Synchrotron Radiation News Volume 37 – call schedule

Synchrotron Radiation News (SRN) is a bimonthly magazine that publishes latest news related to research on synchrotron facilities, meeting reports, upcoming conferences, and new products. SRN invites contributions to Volume 37.

Please find SRN’s call schedule below, and direct any questions or requests to contribute to Andrea Taylor, SRN Commissioning Editor, at

ESRF hosts members’ meeting in Grenoble

Science communicators from light source facilities within, the global collaboration of 23 synchrotrons and 7 Free Electron Lasers, gathered at The European Synchrotron (ESRF) last week to share knowledge, ideas, and strategic plans. The in-person meeting, the first to be held in Europe since before the pandemic, also focussed on developing a special programme of activities to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of in 2024.

Guest speakers included Terry O’Connor, EMBL’s Head of communication, and Daniela Antonio, CERN’s Social media and community manager, both of whom shared insights into their strategies, activities and priorities in the ever changing landscape of 21st century science communication.

Delphine Chenevier, Head of communications at the ESRF, comments, “Since we last hosted a collaboration meeting, the ESRF has undergone a major upgrade to a fourth-generation high-energy synchrotron. This has significantly increased our scientific capabilities. It was wonderful to be able to show colleagues several beamlines where ESRF staff outlined the research that can now be done across a range of fields including health, materials, environmental sciences, cultural heritage, and palaeontology.”

Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, Diamond’s Head of Impact, Communication and Engagement, adds “One of the most valuable aspects of being a member of is the connections you develop with colleagues in similar roles around the world. Our in-person meetings give us the opportunity to share both the triumphs and the challenges and provide the time needed to have in-depth discussions. These discussions help us to strengthen our communications programmes at an individual facility level and plan the future development of the collaboration as it continues to provide one voice for the brightest science.” was established in 2004 and, as the 20th Anniversary approaches, the collaboration will be focusing on a new Vision and Strategic Plan for 2024-2044 along with a special programme of activities to raise the profile of and its members throughout 2024.

If you are interested in becoming a member of, please visit our About page or contact Silvana Westbury, our Project Manager, at  

To keep up to date with light source news, career opportunities, events, proposal deadlines and upgrade information from our member facilities, please subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter


Top Image: members outside the ESRF, Tuesday 26th September 2023. Left to right: Agnieszka Cudek, SOLARIS, Poland, Ana Belén Martínez, ALBA, Spain, Laia Torres Aribau, ALBA, Spain, Beth Schlesinger, APS (Argonne), USA, Emma Corness, Diamond, UK, Miriam Arrell, SLS/SwissFEL (PSI) Switzerland, Silvana Westbury,, Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, Diamond, UK, Florentine Krawatzek, BESSY II (HZB), Germany, Wiebke Laasch, DESY Photon Science, Germany, Delphine Chenevier, ESRF, France

Credit: ESRF

Recording available! Illustrating Science: a conversation with Julia Kuo and Steven Haddock

Researchers and communicators alike can benefit from new ways to explain complex scientific concepts.

Watch this session to learn about how Julia Kuo brought bioluminescence to the pages of a children’s book. Inspired by her adventures around the world, she wrote and illustrated Luminous: Living Things That Light Up the Night. Julia worked with marine biologist Steven Haddock, who provided fact-checking and a glimpse into the mindset of bioluminescence researchers. In this conversation, we’ll hear about how artists and scientists collaborate to depict the beauty and awe of science.

Julia Kuo is the author and illustrator of Let’s Do Everything and Nothing and the illustrator of several picture and specialty books including the NYT bestselling book RISE. She has created editorial illustrations for publications such as the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the New York Times. Julia has taught illustration courses at Columbia College Chicago and at her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. She has been an artist-in-residence twice at the Banff Centre for the Arts and was a 2019-2021 fellow with the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Seattle, WA.

Steven Haddock has been participating in deep-sea research for more than 30 years. He studies marine diversity, molecular biology, and bioluminescence at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and UC Santa Cruz. He specializes in fragile gelatinous drifters that are abundant in the deep-sea and open ocean. In addition to conducting research expeditions, he has documented many luminous species for the first time. He uses genetic methods to reveal the relationships between organisms and to understand the proteins and chemicals that they use to make bioluminescent light. He also runs the Bioluminescence Web Page (, the citizen-science project, and teaches computing to scientists at

Bright Expectations early career event – recording now available!

