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Faculty Spotlight

Mark ChanceMark Chance

Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences Wins AAMC Award for Resource Sharing

CLEVELAND, October 13, 2017—The Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences has been awarded second prize in the 2017 Sharing Research Resources Award by the American Association of Medical Colleges. According to the AAMC, “[a]ward winners demonstrate successful sharing of research resources between institutions and campuses, including medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other academic institutions.”

The Center, located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., has helped hundreds of principal investigators and thousands of researchers around the world determine the structure and function of biological macromolecules (such as proteins) and treatments (such as therapeutic monoclonal antibodies) by providing access to highly complex and expensive synchrotron x-ray beamlines. These experts have published over 2,000 scientific papers since the center opened in 1994.

A synchrotron is a circular particle accelerator about the size of a football field in which electrons are deflected through magnetic fields, creating X-rays billions of times brighter than conventional hospital X-rays. Adjacent beamlines (long passageways) then direct the X-rays to workstations, where they are used for research. The extreme brightness of the X-rays allows scientists to research matter at the atomic level.

“We are honored to have been recognized by the AAMC for our work,” said the center’s director, Mark Chance, PhD, vice dean for research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The center’s core values are scientific excellence and team play. Helping researchers discover the molecular details of cellular function is essential for understanding the makeup of the body and its operations. Researchers using the Case Center can apply their findings in numerous ways for helping maintain health and treat disease.”

In addition to offering access to advanced technology, the Case Center provides training and support operations that enable users to conduct their research independently. The center is also a tool for education via peer-reviewed publications, presentations, workshops, and the PhD thesis work of numerous students.