by Jim Schultz
First, Do No Harm: This time-honored physician's motto is put to the test when cancer is involved. Although enormous strides have been made in non-invasive diagnostic medicine-such as the modern-day magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) and nuclear medicine scanners that can pinpoint disease and other physical malfunctions-surgery is still often required to confirm the presence and extent of cancerous tumors. A team of researchers at Jefferson Laboratory hopes to tilt the odds in favor of a less physically traumatic procedure; so doing, they may vastly improve the prospects for more effective treatment of cancers of the breast, thyroid and prostate.
Five members of the Lab's Detector Group are collaborating with colleagues from the Physics Fast Electronics Group, Hampton University, the University of West Virginia Medical Center, East Carolina University Medical Center and the Duke University Medical Center on a new project. The Intra-Operative Probe Project, or IPP is underwritten by DOE and a grant from the National Science Foundation and the Nuclear and High-Energy Physics Research Center at Hampton University. The effort, begun in earnest once funding was received this past August, is based on technology derived from the sophisticated detector equipment found within the Laboratory's experimental halls.
"Probes exist. We're not the first," says Stan Majewski, head of the Lab's Detector Group and co-principal investigator for the IPP. "But we believe we can improve on existing technology. One way is to introduce imaging probes."
Other surgical probes tend to simply identify the presence of malignancy. Finding cancer isn't terribly difficult; cancer cells are ravenous for energy to support rapid growth. Typically, radioactive tracers are added to pharmaceutical solutions that are injected into patients before testing begins. As the radiopharmaceutical (tracer material) rapidly migrates to the diseased sites, detectors-surgically inserted into the body and maneuvered to suspect areas-are able to generally point out areas of cancer.
The Laboratory's probe is expected to be substantially more sensitive, with the added advantage of being able to paint a visually detailed picture of tumor sites. "It's like the guy on the beach with a metal detector," explains Drew Weisenberger, staff scientist with the Detector Group and co-investigator on the IPP. "A lot of these [detectors] just beep when you find something. Our way, you can look and actually see whatÕs there."
Over the next several months, the first intra-operative probe prototype will be developed in concert with Duke University Medical School. Although the IPP team is still finalizing the ultimate design, the probe (which could assume a final form as small as a pencil or as large as a cup) will likely be attached to some sort of moveable gantry, placed on a mobile cart and connected to an array of electronics gear, including a laptop computer. It is planned that experienced surgeons will test and evaluate various prototype configurations at hospitals in Hampton and Newport News.
In order to make the probe as widely available as possible, the IPP team hopes to produce a device that in its least expensive incarnation would cost no more than $25,000. Other, more upscale versions could run as high as $50,000.
Still to be determined is the best route to commercialization, including possible collaboration with Dilon Technologies Inc., a company in residence at the nearby Applied Research Center.
The IPP group will likely seek an industrial partner to actually bring their probe product to market. "In terms of need, technology transfer and the Laboratory's support for our work, this is the best time for this kind of project. I can't imagine better conditions," Majewski contends, "For us as individual scientists it was an obvious step in nuclear medicine. We decided that we as individuals could make a contribution..."
The U.S. Department of Energy announced earlier this month that it will negotiate with Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc., to extend the current multi-year performance-based contract for the management and operation of Jefferson Lab.
"This decision is based on outstanding scientific, technical, operations, environmental, safety and health, and institutional management accomplishments, as well as excellent performance in business and administrative practices at Jefferson Lab.
"I would like to commend SURA and Jefferson Lab for their 'outstanding' scientific research and management performance over the term of this contract, and for nurturing constructive partnerships with state and local governments, private industry, and academia," said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. "This high standard of performance in achieving scientific, technical and management objectives generates strong economic and educational benefits for these partners and the American people."
According to Jefferson Lab's DOE Site Office Manager, Dean Helms, this decision reflects the Department of Energy's confidence in SURA and Jefferson Lab. "The DepartmentÕs policy strongly favors [contract] competition over extensions. The highest standards of performance must be met before the Department will even consider the possibility of a contract extension," Helms explained. "We believe that high standard has been met and maintained in all mission and support areas; and the Site Office strongly recommended that the current contractÕs extension option be exercised." This recommendation was reviewed and endorsed at several levels of the DOE, culminating with Deputy Secretary of Energy, Betsy Moler.