International Day of Light Early Career Virtual Session

Bright Expectations: Panel discussion with scientists working at 4th Generation Light Sources
Tuesday 16th May 2023

Our Bright Expectations early career event provides an opportunity for viewers to learn what it is like to work at a 4th generation light source directly from scientists from around the world. This interactive session includes short talks from the panellists on the facility they work at/use and their current roles. Ashley White, our moderator, then poses questions to the panel on their career journeys, their views on the advantages and potential of 4th generation lights sources, potential breakthroughs on the horizon and more…

Huge thanks to our amazing panel and moderator!

You can view the recording of the session here

Bright Expectations! Book you place on our virtual early career event

Join us as we celebrate International Day of Light with a special Early Career event

You are warmly invited to register for our 2023 virtual panel discussion……. 
Bright Expectations: Insights from scientists working at 4th Generation Light Sources
Date: Tuesday 16th May 2023
Time: 09:00 PDT/17:00 BST/18:00 CEST (1 hour event)
Location: Virtual event – click here to register 

Details: An opportunity to learn what it is like to work at a 4th generation light source directly from scientists from around the world. This interactive session will include short talks from the panellists on the facility they work at and their current roles. Ashley White, our moderator, will then pose questions to the panel on their career journeys, their views on the advantages and potential of 4th generation lights sources, potential breakthroughs on the horizon and more….
There will then be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. If you would like to submit a question in advance, please send it to Silvana Westbury, Project Manager at

Our participants

Welcome: Sandra Ribeiro, Chair of and Communications Advisor at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada  

Moderator: Ashley White, Director of Communications Interim Deputy for Strategy, Advanced Light Source (ALS), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, USA

Panel members:

Monika Bjelcic, PhD Student at the MicroMAX beamline at MAX IV in Lund, Sweden

Georgi, Dakovski, Lead Scientist at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC in California, USA

Graziela Sedenho, Academic user working on biocatalysis at Sirius, the Brazilian synchrotron light source in Campinas (SP) in Brazil

4th panel member to be confirmed

About International Day of Light 

Light plays a central role in our lives. On the most fundamental level, through photosynthesis, light is at the origin of life itself. The study of light has led to promising alternative energy sources, lifesaving medical advances in diagnostics technology and treatments, light-speed internet and many other discoveries that have revolutionized society and shaped our understanding of the universe.
The International Day of Light (IDL) is celebrated on 16 May each year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. This day is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.
The International Day of Light celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. The celebration will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – building the foundation for peaceful societies.

>Read more on the UNESCO website

>Explore all the events for the next International Day of Light in 2023

International Women’s Day Webinar with Dr Claire Malone

The UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), LENS Initiative and are delighted to host a joint webinar to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

In this webinar, Science Communicator and Inclusion Consultant, Dr Claire Malone, will present a personal perspective on working in academia with a physical disability. As a passionate advocate for the inclusion of groups that are typically under-represented in STEM, Claire will discuss her experience of facilitating dialogue between the scientific community and the wider public, addressing the issue of accessibility in education, and promoting the research of women and LGBTQ+ scientists.

Register here

About Claire

I hold a Ph.D. in Particle Physics from the University of Cambridge, in which I analysed data from the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN. Throughout my career, I have had to devise techniques of studying to negotiate the fact that I cannot use a pen/keyboard directly due to my physical disability. I am also passionate about making science accessible to as wide an audience as possible and frequently contribute to public discussions about the best strategies to communicate science to diverse audiences. Therefore, I am a regular contributing columnist for Physics World and the STEM Lead for a charity, the Lightyear Foundation. This has also led me to recently deliver the keynote address at the Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures conference in addition to my TED Talk which has now received almost 2 million views.

Travel the world of light sources with our 2023 calendar is a collaboration that brings together 23 synchrotrons and 7 Free Electron Lasers located at 24 member facilities around the world. Each member facility has contributed an image for our 2023 calendar.

