YSIG Speed Mentoring Session 

EVENT: YSIG Speed Mentoring Session
WHEN: Friday, July 30, 2021 @ 3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
(In order to attend the event you must be a #acamtg2021 registered attendee)



This year, the ACA/YSIG will hold a special Zoom meeting with volunteering ACA mentors and younger ACA mentees. Forming private group chats between ACA mentors and mentees, this will give everyone an opportunity to ask questions about getting into the structural sciences! (e.g. crystallography, CryoEM, MicroED, NMR, Molecular Modeling and more). While details are still being finalized, we are anticipating also hosting individual mock interviews between mentors and mentees, giving those of you with job prospects on the horizon an opportunity to prepare for potential interviews.  

This event is sponsored by the American Institute of Physics - make sure to stop by AIP's dedicated breakout room at Poster Session 3!


 Confirmed Mentors:

Mitchell Anstey
Davidson College

After receiving my Ph.D. in Chemistry at UC Berkeley, I began my independent career at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in the San Francisco Bay Area studying battery science and radiation scintillation phenomena. I was a postdoctoral appointee for one year before being hired on as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff. During these six years at SNL, I managed a group of scientists composed of undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and fellow staff scientists.


Shortly after being promoted to Principal Member of the Technical Staff in 2015, I pivoted to an academic career. As an assistant professor at Davidson College, I am now focused on undergraduate education in the classroom and laboratory. My research continues to be funded by the DOE’s Office of Electricity, NSF, and NNSA


William Bauer
Hauptman-Woodward Institute

As the Education and Diversity Director for the NSF funded Science and Technology Center, BioXFEL, I possess the skills, knowledge, and determination to effectively develop, implement and manage education and diversity programming. BioXFEL is committed to developing technology, educational resources, and a diverse workforce that will enable the application of cutting-edge X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) towards studying biological systems on very short timescales. Through this role, I have demonstrated a commitment to incorporating underserved groups into STEM fields, at both BioXFEL and at the Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI), and continuously strive to expand our impact to new groups and institutions. I have extended support to the students of University at Puerto Rico and created a model system for interactions with MSIs that will help in developing collaborations with new MSIs and diversity integration programs. In addition to the education and diversity program management skills, I develop scientific education curriculum, assist with research projects, provide scientific and laboratory training, and support career progression in the sciences as an active sponsor. My formal training in Structural Biology and its related techniques allows for me to educate participants on the relevant research topics and provide insights into a broad range of careers. I routinely mentor graduate and undergraduate interns through the internship programs that I manage with BioXFEL and HWI, and train them in the necessary skills and techniques. Many of them have already gone on to realize their full potential and begin productive scientific careers in academia and industry.


Christopher Berndsen
James Madison University

Chris Berndsen obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry from Roanoke College and then moved onto the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he obtained his Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry working for Dr. John Denu. At UW-Madison, he discovered his interest in structural biology and the link to enzyme chemistry. Chris then moved to Johns Hopkins University for his post-doctoral work working with Dr. Cynthia Wolberger to further explore structure-function connections in the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes. In 2012, he started his independent career at James Madison University in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. At JMU, his undergraduate and high school research students use X-ray crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering, and biochemical techniques to explore and compare the structure of amylases, transcription factors, and other biomolecules.


Dominika Borek
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Dominika Borek received her Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 2001 from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland) for biochemical and crystallographic studies of enzymes with asparaginase activity. She continued her training in the laboratory of Dr. Zbyszek Otwinowski at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX), where she characterized the impact of various sources of uncertainty on the accuracy of X-ray data processing. She became a faculty at UT Southwestern in 2004 and since then she works on: (1) developing methods for data analysis in X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM with a particular focus on processes induced by radiation damage; (2) next generation sequencing studies of somatic and heteroplasmic mutations; (3) structural studies of macromolecules with X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM single particle reconstruction; and (4) higher-order structure of eukaryotic chromatin. She co-authored over 60 scientific manuscripts and a similar number of PDB deposits. In 2018, she co-founded a company that develops an integrated software for cryoEM data analysis


Diane Dickie
University of Virginia

I began my career as a synthetic chemist. Single crystal X-ray diffraction was the best technique for characterizing my new organometallic molecules, so I learned the basics of structure solution and refinement from a collaborator on the other side of the country. Throughout the remainder of my Ph.D. and then my postdoc, I transitioned from just working with crystals I’d synthesized myself to doing all the crystallography for my lab and then my department and some outside collaborators too. I gained enough experience to be hired as the staff crystallographer at Brandeis University, and then moved on to running both the single-crystal and powder diffraction service at the University of Virginia, where I have worked since Jan 2018. My favorite parts of the job are the feeling of achievement after figuring out a complicated disorder or twinning problem, and seeing the joy and excitement of students when they solve their first crystal structures.


