Magazine article American Scientist

Crystallizing a Career

Magazine article American Scientist

Crystallizing a Career

Article excerpt

Dr. Jenny Glusker will accept Sigma Xi's 2014 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement on November 7 at the Society's 2014 Annual Meeting in Glendale, Arizona. She is a professor emeritus at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. One of her primary interests is chemicals tlmt cause cancer and how they work. She also investigates enzyme mechanisms involved in growth and how the enzymes control these mechanisms. Glusker has coauthored textbooks on crystallography, a method tlmt is used to determine molecular structures. She has been a Signm Xi member since 1956.

The following are excerpts from an interview with her about her career.

On crystallography:

"You have to grow quite a small crystal ... and you shoot an x ray beam at it ... When it hits the crystal-the crystal is made up of multiple little building blocks, each the same that contain molecules that you're interested in-so as the x ray is scattered from the molecules in the crystal, you will get an x ray diffraction pattern ... and that is what we try to analyze and see if we can find out what molecular structure gives those extra dots on the diffraction pattern."

On research:

"You just have to decide to tackle one area and then when you finish finding out how that works, you can go on to another."

On her current research:

"I retired a while ago, but I'm still working in collaboration with people at Los Alamos National Lab and Oak Ridge National Lab who are now working on neutron diffraction. …

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