The fourth generation of X-ray sources, free-electron lasers, are providing super intense X-rays bunched into ultra-fast pulses. Our goal is to use these remarkable facilities to study the constituents of life in new ways.
Proteins are, in most cases, highly dynamic particles that exert their function by transitioning between many semi-stable conformations. In many cases these transitions are much faster than a millisecond and are very hard to study with current methods. One of our goals is to utilize the ultra-fast pulse-length of free-electron lasers together with new algorithms to pick out diffraction from these short-lived states among a much larger set of data. In this pursuit we perform experiments at free-electron laser facilities across the world and study and develop the analysis algorithms that are required to filter and combine the large datasets required. The result is an interdisciplinary group that combines biology and physics, theory and experiment to develop the imaging methods of the future.
Read more about our ongoing research.