Fellows

The ACA Council established a Fellows program to  recognize a high level of excellence in scientific research, teaching, and professional duties, but also service, leadership, and personal engagement in the ACA and the broader world of crystallography and science. The Fellows program celebrates the excellence of our  members from within the ACA, and promotes their recognition worldwide to constituencies outside of the ACA, such as their employers, other scientific societies, and the government. ACA Fellows will serve as scientific ambassadors to the broader scientific community and the general public to advance science education, research, knowledge, interaction, and collaboration. This program allows the ACA to significantly recognize and honor a broader cross-section of the membership than was previously possible with other, more specific awards. 

 

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

[Thank you to Kay Onan for the Following Citations]  

 

Andrew J. Allen

Andrew Allen’s research on truly difficult materials, many used in construction such as cement and surface coatings, beautifully demonstrates the impact that basic research can make on unsolved technical problems. One example is his investigation of the microstructure of cement pastes, complex mixtures of mineral and gel phases. Answering the important questions regarding in-service properties of such materials requires that one understand and quantify the relationship between the many phases that are present and water. Many years of work resulted in a highly-cited 2007 Nature Materials paper – the first one on cement to appear in this journal - in which he successfully defined the chemically active gel surface area within the cement paste. In his earliest work, Andrew focused on both the development of a small-angle neutron scattering instrument and its application to complex problems in materials science. He is now Physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Materials Measurement Science Division. His approach to the characterization of complex microstructures continues to combine neutron scattering, x-ray scattering and imaging with the insightful development of quantitative analysis methodology. His professional service to the scientific community has been extensive and excellent. His broad base of knowledge has made him a journal editor many times over. Currently he is one of three Main Editors for the Journal of Applied Crystallography and has recently been a Guest Editor for a Special Issue on Neutron Instrumentation and for the SAS2015 Special Issue. In 2002 he became a member of the IUCr Commission on SAS (CSAS) and served as Chair from 2011-2014 and, since 2014, as a consultant to the CSAS. He is also the the Editor-in-Chief of the ICUr journals. Another major role he has played has been in the development of reference materials for small-angle scattering. His service to the American Crystallographic Association includes serving as Chair of the SAS Special Interest Group. Andrew is among the leading experts in the analysis of structure and microstructures of inhomogeneous materials. His scholarly work has represented breakthroughs in technologically and economically important research fields and his service to the international crystallographic community as an editor and Commission Chair are just two of the indications of the immense impact he has had in the scientific community.

 

 

James F. Britten
James Britten has made major contributions to crystallography in Canada and abroad by his many professional activities. Jim looks forward. He is generous with his time and expertise, especially as it relates to the teaching of the next generation of structural scientists and using his scientific vision to help expand technical possibilities for his colleagues. Jim is currently the Manager and Scientific Director of the McMaster Analytical X-Ray (MAX) Diffraction Facility for the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research. Besides providing x-ray diffraction assistance, Jim provides access to synchrotron data collection, as necessary. In fact, he was the Principal Investigator for the Small Molecule Crystallography Beamline Proposal at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and is currently a member of the Canadian Institute for Synchrotron Radiation.Besides the management and maintenance of this facility, Jim teaches graduate courses on crystallography and on 2D/3D powder diffraction techniques. His interest in spreading knowledge of crystallography is exemplified by his founding, in 2009, of an intensive, multi-day workshop called the Canadian Chemical Crystallography Workshop that he continues to organize annually. This kind of teaching has effects that will ripple into the future. His teaching knows no earthly bounds; in 2016 he was invited to be an instructor at a Committee on Space Research international school entitled Crystallography for Space Sciences. Jim’s service to the scientific community can be seen in his many professional activities. He was Chair of the Canadian National Committee for Crystallography (2010-2015), Chair of the Canadian Division of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) (2003-2006), Canadian Representative on the ACA Council (2008-2010) and program chair for the 2009 ACA meeting in Toronto. He has also taken roles in the three most recent International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) congresses. He was on the International Program Committee for the 2011 and 2017 IUCr congresses and he was the Chair of the International Program Committee and Local Chair for the 2014 IUCr Congress in Montreal. At the beginning of his career Jim received a Killam post-doctoral fellowship. One of the criteria was that “A Killam scholar should not be a one-sided person…” Jim has shown by his many contributions, scientific and professional, that he is not one-sided but rather looks to the future, teaching the next generation, utilizing new technologies and engaging with the entire world.

