Thayumanasamy Somasundaram

2016_TS_700x700Welcome!  I am [aka Soma] the Director of the IMB X-Ray Facility specializing in macromolecular single crystal X-ray diffraction at Kasha Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Biophysics. My official designation is Senior Research Associate (12 month non-tenured faculty) at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida 32306-4380. I have been associated with  FSU since mid 1993 and the X-Ray Facility since its inception in late 1993. I attended the 2013 FSU Spring Convocation and 2017 FSU Spring Commencement ceremonies.

I am responsible for training and teaching students how to collect and analyze macromolecular X-ray diffraction data using both home and synchrotron x-ray sources. I also manage the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the X-Ray Facility hardware and software (see historic photos and data of XRF) . Since summer 2013, I maintain two powder x-ray diffraction equipment: Rigaku Ultima III w/ Mercury CCD and PANalytical X-Pert Pro Powder at CSL 1011. I serve as a safety liaison for Kasha Lab and coordinate with FSU Safety Office. I helped host the Caspar Structural Biology Symposium [Photos] in Jan 2017 at FSU CSL Auditorium.

IMB X-Ray Facility also provides crystal screening service for proteins with the help of ARI Crystal Gryphon robot, and facilitates the X-ray data collection at SER-CAT beam line in Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Lab.  Fast and accurate imaging of crystal screen 96-3 and 96-2 plates are facilitated by IMB  designed home built  simple robotic imager  which was demonstrated for 96-3 plates in 01/13/2016 and cell culture 96-0 well plates on 02/22/16. The single axis version’s proof of concept has been shown on 07/18/2016. I presented both dual and mono axis robot work at 2016 ACA Denver Meeting and FSU 2017 Life Sciences Symposium. Version-2 of the robot is now being tested. I have been involved in FSU Scientific Equipment Portal since 2012 and in 2016 and 2017 we have made lots of progress. Our team has won the 2017 Prudential (Davis) Productivity Award for the work on Scientific Equipment Portal.

During the fall semester, I train the in-coming graduate students the practical aspects of macromolecular crystallization and  x-ray diffraction data collection. The three week training, XRF Protein Crystallization & X-Ray Diffraction Workshop  [aka,  2017 Boot Camp | Schedule] is part of the Core Facilities Training Workshop.  During the summer, I work with the Department of Biological Science’s six-week residential science and mathematics Young Scholars Program. I am a co-author on several peer-reviewed publications. I have organized a Conferee Networking Event about Funding for mid-size equipment at 2016 PITTCON in Atlanta, GA and presented a poster about the robotic microscope at PITTCON and at FSU 2016 DigiTech. I am a member of the Florida Core Network  and a member of Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities. I organized the Florida Core Network Event 3 on Aug 11, 2016 at FSU. In 2016, I was selected as the Treasurer for Southeastern Association of Shared Resources. The fiftth SEASR meeting was held in Tampa, FL, Jun 7 -9, 2017 and the sixth SEASR meeting will be held in Atlanta at Emory Conference Center, GA, Jun 27-29, 2018.

Updated Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

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