of Photon Science and of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

    BioEmilio received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2007. After graduating he worked for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center developing non-destructive evaluation techniques for applications related to the US space program. He completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 where he worked on high-frequency high-power THz sources and the development of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization. His thesis was on the first photonic-band-gap gyrotron travelling wave amplifier which demonstrated record power and gain levels in the THz frequency band.

    He completed his postdoc at MIT with a joint appointment in the Nuclear Reactor Lab and the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT where he demonstrated the first acceleration of electrons with optically generated THz pulses. He joined the Technology Innovation Directorate at SLAC in August of 2015 where he continues his work on high power, high-frequency vacuum electron devices; optical THz amplifiers; electron-beam dynamics; and advanced accelerator concepts.

  • Anders R. Nilsson

    Anders R. Nilsson

    Professor of Photon Science, Emeritus

    BioAnders Nilsson interests covers the application of synchrotron radiation to studies of surfaces and in liquids with a focus on studies catalytic processes in fuel cells, photoelectrochemical decomposition of water, CO2 reduction, chemical bonding on surfaces, structure of liquid water and aqueous solutions, interfacial processes of relevance to molecular environmental science and ultrafast processes on surfaces and in water.

  • Piero Pianetta

    Piero Pianetta

    Professor (Research) of Photon Science and of Electrical Engineering

    BioPianetta's research is directed towards understanding how the atomic and electronic structure of semiconductor interfaces impacts device technology pertaining to advanced semiconductors and photocathodes. His research includes the development of new analytical tools for these studies based on the use of synchrotron radiation. These include the development of ultrasensitive methods to analyze trace impurities on the surface of silicon wafers at levels as low as 1e-6 monolayer (~1e8 atoms/cm2) and the use of various photoelectron spectroscopies (X-ray photoemission, NEXAFS, X-ray standing waves and photoelectron diffraction) to determine the bonding and atomic structure at the interface between silicon and different passivating layers. Recent projects include the development of high resolution (~30nm) x-ray spectromicroscopy with applications to energy materials such as Li batteries.

  • Georgios Skiniotis

    Georgios Skiniotis

    Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, of Structural Biology and of Photon Science

    BioThe Skiniotis laboratory seeks to resolve structural and mechanistic questions underlying biological processes that are central to cellular physiology. Our investigations employ primarily cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) and 3D reconstruction techniques complemented by biochemistry, biophysics and simulation methods to obtain a dynamic view into the macromolecular complexes carrying out these processes. The main theme in the lab is the structural biology of cell surface receptors that mediate intracellular signaling and communication. Our current main focus is the exploration of the mechanisms responsible for transmembrane signal instigation in cytokine receptors and G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) complexes.

  • Edward I. Solomon

    Edward I. Solomon

    Monroe E. Spaght Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Photon Science

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProf. Solomon's work spans physical-inorganic, bioinorganic, and theoretical-inorganic chemistry, focusing on spectroscopic elucidation of the electronic structure of transition metal complexes and its contribution to reactivity. He has advanced our understanding of metal sites involved in electron transfer, copper sites involved in O2 binding, activation and reduction to water, structure/function correlations over non-heme iron enzymes, and correlation of biological to heterogeneous catalysis.

  • Soichi Wakatsuki

    Soichi Wakatsuki

    Professor of Photon Science and of Structural Biology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsUbiquitin signaling: structure, function, and therapeutics
    Ubiquitin is a small protein modifier that is ubiquitously produced in the cells and takes part in the regulation of a wide range of cellular activities such as gene transcription and protein turnover. The key to the diversity of the ubiquitin roles in cells is that it is capable of interacting with other cellular proteins either as a single molecule or as different types of chains. Ubiquitin chains are produced through polymerization of ubiquitin molecules via any of their seven internal lysine residues or the N-terminal methionine residue. Covalent interaction of ubiquitin with other proteins is known as ubiquitination which is carried out through an enzymatic cascade composed of the ubiquitin-activating (E1), ubiquitin-conjugating (E2), and ubiquitin ligase (E3) enzymes. The ubiquitin signals are decoded by the ubiquitin-binding domains (UBDs). These domains often specifically recognize and non-covalently bind to the different ubiquitin species, resulting in distinct signaling outcomes.
    We apply a combination of the structural (including protein crystallography, small angle x-ray scattering, cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) etc.), biocomputational and biochemical techniques to study the ubiquitylation and deubiquitination processes, and recognition of the ubiquitin chains by the proteins harboring ubiquitin-binding domains. Current research interests including SARS-COV2 proteases and their interactions with polyubiquitin chains and ubiquitin pathways in host cell responses, with an ultimate goal of providing strategies for effective therapeutics with reduced levels of side effects.

    Protein self-assembly processes and applications.
    The Surface layers (S-layers) are crystalline protein coats surrounding microbial cells. S-layer proteins (SLPs) regulate their extracellular, self-assembly by crystallizing when exposed to an environmental trigger. We have demonstrated that the Caulobacter crescentus SLP readily crystallizes into sheets both in vivo and in vitro via a calcium-triggered multistep assembly pathway. Observing crystallization using a time course of Cryo-EM imaging has revealed a crystalline intermediate wherein N-terminal nucleation domains exhibit motional dynamics with respect to rigid lattice-forming crystallization domains. Rate enhancement of protein crystallization by a discrete nucleation domain may enable engineering of kinetically controllable self-assembling 2D macromolecular nanomaterials. In particular, this is inspiring designing robust novel platform for nano-scale protein scaffolds for structure-based drug design and nano-bioreactor design for the carbon-cycling enzyme pathway enzymes. Current research focuses on development of nano-scaffolds for high throughput in vitro assays and structure determination of small and flexible proteins and their interaction partners using Cryo-EM, and applying them to cancer and anti-viral therapeutics.

    Multiscale imaging and technology developments.
    Multimodal, multiscale imaging modalities will be developed and integrated to understand how molecular level events of key enzymes and protein network are connected to cellular and multi-cellular functions through intra-cellular organization and interactions of the key machineries in the cell. Larger scale organization of these proteins will be studied by solution X-ray scattering and Cryo-EM. Their spatio-temporal arrangements in the cell organelles, membranes, and cytosol will be further studied by X-ray fluorescence imaging and correlated with cryoEM and super-resolution optical microscopy. We apply these multiscale integrative imaging approaches to biomedical, and environmental and bioenergy research questions with Stanford, DOE national labs, and other domestic and international collaborators.

  • William Weis

    William Weis

    William M. Hume Professor in the School of Medicine, Professor of Structural Biology, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and of Photon Science

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur laboratory studies molecular interactions that underlie the establishment and maintenance of cell and tissue structure. Our principal areas of interest are the architecture and dynamics of intercellular adhesion junctions, signaling pathways that govern cell fate determination, and determinants of cell polarity. Our overall approach is to reconstitute macromolecular assemblies with purified components in order to analyze them using biochemical, biophysical and structural methods.