 

 

 


Majed Chergui
Majed Chergui is a leader of the chemical physics research community for his work utilizing ultrafast spectroscopies to study the dynamics of a variety of chemical and biological systems as well as solid-state materials. He was educated in Paris, France, studying math and physics and, in 1987-1988, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany. He is currently Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and has been a Professor of Experimental Condensed Matter Physics at the Universite de Lausanne and Guest Professor at both the National University of Quilmes-Bueno Aires, Argentina, and at the Max-Born-Institut and Helmholtz-Zentrum, Berlin, Germany. He is also currently the head of EPFL’s Laboratory of Ultrafast Spectroscopy. Majed’s leadership in the field of ultrafast structural studies is evidenced by his being invited to write a review article on the topic (Picosecond and femtosecond X-ray absorption spectroscopy of molecular systems, Acta Cryst. 2010, A66, 229-239) as well as his chairing many conferences and committees on the topic. He has played a prominent role in the utilization of synchrotron facilities and, more recently, free-electron lasers in his cutting-edge ultrafast dynamics research. The respect that others have for Majed’s research is reflected in his many prestigious awards, including the Rammal Medal of the Euroscience Foundation (2007), the Humboldt Research Award (2009), the Kuwait Prize for Physics (2010), the Plyler Prize of the American Physical Society (2015) and the Edward Stern Award of the International X-ray Absorption Society (2015). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.Given his research, it is no surprise that he was an early and strong supporter of the concept of the ACA journal, Structural Dynamics. He became its Founding Editor-in-Chief and was instrumental in putting together an excellent advisory board and slate of associate editors. He was a leader in the development of the journal and has worked tirelessly to make the journal a success. Majed recognized early on that the journal provided a great opportunity for the ACA to be directly involved in subject areas of prime importance and growth to the Association. Majed is a superb spokesman and dynamic ambassador for science. Fluent in seven languages and possessed of unusually wide-ranging interests, he is a true “citizen of the world.”

 

 


Wladek Minor 
Wladek Minor holds the Harrison Distinguished Professorship in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia. His work comprises both structural biology and methodology development. He is perhaps best known for the development of Scalepack, the analysis software which, combined with Zbyzek Otwinowski’s DENZO, formed the basis of x-ray data reduction for over 90% of structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) during the 1990’s. He is co-author (with Z. Otwinowski) of a Methods in Enzymology article on processing of x-ray diffraction data that ranked as the 23rd most cited paper ever in the 2014 Nature analysis. Later he developed the integrated system HKL3000 for protein structure solution, refinement and interpretation. This software was one of the first user-friendly and comprehensive integrated packages available for this purpose. Several other programs, dedicated to various stages of crystal structure solution and interpretation, were created in Wladek’s laboratory and made available to the community. Two practical examples are CheckMyMetal and CheckMyBlobs which have proved helpful in the interpretation of metals and small molecule ligands in electron density maps. Wladek has been a key contributor to the field of structural genomics, working with several structural genomics consortia whose general missions are “to rapidly determine the structures of strategically selected and biomedically important targets…” One of his contributions is the development of an integrated database system that is among the very most well-developed in the structural genomics field. While his nominal role in the NIH structural genomics centers has been database development and management, his own laboratory has contributed an amazing 512 depositions to the PDB. During the last several years Wladek has been one of the major contributors to efforts aimed at maintaining the highest quality of crystallographic structures and of the resulting publications. To this end, Wladek’s laboratory has carried out many detailed analyses of structures in the PDB. Serving the crystallographic community has been important to Wladek. Since 2014 he has served as a US representative on the Commission of Biological Macromolecules of the IUCr and in 2017 became its chair. That year, he also became a member of the IUCr Data Committee.

