YSIG Spotlight Series

The YSIG will be hosting a series of virtual sessions spotlighting a young scientist in the community. Each speaker will share their research and take questions from the audience. The goal of these events is to provide an opportunity for YSIG members to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas. 

The YSIG invites young members with careers in structural science, to participate and share their work with the broader structural science community.  The YSIG will be accepting suggestions for speakers and topics soon.  Speaker nominations can be made by a person or organization acquainted with the nominees work but self nominations are also accepted.  Please forward suggestions and nominations to the YSIG leadership or fill out this form.  Nominees do not have to be an ACA Member.    

CHAIR-ELECT 2023/CHAIR 2024: Niko Vlahakis
SECRETARY-TREASURER 2023-2024: Kristofer Gonzalez-DeWhitt


 YSIG Spotlight Series No.:3

Information Coming Soon!


Past YSIG Spotlight Series

YSIG Spotlight Series No.: 1

Wednesday, September 28, 1:00 pm ET

Over the course of an hour featured speakers will have the opportunity to share information about their research and engage in discussion with the audience.  


Nathaniel Barker
Northwestern University

Nathaniel (Nate) Barker attended Wheeling Jesuit University where he obtained a B.S. in Chemistry. His studies then took him to the University of Cincinnati working under Dr. William Connick and Dr. Peng Zhang. He focused on developing and characterizing Platinum-based vapochromic sensors and investigating polymorphic platinum salts via X-ray Crystallography.

After completing his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry (2021), he started his current position at Northwestern University as a postdoctoral fellow at the Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC). At IMSERC he assists in daily operations, specialty experiments, and training of users for X-ray diffraction experiments, as well as thermal analysis, X-ray fluorescence, polarimetry, and FT-IR experiments.


Jadon Blount
Western Washington University

Jadon Blount is a recent graduate of Western Washington University who is pursuing a career in computational biochemistry and is currently spending a post-bachelor year in Dr. Jeanine Amacher's lab studying sortase enzymes using computational molecular modeling tools. By utilizing computational structural modeling, Jadon is able to discover and characterize unique mechanisms and interactions that often remain elusive in conventional chemistry and structural biology. 


YSIG Spotlight Series No.: 2

Tuesday, October 25, 3:00 pm ET

 Allen G. Oliver
 University of Notre Dame




  • Research Professor and Manager of the Molecular Structure Facility University of Notre Dame (2008 – present) 
  • Research Associate, UC Santa Cruz (2006-2008)
  • Research Assistant, UC Berkeley (2002-2006)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley (2000-2002)
  • Research TechnicianUniversity of Auckland,New Zealand (1997-1999)

I have been interested in X-ray crystallography since I was first introduced to it as a graduate student at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Crystallography became a significant focus during my doctoral studies when, concurrently, I accepted a staff position in the X-ray Facility at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Since coming to the United States, I have followed an academic career path in X-ray crystallography. In the course of my duties as a facility crystallographer and research professor, I participate in all aspects of crystallography including facility management, instrument maintenance, data collection, structure solution and refinement, publishing, grantsmanship, and teaching activities. Perhaps most rewarding is teaching crystallography to younger researchers and providing them with the tools to become better scientists.

 Corie Ralston
 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Corie Ralston holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of  California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in  Biophysics   from the  University of California at Davis. She completed a post-  doctoral fellowship at  Brookhaven National   Laboratory  during which she helped develop the method of X-ray foot printing as a structural investigation technique for proteins and nucleic acids. She started at  the Advanced Light Source synchrotron (ALS) at   Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) as a beamline scientist in crystallography, and over the years grew to managing the crystallography beamlines in the role as head of the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology. More recently, she became the Facility Director for the Biological Nanostructures facility at the Molecular Foundry, another user facility at LBNL. She is also actively developing the method of X-ray foot printing at the ALS.



 James Kaduk 
 Poly Crystallography Inc.

Jim Kaduk is President of Poly Crystallography Inc., a  company which provides crystallographic   problem    solving   and consulting services. He is also a Research  Professor of Chemistry at Illinois  Institute of Technology, and a   Senior Research Scientist (Physics) at North Central College. He   began his crystallographic career as an   undergraduate at Notre Dame. After obtaining a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Northwestern in 1977, he joined Amoco Chemicals and did catalysis R&D for eight years. Through a number of corporate changes he ran the X-ray diffraction lab at Amoco/BP/Ineos from 1985-2009. The lab characterized a very wide range of materials, including catalysts, inorganics, corrosion deposits, organics, and polymers. Jim is well known for his expertise in solving and refining crystal structures using powder diffraction data, and for combining crystallography and quantum mechanics to understand not just where the atoms are, but why they are there. Jim is Treasurer of the International Centre for Diffraction Data, the organization which produces the Powder Diffraction File database, and is a past Chairman of its Board of Directors. He is a former treasurer of the American Crystallographic Association and served that organization in many other roles. He is a Co-Editor of Volume H of International Tables for Crystallography on powder diffraction, and author of multiple chapters. He is a consultant to the IUCr Commission on Powder Diffraction, and a member of the Commission on Crystallographic Nomenclature and the Committee for the Maintenance of the CIF Standard (COMCIFS). He is a co-editor of Powder Diffraction and Advances in X-ray Analysis. He is a member of the faculties of the ACA’s summer course, the ICDD’s Clinics on Advanced Methods in XRD and the Rietveld Method, and teaches short courses and workshops around the world. He has been a member of the Northwestern University Library Board of Governors since 2001. Jim received the 2021 Barrett Award from the Denver X-ray Conference for his contributions to the field of powder diffraction, the 2017 Jenkins Award for lifetime achievement in the advancement of the use of X-rays in materials analysis, and is a Distinguished Fellow of ICDD. In 2020 he received the McMurdie Award from ICDD for his contributions to the Powder Diffraction File. His > 350 published papers center on powder crystallography, and he has contributed > 1000 patterns to the Powder Diffraction File.