Cassandra Eagle
East Tennessee State University

Cassandra (Sandy) Eagle is a second-generation college student. Upon earning the Ph. D. degree, completing a postdoctoral position and starting her academic career, Sandy set out to teach to the best of her abilities and to complete research with undergraduate/graduate students. Sandy received the following honors and awards: Appalachian State University (ASU) Faculty Advisor Award (1994 & 2001); University of Toledo Distinguished Alumni Lecturer (1995); College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers (1997); North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award for ASU (2002); National Science Foundation Solid State Chemistry Summer Research Award (2005); and East Tennessee State University Jewell Friend Research Award (2014). Sandy has 37 publications in refereed journals; 6 chapters/books; 83 presentations at professional meetings; 60 other scientific presentations and has mentored over 50 research students. She looks forward to sharing her inspiration and passion for teaching and research with others.


Edward Eng
New York Structural Biology Center

Ed leads the operations team at the Simons Electron Microscopy Center, a world-leading cryoEM facility, and is the manager of NCCAT, an NIH cryoEM service center. The National Center for Cryo-EM Access and Training (NCCAT) offers state-of-the-art equipment, technical support, and cross-training programs to biomedical researchers for the production and analysis of high-resolution cryoEM data. The national service center program allows him to engage with scientists in an open forum to advance biomedical research. By bringing the best practices in the field to assist researchers he acts as a champion of cryoEM. His mission is to lower the barriers of access to cryoEM technology and cross-train researchers to have an accelerated impact at their home institutions.


Joseph Ferrara
Rigaku Americas Corp

Dr. Ferrara received both his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His graduate research focused on physical organometallic chemistry under Prof. Wiley C. Youngs. Upon completing his doctorate in 1988, he joined Molecular Structure Corporation, which became a subsidiary of Rigaku Corporation in 1996.

Dr. Ferrara is currently Chief Science Officer, Rigaku Americas Corp. and Vice President, X-ray Research Laboratory, Rigaku Corp. He is a current member and past chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the BioTech Institute of the Lone Star Community College System. He is the a Past President of the American Crystallographic Association and the Books Editor for ACA RefleXions. He is also Vice-chair of the US National Committee for Crystallography and Treasurer of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. He has spent the last 35 years developing hardware and software tools for X-ray crystallography and X-ray imaging for the research community.


Joyce Frank

Joyce Frank is the Sales Manager at MiTeGen. Her career has focused on scientific sales, intellectual property management, sponsored research and development in both industry and academia, as well as time at the lab bench.

Joyce is especially proud of her successful return to the workforce after choosing to take professional time out to raise her family and is happy to share some of the strategies she employed.



Anna Gardberg
Constellation Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Anna Gardberg leads the Structural Biology and Protein Production group at Constellation Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. Before joining Constellation, she worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Emerald BioStructures, and EMD Serono. Dr. Gardberg's background includes both X-ray and neutron crystallography. She is happy to answer your questions and share advice.




Steven Kelley
University of Missouri Columbia

I obtained my undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University in 2009 and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from The University of Alabama in 2015. Following a postdoctoral appointment at McGill, I became the director of the Elmer O. Schlemper X-ray Diffraction laboratory at the University of Missouri where I remain today. My education and search for employment happened during periods of great economic uncertainty, a greatly changing job market, and numerous environmental catastrophes such as anthropogenic climate change and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These experiences have influenced my perspective on how young scientists should be prepared to contribute their skills to society.


Tiffany Kinnibrugh
Argonne National Laboratory

Currently, a beamline scientist at Argonne National Laboratory working on cutting edge synchrotron experiments for in situ battery experiments and synthesis of new materials. Previously worked at a start-up company and taught college chemistry courses. Obtained a PhD. inorganic chemistry from Texas A&M University.



Boguslaw Nocek

Dr. Boguslaw Nocek works at AbbVie in the structural biology group on structure-based drug design. Before joining AbbVie in 2017, he worked for 13 years in Argonne National Laboratory and has been a strong contributor to structural genomic programs such as The Midwest Center for Structural Genomics and The Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases, all while supporting users at beamlines 19ID and BM at APS. Boguslaw started his career as a chemical engineer and holds an M.S degree in chemical engineering (1999) but followed his passion and switched to biochemistry/x-ray crystallography and received his Ph.D. from Utah State University in 2003.

Dr. Nocek has experience in drug-discovery science, with expertise in structural biology and biophysical methods. He has over 20 years of experience working in academia, national laboratories, and industry. Boguslaw is happy to answer your questions and share his bits of advice.


