James X. Zhong Manis Selected for Department of Energy Graduate Student Research Program
James X. Zhong Manis, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Georgia Tech, will get a chance to conduct his thesis research at a Department of Energy national laboratory at Stanford University, thanks to his selection to the DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program.
The goal of the SCGSR program is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission. The agency provides graduate thesis research opportunities through extended residency at DOE national laboratories.
“I am so excited and feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity to continue my research with DOE help,” Manis said. “I am thankful for everyone’s help to get me where I am, especially my principal investigator Thomas Orlando, our lab senior research scientist Brant Jones, my collaborating DOE scientist Thorsten Weber, and also everyone else in my research group. I am so thrilled to be working with world class scientists on cutting edge equipment.”
Manis is one of 87 awardees from 58 different universities who will conduct research at 16 DOE national laboratories. The research projects proposed by the new awardees are aligned with the priority mission areas of the DOE Office of Science that have a high need for workforce development.
“The SCGSR program provides a way for graduate students to enrich their scientific research by engaging with researchers at DOE National Labs, learning from world class scientists, and using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities,” notes Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director of the DOE Office of Science. “In addition, they get valuable opportunities to network and observe firsthand what it’s like to have a scientific career. I can’t wait to see what these young researchers do in the future. I know they will meet upcoming scientific challenges in new and innovative ways.”
Manis, who also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2018, will join the DOE’s Gas Phase Chemical Physics program at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) at Stanford University. The Center supports research on fundamental gas-phase chemical processes important in energy applications.
SCGSR awardees work on research projects of significant importance to the Office of Science mission that address critical energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges at national and international scales. Projects in this new cohort span eight different DOE Office of Science research programs.
Manis’ project falls into the Basic Energy Sciences category. “I am interested in understanding the low energy electron interaction with biomolecules, which is a potential way of causing DNA damage,” he said. “The research I will conduct at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is to first help in commissioning the DREAM (Dynamic REAction Microscope) end station in the TMO (time-resolved atomic, molecular and optical science) instrument hub.
“I have never visited SLAC before, but I am extremely excited to work there,” Manis added. “It’s going to be a change of pace collaborating with another group of scientists, and I can’t wait to start.”
Renay San Miguel