 

 

 

Thomas Proffen
Thomas Proffen has been a leader in the development of what has become known as the Pair Distribution Function (PDF) scattering technique. However, his early work involved single-crystal work on disordered materials. At that point he entered into a long-term collaboration with Reinhard Neder to develop a software package (DISCUS) to simulate disordered systems. He was interested in making the software accessible and useful to a large body of scientists so he and Neder promoted it at workshops and at national and international conferences. The package has matured and is widely used by a broad cross-section of scientists. Moving to Michigan State University to work with Simon Billinge, Thomas became involved with the embryonic PDF work. At this time, Billinge and Egami had figured out the fundamentals of PDF analysis of disordered crystalline materials but it was something that only they could apply since there was no software available to the community. Thomas took the opportunity to develop software that non-experts could use to carry out this type of analysis (PDFFIT, predecessor to the current PDFGui). He was one of a few people who started organizing sessions on PDF-related science at ACA meetings. In large measure because of his early and sustained conference organization efforts, the ACA is the home for structural science on locally ordered, disordered and even amorphous materials. Next Thomas moved to the Lujan Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was responsible for upgrading the neutron powder diffraction (NPDF) instrument. He continued to grow the PDF community and focused on developing user-friendly software to simplify the process of determining a pair distribution function from a neutron diffraction powder diffraction. He is currently Director of the High Performance Computing and Data Analytics Science Initiative of the Neutron Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was previously the Neutron Data Analysis and Visualization Division Director and Group Leader for Diffraction there. His research interests are at the cutting-edge overlap between structural characterization and theoretical modeling of materials. Thomas has contributed to the ACA and IUCr by serving on a variety of committees and commissions and was the Chair of the Neutron Scattering ACA SIG. He has served the scientific community by being an editor of Zeitschrift for Kristallographie and co-editor of the Journal of Applied Crystallography. In addition Thomas mentors middle-school girls interested in computer science and was the founder and director of the nonprofit Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls. Thomas has contributed to science by his research; his providing, and teaching about, software that is user-friendly; and developing a STEM mentoring program for young girls.

 

 

 

Janet L. Smith
Janet Smith is a distinguished structural biologist who has provided leadership in the development of macromolecular crystallography in ways that have had a major impact worldwide. Her belief in the importance of structure in biology originated while working with her PhD advisor, M. Sundaralingam. She pursued this growing interest in protein structure by joining Wayne Hendrickson at the Naval Research Laboratory as a National Research Council Research Fellow. She then moved to Columbia University and held positions as associate research scientist in the Hendrickson lab and as associate research scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Janet moved to the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue and established her own research program in structural biology. Here her interest in the crystallographic phase problem and the relatively small anomalous effect caused her to become interested in accurate X-ray diffraction data collection. This led to her accepting a position of Director of the Collaborative Access Team for NIGMS and NCI at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) synchrotron at the Argonne National Laboratory. In 2012 she became Scientific Director of NIGMS & NCI beamlines at the APS, a position she continues to hold. Janet has been very effective in improving the facilities available for structural biologists. For instance, she was responsible for developing micro-crystallography beamlines enabling many data sets to be taken with a single crystal. The beamline she directs is arguably the best protein crystallography beamline in the world providing a very small, intense beam for the study of very small crystals using single wavelength or multiple wavelengths anomalous dispersion. Her work there has had an impact on the scientific lives of thousands of crystallographic scientists from around the world. In 2005 Janet moved to the University of Michigan as Professor of Biological Chemistry and Director of the Center for Structural Biology in the Life Sciences Institute (LSI). The University recognized her by appointing her to the prestigious Martha L. Ludwig Professorship of Protein Structure & Function where she provided an outstanding role model for young aspiring women crystallographers, as had Martha. In 2013 she was named Margaret J. Hunter Collegiate Professor at the LSI. Besides her very strong publication record in top journals, Janet has been an outstanding citizen of crystallography. Her deep knowledge of structural biology ranging from methods development to structural biology to functional analysis, combined with her wise persona, has made her very effective on a broad range of policy committees. As an example, she took a key role in helping to develop the recommendations for how best to validate structures determined by x-ray crystallography for use by the Protein Data Bank. Janet’s abiding interest in analyzing the mechanisms of enzymes using crystallography and her leadership at the APS to aid in data collection, along with her contributions on many national committees shows her to be a great contributor to the crystallographic community. 