Thomas Proffen
Neutron Scattering Sciences Div, Oak Ridge National Lab

Thomas Proffen is a Distinguished Scientist and the Initiative Coordinator for High Performance Computing and Data Analytics Science Initiative of the Neutron Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Proffen received his PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich in 1995 for his work on structural disorder in stabilized zirconia. He then moved to the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University as a Postdoc continuing his work on analyzing diffuse scattering from disordered materials. In 1998 he took a Research Associates position at Michigan State University adding the atomic pair distribution function method to his portfolio of analysis tools for disordered materials. These efforts continued as he moved to the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2001 to upgrade the neutron total scattering instrument NPDF promoting the total scattering technique applied to disordered crystalline and nanomaterials before moving to ORNL.

In his free time, Thomas founded and volunteers with Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls.


Matthew Redinbo
UNC Chapel Hill

Matt Redinbo studied Biochemistry and English at UC Davis and earned a PhD in the lab of Todd Yeates at UCLA in 1995. After a postdoctoral fellowship in structural biology with Wim Hol at the University of Washington, he became an Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill in 1999. He has remained there throughout his career and is now Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, and has joint appointments in several basic science departments in the UNC School of Medicine. His research relies on the tools of structural biology to examine the roles of macromolecules in human disease, with a recent focus on the gut microbiota. He has been a member of the ACA since 1992 and served as the Chair of the ACA YSSIG in 1998.


David Rose
Dept of Biology, Univ of Waterloo

David Rose received his BA degree from University of Pennsylvania and DPhil from University of Oxford before spending a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT with Greg Petsko. He immigrated to Canada in 1984 to take up a position at the National Research Council in Ottawa. Subsequently he was recruited to the (then) Ontario Cancer Institute and University of Toronto, where he stayed for almost twenty years before taking up the Chair of the Biology Department at University of Waterloo. He has served in many positions with the American Crystallographic Association, including President (2021) and Past-President (2022). His research interests are in carbohydrate molecules (sugars): how they are processed in humans and their roles in health and disease.


Tomce Runcevski

Tom Runčevski was born in Macedonia where he finished his undergraduate studies in chemistry in 2011. He did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, with Prof. Robert E. Dinnebier. He graduated in 2014 with honors, and he was awarded with the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. After one year postdoctoral stay at the MPI, he joined UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Nat Lab in 2015, as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Jeffrey R. Long. In 2018, he started his independent career the Southern Methodist University, as an assistant professor of chemistry.


Kenneth Satyshur
University of Wisconsin





Jason Stagno
National Cancer Institute

Dr. Stagno conducted his graduate work in molecular biology at the University of California, Irvine in the lab of Professor Hartmut Luecke. His research focused on structure determination by X-ray crystallography of terminal uridylyltransferases (TUTases) to study substrate specificity, catalysis, and their role in RNA editing in trypanosomes. In 2009, he received his Ph.D. and joined Dr. Xinhua Ji's group as a postdoctoral fellow in the Macromolecular Crystallography Lab at CCR. Here, his research focused on structure determination of protein-nucleic acid complexes involved in bacteriophage lambda transcription antitermination and RNA supercoiling. In 2012, Dr. Stagno became a Health Science Policy Analyst in the Office of Science Policy, Office of the Director, NIH, where he was involved in major science policy issues involving biosafety, biosecurity, and so-called dual use research of concern. In June 2014, he returned to CCR, joining Yun-Xing Wang's group as a staff scientist in the Structural Biophysics Laboratory.


Diana Tomchick
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Diana R. Tomchick obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her graduate work focused on synthesis and structure of organometallic metal cluster compounds. She joined the faculty of the Biochemistry Department at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX in 2000, and is now a Professor in the Biophysics Department and Co-Director of the Structural Biology Laboratory, a campus core facility that assists investigators with X-ray crystallography and single-particle Cryo-EM reconstruction methods for protein structure determination.

Dr. Tomchick served as ACA secretary from 2014 to 2020 and is now the Vice Chair of the ACA. She is a member of the IUCr Commission on Biological Macromolecules since 2019 and is currently a member of the US National Committee for Crystallography and will serve as a delegate for the US during the 25th Congress of the IUCr.


Yun-Xing Wang
Structural Biophysics Laboratory, National Cancer Institute





Patricia Weber
Imiplex LLC





Muhammed Yousufuddin
University of North Texas at Dallas

Muhammed Yousufuddin was born and raised in Columbia, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 2000 and the University of Southern California with a PhD in Chemistry in 2005. Muhammed completed postdoctoral studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland before joining University of Texas at Arlington as Lab Director/Staff Crystallographer in 2008, a position he held for 7 years. Since 2015, Muhammed has been at the University of North Texas at Dallas where he is now an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Muhammed is currently serving as Co-Editor of Acta Crystallographica Section C. His scholarly interests include Metal Hydride Synthesis and Characterization, Service Crystallography, and Mentored Undergraduate Research.