The Department's current contract with SURA runs through September 30, 1999. The new contract extension to be negotiated would extend this agreement for an additional five years. The DOE Site Office Contracting Officer, Wayne Skinner, will begin contract renegotiations with SURA in the near future. He concurred with Helms, adding, The hard work, long hours, dedication and many achievements [of Jefferson Lab and its staff] have been noted by the DOE. The Department really presses to compete these contracts; the decision to extend the current contract reflects well on SURA and the Lab-from top to bottom."
The current contract was one of the first performance-based contracts the DOE executed with a nonprofit institution-under the Department's Contract Reform Initiative launched in February 1994. These reforms called for increased accountability for contractors, reduced government oversight practices that do not add value, and increased use of performance measures and incentives to achieve excellence and emphasize results.
A key incentive under the current agreement was an option permitting DOE to extend the contract for an additional five years based on superior performance. The Department's decision to begin negotiations preliminary to exercising the option is based in part on performance reviews under the contract. For example, in FY 1997, DOE rated SURA's science, technology, operations, ES&H, and institutional management performance as "Outstanding," the highest rating that can be achieved. Business and administrative performance was rated "Excellent," the second highest rating.
"This is a great position for a young lab to be in," Helms said. "This will provide Jefferson Lab with continued stability in its goals, management and the Lab's institutional profile. It will allow Lab staff to maintain focus, productivity and morale. Jefferson Lab's accomplishments reflect its total team effort."
Mark your calendar: Oct. 14, 7 p.m., CEBAF Center auditorium.
Then be there to take an eye-opening ride with internationally known physicist Lawrence Krauss as he guides you on a warp speed journey through the Star Trek universe, which he uses as a launching pad into the fascinating world of modern physics.
Through the use of slides, props and video clips, as well as wit and charm, the author of The Physics of Star Trek deals with topics ranging from time travel to warp speed, from the Big Bang to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. The lecture also features selections from his Top Ten Physics Bloopers from the series, gleaned in part from many of the most distinguished physicist-trekkies in the world. Krauss is a seasoned lecturer and author with vast experience communicating his joy of physics to audiences. For Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike, this charming and accessible lecture will add new dimensions to your view of the Star Trek universe, and enhance your appreciation of the universe in which we live.
Professor Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology-where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. He was born in New York City and moved shortly thereafter to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up.
Krauss is the author of over 150 scientific publications, as well as numerous popular articles on physics and astronomy. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and is an acclaimed teacher and lecturer noted for his ability to reach out to audiences. He appears frequently on radio and television around the world, as well as being a regular contributor to many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. He has lectured to both high school and elementary school students and their teachers as well as teaching courses at all university levels.
He is the author of several popular books, including: The Fifth Essence: The Search for Dark Matter in the Universe (Basic Books, 1989), which was named Astronomy Book of the Year by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and Fear of Physics (Basic Books, 1993) which has been translated into 12 languages. For this book, he was a finalist for the American Institute of Physics 1994 Science Writing Award.
His next book, The Physics of Star Trek, was released in November of 1995 and sold more than 200,000 copies in the U.S. It was a national bestseller.
It was widely praised, reviewed by the major media, and is being translated into 13 languages, and was the basis of a BBC TV production. A U.S. television production, to be narrated by Prof. Krauss, is currently planned.
His most recent book, Beyond Star Trek, was released in November 1997 and is already under contract for 5 foreign editions.
Krauss is now preparing a new Introductory Physics text for non-science majors in association with Prentice Hall, to be released in 1999, and has just contracted with Little Brown and Co., to produce a new book entitled, Genesis: The Lives of an Atom, to appear in 1999. Public television is currently negotiating to produce a 6-part TV series based on this book.
Due to the popularity of this public lecture, everyone attending must have a ticket. Call ext. 7689 to get your tickets, or for more information. The free tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Two Jefferson Lab Procurement specialists are "beaming" these days, and it has nothing to do with electrons or the Accelerator.