 

 

 

Robert B. Von Dreele
Robert Von Dreele’s research illustrates the fearlessness with which he approaches science. He carried out ground-breaking experimental work demonstrating that superb powder diffraction data could be obtained from protein diffraction data. His deep insight into what was possible with the relatively limited data provided by powder diffraction combined with his amazing code development skills resulted in the first solution and refinement of a protein structure using powder diffraction data. Bob, who is currently Senior Scientist at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory, completed his PhD work at Cornell with a specialization in inorganic chemistry and an interest in crystallography. He joined the faculty at Arizona State University and, within a year, took a leave and went to the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford University where he began his pursuit of powder diffraction crystallography. This event has proved to be a great benefit to the crystallographic community. After a decade at ASU, he moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory to pursue his interest in neutron scattering and its use with powder diffraction. He designed and constructed the High Pressure Preferred Orientation (HIPPO) powder diffractometer. After 17 years, he moved to Argonne National Laboratory where he co-authored the proposal that funded the APS 11 – BM powder diffractometer, an instrument that has revolutionized the use of synchrotron powder diffraction. Perhaps Bob is best known for his creation of the General Structure Analysis System (GSAS) software package, initially co-authored by Allen Larson, that can be used for analysis of both neutron and x-ray powder diffraction data. Bob, working with Brian Toby, has continued to develop this package. GSAS-II is now used by much of the powder diffraction community for data reduction, powder diffraction indexing, parametric fitting, structure determination, and small-angle scattering reflectometry. An important aspect of Bob’s contribution to the ACA was his service as Vice-President, President and Past-President. He has served as local organizer, has organized conference sessions and has been an instructor at numerous powder diffraction data analysis workshops. He is also a regular contributor to the ACA Summer School. He was elected to the US National Committee for Crystallography. Bob received the 2009 Barrett Award from the Denver X-ray Conference and the 2013 J.D. Hanawalt Powder Diffraction Award from JCPDS – International Centre for Diffraction Data. Perhaps less known but arguably the most important part of Bob’s contribution has been his educational outreach. He almost never declines an invitation to teach at a workshop or tutorial and he is always ready to answer questions from other scientists whether in person or via e-mail – and people know this so he is constantly answering questions or discussing others’ issues. Not only has Bob played a major, pioneering role in developing the powder diffraction crystallography instrumentation and methodology used around the world, he has contributed greatly to the ACA and the wider scientific community.

 


 

 THE DEADLINE TO NOMINATE FOR 2020 FELLOWS IS APRIL 1, 2019

ACA Fellow Nomination Form

The ACA Fellows program serves to recognize a high level of excellence in scientific research, teaching, and professional duties, but also service, leadership, and personal engagement in the ACA and the broader world of crystallography and science. The Fellows program celebrates the excellence of our own members from within the ACA, and promotes their recognition worldwide to constituencies outside of the ACA, such as their employers, other scientific societies, and the government. ACA Fellows will serve as scientific ambassadors to the broader scientific community and the general public to advance science education, research, knowledge, interaction, and collaboration. This program allows us to significantly recognize and honor a broader cross-section of the membership than was previously possible with other, more specific awards. We envision that eventually about 5% of the membership will be recognized as Fellows, and will announce new inductees and honor all ACA Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet.
 
The procedure for nominating and selecting Fellows is as follows: A nomination package must be completed by the nominator, who must be an ACA member. In a cover letter, a case should be made for how the proposed Fellow meets the above criteria.A brief CV must also be provided, as well as two letters from other ACA members supporting the nomination. Nominations will then be passed to all current Fellows, who will be asked to vote on the suitability of the candidates. Fellows will be appointed by the ACA Council if a majority of those Fellows voting are in favor.
 
For a current listing of an ACA Fellow who is still an active member, or to search your institution for current ACA Fellows, please use the Membership Directory.