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Hodgson named head of SLAC's Synchrotron Division

Keith Hodgson, deputy director of the Synchrotron Division of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and professor of chemistry and professor at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), will become division director on July 1.

The announcement was made by SLAC Director Burton Richter who said, "Keith brings with him a strong scientific background, excellent management skills and an awareness of the larger context in which national science laboratories must function. His extensive role in national advisory activities position him well for leading SSRL into the next phase of its development."

Hodgson has been acting director of SSRL since last September, when the former director, Arthur Bienenstock, was appointed to a senior position in Washington, D.C., with the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Hodgson will be the first director of a major synchrotron facility who has a background and research interest in chemistry and biology rather than materials science or physics.

Hodgson's major research interests are inorganic and structural chemistry, using high-intensity synchrotron radiation for X-ray absorption, diffraction and scattering studies. He joined Stanford's chemistry department in 1973 and became full professor of chemistry in 1984. In 1992, he became a joint professor of chemistry and at SSRL. In 1980, he originated one of the world's first focused efforts to develop a synchrotron-based research and user program in structural molecular biology.

His work has been recognized by awards and honors that include the Sidhu Award of the American Crystallographic Association in 1976, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1976-78, a Robert Welch Foundation Lectureship in 1981 and a World Bank Lectureship in Chemistry in 1984. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific publications.

In 1983, the Department of Energy (DOE) asked Hodgson to serve on a critical committee that defined the national need for new synchrotron facilities in the United States. He currently chairs the DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the National Center for Research Resources Advisory Council in the National Institutes of Health.

Hodgson recently co-chaired a committee to evaluate and recommend future opportunities in the area of structural molecular biology, particularly a plan to build a new facility at SSRL jointly between Stanford and the Scripps Research Institute for state-of-the-art tools for protein crystallography research.

"I look forward to leading SSRL into the next millennium," Hodgson said "SSRL has a remarkably talented and dedicated staff who have a strong commitment to excellence. Our strong coupling to the academic excellence of Stanford and its faculty will remain one of the key elements in our success."


By David F. Salisbury

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