Download your digital copy below and keep up to date with news, events, job vacancies (including PhD and postdoc positions) and proposal deadlines by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here

You can get in touch with Silvana Westbury, our Project Manager, via e-mail at: virtual symposium recording was delighted to welcome over 500 attendees to our live virtual symposium to mark the 75th Anniversary of the first direct observation of synchrotron light in a laboratory. The event, which was chaired by Sandra Ribeiro, Chair of and Communications Advisor for the Canadian Light Source, was held on the 28th April 2022 and you can watch the recording via the YouTube link below.

We received some lovely feedback after the live event, including this comment from Jeffrey T Collins at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

 “I have worked at the Advanced Photon Source for over 32 years and I learned many things during this event that I never knew before.  It was quite informative.  I look forward to re-watching the entire event.”

Jeffrey T Collins, Mechanical Engineering & Design Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory

The symposium began with a historical introduction from Roland Pease, freelance science broadcaster who has been an enthusiastic support of light sources for many years.

Roland’s talk was followed by experts from the field giving talks on their perspectives of synchrotron light related achievements that have been made since the 1st laboratory observation on the 24th April 1947.

Speakers were:

• Nobel Laureate Prof. Ada Yonath (Weizmann Institute of Science)

• Prof. Sir Richard Catlow (University College London)

• Prof. Henry Chapman (DESY)

• Dr Paul Tafforeau (ESRF)

• Dr Gihan Kamel (SESAME and member of the AfLS Executive Committee).

There followed a panel discussion with special guests who all made huge contributions to the development of the field. Our special guests were:

Herman Winick – Prof. of Applied Physics (Research) Emeritus at SLAC)

Ian Munro – Initiator of synchrotron radiation research at Daresbury Laboratory ,Warrington UK in 1970

Giorgio Margaritondo – one of the pioneers in the use of synchrotron radiation and free electron lasers

Gerd Materlik – former CEO of Diamond Light Source, the UK’s synchrotron science facility is hugely grateful to all the speakers, special guests and attendees who contributed to this event and made it such a special anniversary celebration for the light source community.

If you have any feedback or memories to share, please do contact Silvana Westbury, Project Manager, at

For news, jobs, events and proposal deadlines, please visit the homepage

The first direct visual observation of synchrotron light in a laboratory has created this short video to mark the 75th Anniversary of the first direct visual observation of synchrotron light in a laboratory. It’s release marks the start of our celebrations, which have been made possible thanks to contributions from our member facilities, guest speakers and members from our around the light source community.

Marking the 75th Anniversary of the 1st direct visible observation of synchrotron light in a laboratory

We are hugely grateful to all those who have taken the time to support our activities. On behalf of all the members, we hope you enjoy our celebrations, which will include:

The creation of a collection of achievements from across our 30 member facilities to be shared on the website and social media. Also, our #My1stLight campaign, which invites light source staff and external researchers to send in their memories of first encounters with synchrotron light. Visit our campaign page to find out more

A special online symposium to mark 75 Years of Science with Synchrotron Light took place on Thursday 28th April. You can watch the symposium recording here

Registration open for 75th Anniversary event on Thursday 28th April

We warmly invite you to join our free online symposium

– 75 years of science with synchrotron light –

to mark 75 Years since the 1st observation of synchrotron light in a laboratory

This anniversary event has been organised by, the international collaboration of 24 synchrotrons and 7 Free Electron Lasers, with support from Diamond Light Source, the UK’s synchrotron science facility.

On the 28th April 2022, we will bring together a panel of light source experts to give short talks on their perspectives on synchrotron light related achievements that have been made since the 1st laboratory observation on the 24th April 1947.  This virtual event will also explore what the future holds for synchrotron science thanks to upgrades and new facilities.

Through this event, we aim to inspire early career scientists, engineers, technicians, computer scientists, science communicators etc who are currently working, or may be interested in, light source related jobs in the future.

Register here: Celebrating 75 Years of Science with Synchrotron Light Tickets, Thu 28 Apr 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

Where – Virtual event via Zoom  
When –   Thursday 28th April 15:00 – 16:15 UTC +1 (75 Years in 75 minutes!)
Format – A series of talks (10 mins each) covering the history and some of the highlights from the field followed by Q&A and time for sharing your #My1stLight memories.   