Earlier this year Julie Leverenz and Denise Leary found themselves hitting the books "hard" in preparation for the National Contract Management Association's Simplified Acquisition Specialist test.
Both women recently passed the exam, and are now professionally certified Simplified Acquisition Specialists. According to Dick Lusk, Technology Acquisitions manager, the exam is very rigorous and tests a candidate's knowledge on all aspects of simplified acquisition (procurements valued under $100,000). Having this knowledge and the credentials allow Leary and Leverenz to better meet JLab procurement needs.
This national level certification recognizes that Leverenz and Leary have mastered the fundamentals of the simplified acquisition profession. Only about 50 percent of the people taking the test pass it. "It was an incredibly intense test," Leary said. "After completing the exam, I was sure I was going to have to take it again. If you want a challenge, this test is it."
Leverenz added, "I came out of the testing room shaking my head-everyone was shaking their heads. Dick Lusk put together a study group to help us prepare for the test. That's the only way to get ready for this test. We couldn't have passed without it."
by Jim Schultz
Great chefs know there are two basic secrets to culinary success: preparation and execution. No chef would agree to cook a meal if its components and recipe were largely unknown or likely to change without warning. Yet that is the challenge faced by every nuclear physics researcher at Jefferson Lab probing matter at the limits of current understanding.
Although investigators presume a certain mix of basic ingredients in their experimental "meals," the list is subject to radical change. Researchers sometimes discover that, in the cooking, or the actual experiment itself, the outcome is not a souffle, but instead the physics equivalent of a thick sauce.
"You can have a theory that fits beautifully with existing data," says physics theorist Warren Buck, a Jefferson Lab user and director of Hampton University's Nuclear and High-Energy Physics Research Center. "So, after reproducing existing data, you predict the behavior of yet another observable (something that can be measured experimentally). If that behavior holds, it puts the entire puzzle together. But then an experimentalist comes along who says, 'I want to prove or disprove your theory.' It's at that point the proposal procedure begins."
No fine meal can take place without an imaginative, well-thought-out menu and the dedicated support of a trained staff. Likewise, for an investigator to arrange the physics equivalent of a banquet at the Lab-an experiment that can take years to arrange and weeks, or months, to conduct-certain key steps must be taken. Not the least of these is settling on what outstanding question in nuclear physics should, and can, be addressed.
A Complete Bill of Goods
In arranging an experiment at the Lab, the first step is a response to the Laboratory's call for proposals. Proposal calls occur twice a year, usually six weeks prior to a meeting of the Lab's Program Advisory Committee, or PAC, which judges proposals on scientific merit, technical feasibility and manpower requirements. Each proposal is given a few "principal readers" from the Committee. The proposal readers contact the experiment spokesperson prior to the formal PAC meeting to discuss any outstanding issues or answer questions about the proposal.
The PAC makes a recommendation for the disposition of every proposal reviewed: approval, conditional approval, deferral or rejection.
The proposal must answer major questions of: the nature of the experiment; its uniqueness; the ways the experiment will advance physics understanding; identification of required resources; the amount of accelerator time or "beam days" needed; and the composition of the collaborative group submitting the proposal and contact information on the individual(s) leading the collaboration.
"Experimenters have to go through and justify all the science and the reasons attention should be given to the proposal," says user liaison manager Karen Hokansson. "Once the proposal has been approved, the experimenters have to make preparations; they may need to build new equipment. Typically, it takes 1-6 years to get an experiment done. The proposal is just the first step."
In the case of approved experiments, the experiment must be run or scheduled within three years from its date of approval. Otherwise, a new proposal must be written, defending the original research goals.
If an experiment is conditionally approved, the proposal authors must update their submission to address the issues raised and undergo additional PAC review. Unresolved technical matters must also be laid to rest. Deferred proposals are those the PAC believes have scientific merit, but contain difficulties that must be overcome for the Committee to issue approval.
As of July, 197 proposals had been reviewed since the Laboratory began accepting proposals. Of those, 105 experiments have been approved by the PAC, with an additional 15 conditionally approved. 715 scientists and researchers from 138 institutions in 21 countries are involved with the collaborations behind these proposals.
