CRUX REU Professional Development

The CRUX REU program. The centerpiece of the program will be individual research projects in the laboratories of the program faculty for 9 weeks.  Participants in the program will receive 1 college credit for seminars on technical topics (safety, X-ray techniques, other characterization tools, literature searching) as well as soft skills (ethics, poster presentations, scientific writing).

The tentative workshops schedule for 2022 appears below.

Workshops in General and X-Ray Research Methods (3 hours Monday mornings) 

Subject (Presenters)

Topics Covered

Orientation to research at MTSU (Friedli and King)

Safety. Writing a laboratory notebook, collecting and storing data, appropriate behavior and ethics, expectations.

Databases for literature searches (Handy and HIetsoi)

Use of structures in Scifinder, Cambridge databases, keywords and phrases in Web of Science and Scopus to find background literature

X-Ray Basics (Bedekar)

Introduction to theory of PXRD and SCXRD

Growing, Selecting & Mounting  Crystals  (Ding and Hietsoi)

Methods for small molecule crystal growth, demonstration of how to choose and mount a crystal using polarized microscope and set up data collection

Visualizing X-ray Structures in 3D (Friedli and Hietsoi)

Use of Mercury program to visualize solved X-ray structures, measure bond lengths and angles, view unit cell and intramolecular interactions, create X-ray figures, and print STL files for 3D printed models

Large Molecule Crystallization and X-ray Characterization (Pusey, Miller)

Survey and demonstrations of techniques for protein crystallization combined with the field trip to Hudson Alpha and the Ng laboratory at UAH

Examples of SCXRD Data (Kaszynski)

How to discuss X-ray data in a report or publication.

Applications of X-ray Methods to Problems in Chemistry (Chong)


Examples of problems encountered and solved using many different X-ray techniques

How to Disseminate Research (Friedli and others)

What is needed for an abstract, poster, and publication; steps necessary to accomplish each level, and writing and feedback on an abstract about summer research

Conferences and Your Career (Van Patten)

Tips for how to benefit most from professional meetings and career fairs through effective presentations, networking, interviewing; drafting a resume


On Fridays the cohort will take field trips or hold group meetings to discuss research results. Some destinations are Oak Ridge National Lab and Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology. Participants will also present their work as a poster near the end of the summer, with an option for additional support to present at a regional or national meeting after the REU.


In addition, organized social activities will happen on alternate weekends according to group preferences.