Speakers and agenda (all timings in UK time zone UTC+1)

Welcome & Introductions: Sandra Ribeiro, Chair of & Communications Advisor, Canadian Light Source

Historical introduction: From 1st observation to 2022 – Roland Pease, BBC presenter/freelance science writer/presenter

Highlights from the field

Professor Ada Yonath, Leader of the Ribosome Group, Structural Biology Dept, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Prof. Ada Yonath (along with Thomas Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.  In 1968, she obtained her PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science for X-ray crystallographic studies on the structure of collagen.  In the 1970s, Ada began a project that culminated in 2000 in the successful mapping of the structure of ribosomes, which consist of hundreds of thousands of atoms, using x-ray crystallography. Among other applications, this has been important in the production of antibiotics.  For enabling ribosomal crystallography, Ada introduced a novel technique, cryo bio-crystallography, which became routine in structural biology and allowed intricate projects otherwise considered formidable.  

Dr Gihan Kamel, SESAME’s Infrared Beamline Principal Scientist/Team Supervisor, on leave from the Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt, where she is a lecturer in biophysics.

In 2015, Dr Gihan Kamel took up the position of the Infrared Beamline Scientist at SESAME in Allan (Jordan). Gihan is also involved in the preparatory phases for the establishment of the African Light Source (AfLS). She is noted for her lectures on science for peace and science diplomacy, as well as women in science. Gihan was acknowledged at the International Women’s Day 2017 by the President of the Italian Republic for her engagement at SESAME. In 2020, she was indicated 2020 Laureate of Eureka Prize of the French organization, amcsti (The professional network of scientific, technical and industrial cultures).

Professor Henry Chapman, leader of the Coherent X-Ray Imaging division at the Center for Free Electron Laser Science at DESY in Hamburg

Henry Chapman pioneered Serial Femtosecond X-ray Crystallography, which, among other things, makes it possible to explore the spatial structure of sensitive biological molecules with atomic precision even under near-functional conditions. The first experimental proof that this technique works was provided by Chapman and his colleagues at DESY’s free-electron laser FLASH. Chapman has received many honours for his groundbreaking research, including the Leibniz Prize, an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala, and the Röntgen medal from the city of Remscheid, the birthplace of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Henry is a Fellow of The Royal Society.

Dr Paul Tafforeau, Beamline Scientist for BM18 and ESRF coordinator of the Human Organ Atlas project, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble

Usually in charge of palaeontology, but working now on human organs X-ray imaging on beamline BM18. Paul is part of The Human Organ Atlas project, an international team that has used HiP-CT to scan the organs of COVID-19 victims, including their lungs, brains. HiP-CT scans can zoom in from a whole-organ scan to provide a cellular view of regions of interest, giving a new insight to understand human diseases.

Professor Sir Richard Catlow, Department of Chemistry, University College London

Richard Catlow first became aware of the potential of synchrotron radiation for his science in the late 1970s when his research programme had a strong focus on disordered ionic materials—both halides and oxides—for applications in solid-state electrochemistry.  Today, his research exploits the latest developments in computational technology, used in direct conjunction with experiments (especially employing synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering techniques). The aim is to model and predict the properties of complex materials at the atomic and molecular level and advance fundamental knowledge in the rapidly developing field of contemporary chemistry.  Richard was Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society from 2016 until 2021.

Lightsource research on SARS-CoV-2

Coronaviruses are a family which includes the common cold, SARS, MERS and the current outbreak of the disease COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Several facilities of our collaboration have started research about SARS-CoV-2 virus or launched open calls for rapid access. This post will be updated regularly.

Publications on SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Access


Published articles

2021.12.09 Diamond Light Source (UK) article on their website: Trigger of rare blood clots with AstraZeneca and other COVID vaccines found by scientists

2021.11.06 APS at Argonne National Laboratory (USA) article on their website: Advanced Photon Source Helps Pfizer Create COVID-19 Antiviral Treatment

2021.11.04 ESRF (France) article on their website: EBS X-rays show lung vessels altered by COVID-19 (

2021.08.11 BESSY II at HZB (Germany) article on their website: HZB coordinates European collaboration to develop active agents against Corona – Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) (

2021.08.10 Canadian Light Source article on their website: Developing antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19 infections

2021.07.06 European XFEL (Germany) article on their website: XFEL: Insights into coronavirus proteins using small angle X-ray scattering

2021.06.21 Diamond Light Source (UK) article on their website: X-ray fluorescence imaging at Diamond helps find a way to improve accuracy of Lateral Flow Tests

