Press Event: The Cutting Edge of Crystallography

Online press event on Aug.7 to be broadcast live via Newswise from the 23rd Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography

Article ID: 621615

Released: 5-Aug-2014 4:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: American Institute of Physics (AIP)

WHAT: Journalists are invited to participate in a "Newswise Live Event" this Thursday and join Nobel laureate Dan Shechtman and a distinguished panel of crystallography experts who will detail new discoveries and describe some of the international activities in 2014, a special year for this field. The event will be streamed live from the 23rd Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), a major international meeting that starts this week in Montreal.

This meeting is a cornerstone of a yearlong celebration of crystallography, a field that lies at the crossroads of chemistry, medicine, materials science and manufacturing. The United Nations declared 2014 the "International Year of Crystallography" (IYCr2014) to recognize the importance of the field to technology, modern society and humanity. This will be the only press event from the IUCr meeting.

TIME: 11:00 a.m. EDTDATE: August 7, 2014LOCATION: The event will be streamed from Room 445 of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Join online at: (see further instructions on how to log on remotely below)

------------------PARTICIPANTS------------------Short bios of the following participants are included at the end of this message:

- Nobel laureate Dan Shechtman, Materials Science and Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel and MSE, ISU, Ames, Iowa USA- Michele Zema, Project Manager for the International Year of Crystallography at the IUCr and lecturer at the University of Pavia, Italy- Alessia Bacchi, a Professor at the University of Parma, Italy**- Tomislav Friščić, an Assistant Professor at McGill University**- Juan Manuel García-Ruiz, a Professor at the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, CSIC-Universidad de Granada**

** Separate, embargoed press releases are available on the work of professors Bacchi, García-Ruiz and Friščić. These releases can be obtained by logging on to the embargoed area of or by contacting Jason Socrates Bardi cell: 240-535-4954; email:

------------------RUN OF THURSDAY'S SHOW------------------10:00-11:00 -- Online registration open11:00-11:05 -- D. Shechtman -- INTRO11:05-11:10 -- M. Zema -- INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF CRYSTALLOGRAPHY11:10-11:15 -- A. Bacchi -- CO-CRYSTALS FOR DRUGS AND AGROCHEMICALS11:15-11:20 -- T. Friščić -- ARTIFICIAL AGING AND GREEN MANUFACTURING11:20-11:25 -- J.M. García-Ruiz -- MIND-BLOWING GIANT CRYSTALS11:25-12:00 -- Questions from Reporters

------------------MORE DETAILS ABOUT LOGGING ON REMOTELY------------------The live event provides reporters with the unique opportunity to interact with experts in a virtual, face-to-face format. The Newswise Live welcome room for the event will open at 10:00 a.m. EDT August 7th, 2014. You are invited to drop in, get comfortable, address any technical issues you might encounter, then go about your work until the event begins at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

NOTE: If this is your first time participating in a Newswise Live event, we urge you join the welcome room early. A limited number of journalists will have access to the room; those who arrive first are guaranteed entry. You will also need to download the software before the event, also at the same URL:

If you run into problems downloading the software please email

------------------DETAILS ON EMBARGOED PRESENTATIONS------------------Full releases on these subjects can be obtained by logging on to the embargoed area of or by contacting Jason Socrates Bardi cell: 240-535-4954; email:

- Alessia Bacchi will detail new approach for taking the active chemical ingredients of common drugs and agricultural products, many of which are liquids, and stabilizing them with other molecules into "co-crystals," essentially rendering them solid. It holds broad potential to make such products more durable, safer, cheaper, easier to manufacture and less harmful to the environment.

- Tomislav Friščić will describe some of his unconventional approaches to chemical synthesis and mineral processing based on solid-state chemistry and how they promise better, safer and far less expensive methods for extracting metals from mineral ores as well as for the scalable synthesis of pharmaceutical drugs.

- Juan Manuel García-Ruiz will discuss giant gypsum crystals, how they are formed and what they are teaching us. Subject of a new documentary titled, “The Mystery of the Giant Crystals,” featuring García-Ruiz, these crystals are renowned for their spectacular beauty. Some in excess of 30 feet long and more than half a million years old, they are found deep within the Naica mine in Chihuahua, Mexico and at sites around the world, such as Segóbriga and Pulpí in Spain, and the El Teniente mine in Chile.