Distilling the Recipe
The difference between a good meal and a great one lies in execution. The individuals or groups conducting experiments must ensure the right mix of theoreticians, experimentalists, technicians, equipment, supplies and funding. Typically, each experiment team appoints one or more spokespeople, whose job it is to champion and lead the physics effort including presenting the experiment to the PAC, leading collaborative efforts and interfacing with Jefferson Lab for execution.
And there must be the right tools. Among those with long experience in nuclear physics, Jefferson Lab's accelerator is among the world's best for cutting-edge physics research. "We are talking about extremely small things," theorist Buck explains. "You can't touch them with your finger. You can't see them with the naked eye. You can't taste them... What's so nice is that after decades of wanting to look at certain observables, you finally have a machine that enables you to see at a very fine resolution-the finest available. This is the chance to do new physics, to see if we can verify or improve theories with critical experiments. Alternately, we may need new theories to explain the experimental results.
"It's when you get down to the end, when you collect data and begin to analyze it-that's very exciting. That's when you find out what you know and what you don't. That's when you begin to learn," Buck said.
Pushing back the boundaries of knowledge is difficult, requiring years, sometimes decades, of unremitting work. At Jefferson Lab, that exertion is often distilled into several weeks of intense effort. It is during this time that an experimental team can discover Nature's own particular, hidden recipes.
Coming next month: Up and Cooking: Part Two of Physics Well Done.
by Kevin Crossett
After more than 13 years of service, Joe Bisognano, Accelerator Division, has been selected as the first Jefferson Lab detailee to work with the Department of Energy Nuclear Physics Division in Germantown, Md. He will venture into his new role sometime this fall.
When asked why he volunteered for the one-year assignment, Bisognano joked, "It was the only honorable way to get out of beam optics on-call duty at three in the morning."
Seriously, Bisognano says he's looking forward to developing a better understanding of the workings of the Energy Department while helping them manage various research programs at universities and DOE facilities. He expects to be involved in the oversight of the commissioning of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (at Brookhaven National Laboratory) and in a variety of DOE facility upgrades and new initiatives.
Bisognano left Berkeley Lab in 1985 and began working at CEBAF as an accelerator theorist. Upon arriving in Newport News, he participated in the fundamental design change of CEBAF to superconducting radiofrequency technology.
Since then, he has become the head of the Beam Physics and Instrumentation Department, which calculates and analyzes accelerator design parameters and provides electronics engineering for acceleration and diagnostics systems.
Asked what he is most proud of at the lab, Bisognano said that having worked at the lab since it was only an unfunded idea, he takes great pride in the overall success of both the CEBAF machine and the FEL.
A general staff development course called JLab Experimentation and Operation for Non-Scientists begins this fall and continues through next spring.
This special series of presentations will provide the Lab community with a deeper understanding of the Lab's scientific mission.
This program will feature some of Jefferson Lab's best and brightest explaining what the Lab does, with a minimum of Greek symbols and formulas, according to Bruce Ullman, Staff Development and Training manager. This semester's focus is experimentation, while next semester will cover Accelerator operations.
The Fall session includes presentations dealing with what we "produce" at JLab, how an experiment gets from proposal to publication, who Users are and what they do, the Lab's history, and each of the experimental halls and their detection devices.
The presentations start Sept. 30 and run weekly through Nov. 19. Each session starts at 11 a.m. in CEBAF Center conference room L102/104 or the auditorium. Visit the JLab Staff Development & Training page at https://training.jlab.org/aspen/main.asp; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; or dial ext. 7128 to reserve your seat today.
After reviewing Jefferson Lab job-related training and education needs, the Human Resources Department is unveiling a new staff development and training program.
"After years of sending staff to broad-based, commercial programs off-site, we have now developed an internal program like most labs," explained Staff Development and Training manager, Bruce Ullman. "The new program is designed to accommodate our workforce and is based on Lab-specific education and training needs."