2021.06.17 Australian Synchrotron (ANSTO) article on their website: Research finds possible key to long term COVID-19 symptoms

2021.05.11 Swiss Light Source at PSI (Switzerland) article on their website: How remdesivir works against the coronavirus

2021.05.28 SLAC (CA / USA) article from the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL): Structure-guided Nanobodies Block SARS-CoV-2 Infection | Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource

2021.05.21 ALS (USA) article on their website: Guiding Target Selection for COVID-19 Antibody Therapeutics

2021.05.21 ESRF (France) article on their website: Combatting COVID-19 with crystallography and cryo-EM (

2021.05.18 ALS (USA) article on their website: How X-Rays Could Make Reliable, Rapid COVID-19 Tests a Reality | Berkeley Lab (

2021.04.27 Canadian Light Source (Canada), video on their website Investigating the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 (

2021.04.22 Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Thailand), article on their website: SLRI Presented Innovations Against COVID-19 Outbreak to MHESI Minister on His Visit to a Field Hospital at SUT

2021.04.16 Diamond Light Source (UK) article on their website: Massive fragment screen points way to new SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors

2021.04.14 SLAC (CA / USA), article also with news about research at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL):Researchers search for clues to COVID-19 treatment with help from synchrotron X-rays

2021.04.07 Diamond Light Source (UK), article on their website: First images of cells exposed to COVID-19 vaccine – – Diamond Light Source

2021.04.05 ALS (CA/USA) blog post on Berkeley Lab Biosciences website: New COVID-19 Antibody Supersite Discovered

2021.04.02 PETRA III at DESY (Germany), article and animation on their website DESY X-ray lightsource identifies promising candidate for COVID drugs

2021.03.26 Diamond Light Source (UK), article on their website: New targets for antibodies in the fight against SARS-CoV-2

2021.02.23 Australian Light Source (ANSTO) Australia, article on their website: Progress on understanding what makes COVID-19 more infectious than SARS

2020.12.02 ESRF (France), article and video on their website: ESRF and UCL scientists awarded Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant for human organ imaging project

2020.11.10 Diamond Light Source (UK), article and video on their website: From nought to sixty in six months… the unmasking of the virus behind COVID-19

2020.10.29 Canadian Light Source (Canada) video on their website: Studying how to damage the COVID-19 virus

2020.10.07 National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven Lab (NY / USA) article on their website: Steady Progress in the Battle Against COVID-19

2020.10.07 Diamond Light Source (UK), article on their website: Structural Biology identifies new information to accelerate structure-based drug design against COVID-19

2020.10.06 MAX IV (Sweden), article on their website: Tackling SARS CoV-2 viral genome replication machinery using X-rays

2020.08.31 SLAC (CA / USA), article also with news about research at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL): SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Targeted for Vaccine

2020.08.27 Diamond Light Source (UK), article on their website: Structural Biology reveals new target to neutralise COVID-19

2020.08.27 Canadian Light Source (Canada) video on their website: Developing more effective drugs

2020.08.25 Australian Synchrotron (ANSTO) (Australia) article on their website: More progress on understanding COVID-19

2020.08.24 DESY (Germany) article on their website: PETRA III provides new insights into COVID-19 lung tissue

2020.08.11 Australian Synchrotron (ANSTO) (Australia) article on their website: Unique immune system of the alpaca being used in COVID-19 research

2020.07.30 Swiss Light Source at PSI (Switzerland) article on their website: COVID-19 research: Anti-viral strategy with double effect

2020.07.29 National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven Lab (NY / USA) article on their website: Ready to join the fight against COVID-19.

2020.07.20 ALBA (Spain) article on their website: A research team from Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas (CIB-CSIC) uses synchrotron light to study the possible effect of an antitumoral drug of clinical use over the viral cycle of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. 

2020.07.15 ALS (USA) article on their website: Antibody from SARS Survivor Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2

2020.07.14 Diamond Light Source (UK), article on their website: Engineered llama antibodies neutralise Covid-19 virus

2020.06.17 European XFEL (Germany) article on their website: Pulling Together: A collaborative research approach to study COVID-19

2020.06.15 European XFEL (Germany) article on their website: Open Science COVID19 analysis platform online

2020.06.09 APS at Argonne National Laboratory (USA) article on their website: Novel Coronavirus Research at the Advanced Photon Source

2020.05. Società Italiana di Fisica publishes an article about research done at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste (Italy) and the Advanced Light Source (CA / USA): Accelerator facilities support COVID-19-related research

2020.05.27 Diamond Light Source (UK), new animation video demonstrating the work that has been done at Diamond’s XChem facilities.