------------------SPEAKER BIOS------------------

1) DAN SHECHTMANDan Shechtman was born 1941 in Tel Aviv (Israel). After receiving his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the Technion in 1972, where he also obtained his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1966 and M.Sc. in Materials Engineering in 1968, Prof. Shechtman was an NRC fellow at the Aerospace Research Laboratories at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he studied for three years the microstructure and physical metallurgy of titanium aluminides. In 1975 he joined the department of materials engineering at Technion. In 1981–1983 he was on Sabbatical at Johns Hopkins University, where he studied rapidly solidified aluminum transition metal alloys, in a joint program with NBS. On April 8, 1982, Shechtman discovered the icosahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals. In 1992-1994 he was on sabbatical at National Institute of Standards and Technology – NIST (formerly NBS), where he studied the effect of the structural defect of CVD diamond on its growth and properties. Shechtman's Technion research is conducted in the Louis Edelstein Center, and in the Wolfson Centre which is headed by him. He is the Philip Tobias Distinguished Professor of Materials Science at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. He was awarded twelve international and Israeli prizes including the Wolf Prize and the Aminoff Prize. In 2011 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the discovery of quasicrystals". Shechtman is the fourth Israeli to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in under a decade. He is married to Prof. Zipora Shechtman, and has a son and three daughters. In his many lectures around the world Shechtman advocates education and in particular science education from early age as well as Technological Entrepreneurship as key to world peace and prosperity.

2) MICHELE ZEMAProfessor Michele Zema, Project Manager for the International Year of Crystallography at the IUCr. Lecturer of Crystallography and Mineralogy at the University of Pavia, Italy. Coordinator of the Commission on Crystallographic Teaching of the Italian Crystallographic Association.

3) ALESSIA BACCHIProfessor Alessia Bacchi graduated at the University of Parma. After a two-year post doc in the European Molecular Biology Lab in Hamburg, she returned to the University of Parma in October 1998. Since October 2001, Alessia has been Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, investigating the supramolecular organization in crystals as a model for the description of multicomponent systems and for the realization of new materials with complex properties. In 2000 she was awarded the Prize for Young Researchers by the Italian Crystallographic Association. She is Vice President of the European Crystallographic Association and is the past chair of the IUCr Commission on Structural Chemistry. She has published more than 130 papers and 3 book chapters.

4) TOMISLAV FRIŠČIĆTomislav Friščić is an Assistant Professor at McGill University. He received his B.Sc. at the University of Zagreb with Branko Kaitner, followed by a Ph.D. with Len MacGillivray at the University of Iowa. He was a post-doctoral associate with William Jones and a Herchel Smith Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. His group is developing solid-state catalytic and self-assembly methodologies in diverse areas of organic, metal-organic, pharmaceutical and materials synthesis. He has co-authored >120 research and review articles and was awarded the 2014 ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship in Organic Chemistry, as well as the 2011 RSC Harrison-Meldola Medal for “developing solid-state methodologies which explore and combine new types of molecular self-assembly.” In 2013 he joined the Editorial Board of CrystEngComm and is the co-organizer of several mechanochemistry-oriented conferences, particularly Faraday Discussions (Montreal, 2014) and a Pacifichem symposium on Solvent-free Chemistry and Mechanochemistry (Honolulu, 2015)

5) JUAN MANUEL GARCÍA-RUIZJuan Manuel García-Ruiz was born in Sevilla (Spain) in 1953. Research Professor of the National Research Council (CSIC). Founder and director of the Laboratory for Crystallographic Studies and chair of the Spanish Crystallization Factory. Founder of the Program EXPLORA (2006-2011), a Program promoting intellectually risked research projects at the frontiers of knowledge. Author of more than 235 scientific publications and three books. His main fields of study are the phenomena of self-organization in biological and geological structures, with implications from the origin of life to the synthesis of new materials. Is an internationally recognized expert in mineral genesis, highlighting their studies on the formation of giant crystals of gypsum, as well as on crystallization of drugs and proteins. He has several licensed patents and is the founder of Triana S&T, a spin-off company that offers technology and services in crystallization. Web site:


MORE ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL YEARThe United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Crystallography. The designation aims to increase public awareness of the science of crystallography and how it underpins most technological developments in our modern society, as well as to foster international collaboration between scientists worldwide, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For more information:

MORE ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF CRYSTALLOGRAPHYThe International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) is an International Scientific Union. Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publication of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences. From more information:


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