2020.05.19 Advanced Light Source (CA / USA), article about their latest results: X-ray Experiments Zero in on COVID-19 Antibodies

2020.05.15 Swiss Light Source (Switzerland), article about their first MX results: First MX results of the priority COVID-19 call

2020.05.14 MAX VI (Sweden), article about their research: Tackling SARS CoV-2 viral genome replication machinery using X-rays

2020.05.14 CHESS (NY/USA), article: CHESS to restart in June for COVID-19 research

2020.05.14 the LEAPS initiative brings together many of our European members. The initative published this brochure: Research at LEAPS facilities fighting COVID-19

2020.05.12 Diamond Light Source (UK), article about their collaboration in a consortium: UK consortium launches COVID-19 Protein Portal to provide essential reagents for SARS-CoV-2 research

2020.05.11 Advanced Photon Source (IL/USA), article: Studying Elements from the SARS-CoV-2 Virus at the Bio-CAT Beamline

2020.05.07 European XFEL (Germany), article: European XFEL open for COVID-19 related research

2020.05.06 ESRF (France), article: World X-ray science facilities are contributing to overcoming COVID-19

2020.04.29. BESSY II at HZB (Germany), article: Corona research: Consortium of Berlin research and industry seeks active ingredients

2020.04.29. Swiss Light Source and SwissFEL at PSI (Switzerland), interview series on the PSI website: Research on Covid-19

2020.04.23. PETRA III at DESY (Germany), article: X-ray screening identifies potential candidates for corona drugs

2020.04.21. MAX IV (Sweden), article: BioMAX switches to remote operations in times of COVID-19

2020.04.16. SLAC (CA / USA), article also with news about research at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL): SLAC joins the global fight against COVID-19

2020.04.15 Berkeley National Lab (CA/ USA), article with a focus on the research at the Advanced Light Source (ALS):
Staff at Berkeley Lab’s X-Ray Facility Mobilize to Support COVID-19-Related Research

2020.04.07 Diamond Light Source (UK), article: Call for Chemists to contribute to the fight against COVID-19
Crowdfunding: COVID-19 Moonshot

2020.04.07. ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron (Victoria), article: Aiding the global research effort on COVID-19

2020.04.06. National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven Lab (NY / USA), article: Brookhaven Lab Mobilizes Resources in Fight Against COVID-19

2020.04.02. BESSY II at HZB (Germany), article: Corona research: Two days of measuring operation to find the right key

2020.03.31 Diamond Light Source (UK), article: Jointly with Exscientia and Scripps Research, Diamond aims to accelerate the search for drugs to treat COVID-19

2020.03.27 Argonne National Laboratory with the Advanced Photon Source (APS) and other facilities on-site (IL / USA), article: Argonne’s researchers and facilities playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19

2020.03.27 ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron (Victoria), article and video: Helping in the fight against COVID-19

2020.03.25 PETRA III at DESY (Germany), article: Research team will X-ray coronavirus proteins

2020.03.23 Diamond Light Source (UK) releases its first animation explaining: SARS-CoV-2 Mpro Single Crystal Crystallography

2020.03.25 CERN Courrier (Switzerland) article about synchrotron research on SARS-CoV-2, written by Tessa Charles (accelerator physicist at the University of Melbourne currently based at CERN, completed her PhD at the Australian Synchrotron): Synchrotrons on the coronavirus frontline

2020.03.19 BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Germany), research publication: Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug development

2020.03.19 BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Germany), technique explanation webpage: Protein crystallography at BESSY II: A mighty tool for the search of anti-viral agents

2020.03.16 Diamond Light Source (UK), article on their “Coronavirus Science” website: Main protease structure and XChem fragment screen

2020.03.12. Elettra Sincrotrone (Italy), article on their website: New project to fight the spread of Coronavirus has been approved

2020.03.05. Advanced Photon Source (IL / USA), article on their website: APS Coronavirus Research in the Media Spotlight

2020.03.05. Advanced Photon Source (IL / USA), research publication: “Crystal structure of Nsp15 endoribonuclease NendoU from SARS-CoV-2,” bioRXiv preprint  DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.02.968388, Article on their website (source: Northwestern University): New Coronavirus Protein Reveals Drug Target

Facility Covid-19 research pages

The Canadian Light Source (Canada) has created a specific page highlighting their COVID-19 research: COVID-19 research at the Canadian Light Source

BESSY II at HZB (Germany) has set up a page where it shows their contributions to the research on SARS-CoV-2 , see here

DESY (Germany) has launched a new page dedicated to Corona Research:

Diamond Light Source (UK) has created a specific website “Coronavirus Science” with platforms for various audiences: scientific community, general public and the media:

ELETTRA (Italy) has launched a new page dedicated to COVID-19 research:

The Photon Division of PSI (Switzerland) have collated many information linked to their institute on coronavirus-relevant research (recent publications, rapid access…):

ALBA (Spain) has set up a dedicated area on their website for information related to COVID-19 (rapid access, publications etc):

The ALS (CA/USA) has created a page listing all COVID-19 related research:

Rapid access

Scientists can apply for rapid access at following facilities (only member facilities of are referenced, the most recent published (or updated) call is mentioned first).

  • The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) in NY / USA is offering a streamlined and expedited rapid access proposal process for groups that require beam time for structural biology projects directly related to COVID-19. The Center for Biomolecular Structure team is supporting remote macromolecular crystallography experiments at Beamlines 17-ID-1 (AMX) and 17-ID-2 (FMX) in this research area. To submit a macromolecular crystallography proposal for COVID-19 related research, use the following form:
  • The Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory in IL / USA  user program is operational to support:

·         Research on SARS-CoV-2 or other COVID-19-related research that addresses the current pandemic.

·         Critical, proprietary pharmaceutical research.

·         Mail-in/remote access work for any research involving low-risk samples and most medium-risk samples (as defined on the APS ESAF form).

·         Limited in situ research (set-up with one person, and ability to carry out majority of experiment safely remotely)

PETRA III at DESY in Germany offers also Fast Track Access for Corona-related research:

Australian Synchrotron at ANSTO makes its macromolecular crystallography beamlines available to structural biologists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

North American DOE lightsource facilities have created a platform to enable COVID-19 research. There you can find ressources and points of contact to request priority access:
Structural Biology Resources at DOE Light Sources

Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste in Italy opens to remote acces following beamlines: XRD1, XRD2, SISSI-BIO and MCX thanks to an CERIC-ERIC initiative:

The Advanced Light Source (ALS) at LBNL in California / USA has capabilities relevant to COVID-19 and researchers can apply through their RAPIDD mechanism:

ALBA Synchrotron in Spain offers a COVID-19 RAPID ACCESS on all beamlines:

SOLARIS Synchrotron in Poland gives acces to its Cryo Electron Microscope thanks to an CERIC-ERIC initiative:

Swiss Light Source and Swiss FEL at PSI in Switzerland offer priority access to combating COVID-19:

Diamond Light Source in the United Kingdom opened also a call for rapid access:

Image: Electron density at the active site of the SARS-CoV-2 protease, revealing a fragment bound
Credit: Diamond Light Source

#LightSourceSelfies Monday Montage – Learning

This #MontageMontage features Kathryn Janzen from the Canadian Light Source (CLS), Nina Vyas and Nina Perry from Diamond Light Source, and Aerial Murphy-Leonard, who conducts experiments at CHESS.  Learning through experience is the best way when it comes to experiments at synchrotrons and Free Electron Lasers.  As Nina Vyas reflects, “It is very nice to learn new things and its quite easy to pick up lots of new skills in science.”

Kuda’s #LightSourceSelfie

Kudakwashe Jakata is a Post-Doc in Materials Science at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France.  He first experienced the ESRF as a user and reflects on the challenges of his early tomography experiments, what gets him up every day and a future where African scientists can conduct experiments at a light source based in Africa. 

#LightSourceSelfies brings a face to science  

Much of today’s scientific advances in a wide range of fields including health, climate change, advanced materials, agriculture, and cultural heritage depend on experiments carried out at light source facilities around the world.

Now, scientists and engineers representing 25 large-scale science facilities from across the global light source community have contributed to a new video campaign to share insights and inspire all those with a curiosity for science and careers connected to synchrotrons and Free Electron Lasers (FELs).

#LightSourceSelfies, which launches today on World Science Day for Peace & Development, features scientists and engineers who hold a range of positions at light sources located across Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. The campaign also includes scientists who use synchrotrons and FELs to carry out experiments that lead to important discoveries in areas such as health, the environment, agriculture, new materials, planetary science, palaeontology, and cultural heritage.

Our #LightSourceSelfies campaign kicks off with 5 scientists reflecting on what is most inspiring and motivating about their work. Light sources are based across the world and in this video you’ll hear from scientists connected to the Advanced Light Source in California, the Canadian Light Source, FLASH at DESY in Germany, the ESRF in France, and ALBA in Spain.

Kudakwashe Jakata is a Post Doc in Materials Science at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, and is featured in the campaign’s first video. Describing his work in computer tomography, he says, “It is a very challenging environment and that’s what gets me up every day because I know that there will be lots of things to solve and most of the time new things that I’ve not seem before.” Kudakwashe is from South Africa and adds, “I am really looking forward to the African Light Source coming on board at some point. There has already been a lot of work done on it and a lot of people are working behind the scenes to get it going. I’m looking forward to the science that will be done by Africans at African light sources.”  

Kathryn Janzen is based at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatchewan and is also featured in the first video for #LightSourceSelfies. She is an Associate Scientist at CLS’s Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (CMCF) and User Experience Coordinator. Describing her work, Kathryn explains, “The part that is really inspiring is just seeing how these important experiments that are going on at the synchrotron can really help improve things for everyone in our society.”

During this three-month long campaign, which will run on the website, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, Kudakwashe and Kathryn will be joined by 27 colleagues from across the light source community. Throughout the summer of 2021, #LightSourceSelfies participants filmed themselves in a variety of locations including synchrotrons, FELs, home laboratories, and outside amongst nature. Countries with light sources who are featured in the campaign include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the US.

Everyone involved gave personal perspectives on a range of questions including:

  • What inspires you to do your job and your research?
  • What is the best thing about using/working at a light source?
  • How would you describe the light source community to those about to enter it?
  • How do you survive night shifts?

Sandra Ribeiro, Chair of and Communications Advisor at the Canadian Light Source, commented “Synchrotrons and FELs offer amazing training and job opportunities for those interested in a variety of career paths including science, engineering, computer science, technical roles, science communication, procurement, finance, HR, and legal. Our new video campaign showcases people involved in building and running the amazing facilities that deliver the huge amount of science that happens at light sources around the world. #LightSourceSelfies will give viewers a real sense of what it is like to work within the light source community. We are hugely grateful to everyone who filmed selfie videos for us and hope this campaign will raise awareness about the many exciting career opportunities available at light sources around the globe.”

To follow the #LightSourceSelfies video campaign, visit

To view current vacancies at synchrotrons and FELs within, visit our careers page

World Science Day spotlight: Collaborating to tackle SARS-CoV-2

Science facilities worldwide have been working around the clock to drive forward SARS-CoV-2 research to alleviate the suffering that the COVID-19 pandemic is currently causing.

Today (November 10), in recognition of World Science Day for Peace and Development, the collective efforts of thousands of scientists and technical experts is being marked through this year’s focus – “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic.”

At the start of the pandemic, the facilities that make up the collaboration were swift to ensure that rapid access was available for researchers working on SARS-CoV-2. This has led to a large body of research being undertaken at synchrotrons and free electron lasers.  The aims have been varied and include mapping the structure of the virus; finding binding sites for drugs to lock into; screening existing drugs to establish if they have a role to play in treating patients; understanding the impact of the virus on the lungs; and understanding the immune response so vaccines can be designed to illicit an immune response in the body.

A dedicated, regularly updated, web page – Lightsource research for SARS-CoV-2 – draws together all this research, along with other publications and resources.  It also includes links for researchers wishing to gain rapid access for their SARS-CoV-2 experiments.

The World Science Day for Peace and Development was created as a follow-up to the World Conference on Science, organised jointly by UNESCO and the International Council for Science in Budapest (Hungary) in 1999.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

Learn more about World Science Day for Peace and Development on the UNESCO website

Image: World Science Day for Peace and Development 2020 poster

Credit: UNESCO