The program includes classes geared around general staff development; skills needed by supervisors and managers; and Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) training. The goal of the program is to provide educational and learning opportunities that address staff development needs identified by line managers and staff. The essence of the program is to encourage and provide the basis for continuous improvement across the Lab. This includes developing and improving individual and organizational workforce skills and leadership abilities. It will also provide the Lab community with a deeper understanding of the Lab's scientific mission. The program offers something for everyone-managers, supervisors, technical staff, non-technical staff, users and students.
The training and education classes provided for supervisors and managers were developed in response to staff input and "competency" areas identified by the Jefferson Lab Management Development Steering Committee, chaired by Jean Delayen. "That committee looked at the skills Lab supervisors and managers need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. The committee prioritized those competencies and brought the list to Human Resources," Ullman continued. "Then, Staff Development teams representing the Lab's workforce developed the objectives for programs to address those competencies. We used these objectives as the Statements of Work and then the development teams reviewed the bids and made the selections." This way the Lab was able to identify what training was needed and tailor courses to meet those specific needs. The program was also designed to meet logistical needs-all of these classes will be held on site and the training will be provided in 2-4 hour blocks. No all-day courses. In addition, many courses will have CD ROM or video versions.
Detailed information about the new program's class schedule is available in the Jefferson Lab Fall 1998 curriculum catalogue recently distributed across the campus. In addition to EH&S training, the fall schedule offers more than two dozen classes geared toward general staff development or manager/supervisor skills.
This information, and automated, real-time registration is also available on the JLab web site at: https://training.jlab.org/aspen/main.asp. Create your own record in the Staff Development and Training Database today. Use your JLab user name and a password to create your file. This will put the fall semester class descriptions, registration and calendar at your fingertips. Your EH&S training (from the CIS database) is already in the new system. This database will replace CIS by year's end. Enroll in a class and the computerized registration system will even send you confirmation and reminder messages. Every staff member can eventually have an Individual Development Plan (IDP) which will identify all training and skills needed for his or her job.
Many of the classes open to general staff have no cost or enrollment fee. Any staff member may sign up for those classes. Specialized training for project managers or technical staff often has a cost, and supervisors will still have to approve that training for their employees by signing a SURA/JLab Training-Charge Back Form with an account code to pay for the class.
On September 3, Jefferson Lab was host to the Virginia Semiconductor Conference. This conference was jointly sponsored by the Hampton Roads Technology Council, the Applied Research Center and Jefferson Lab. The 100 attendees heard from Texas Instruments, and the Chief Ececutive of the Virginia Motorola computer-chip plant, White Oak Semiconductor, Wayne Nesbit. Nesbit's presentation highlighted the incredible resource Virginia has-it's people. Shown at left is Fred Dylla, FEL Program Manager, with some of the conference attendees in the FEL accelerator vault during the tour conducted after the conference.
The Business and Industry section of the Newport News Environmental Commission recently chose Jefferson Lab to receive its Clean Business Award.
The award was presented to JLab during the Virginia Peninsula Clean Business Forum on Aug. 19.
The Clean Business Award is presented to a business or industry in recognition of outstanding contributions in commercial beautification, litter control and recycling. Each of the four member community commissions honor their environmental advocates in this manner. The award was presented to Linda Even, Tom Jeffords and Kevin Jordan, who represented Jefferson Lab at the event.
Each of the JLab representatives has played a vital role in promoting and living the principles of environmental protection at Jefferson Lab.
Linda Even is the site environmental engineer and is involved in numerous environmental enhancement projects around the Lab. Before retiring last month, Jeffords was active in site beautification and recycling programs; and Jordan, FEL Group, has been an advocate of gardening activities on site.
Editor's note: This month we're happy to spotlight a site on the JLab web page. If you have or know of a website that could be informative or useful to Jefferson Lab staff, call the public affairs office at ext. 7689 or e-mail Linda Ware (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).
Need a dentist? Now you can find a dentist on-line through the Jefferson Lab Human Resources & Services web page.
Thinking about returning to school? Check out the tuition assistance information and forms on our pages, says Ruben Pedroza, HR&S special projects administrator. JLab staff can now find answers to these and many other questions on the new HR&S website.
Upcoming events, benefits, job listings, cafeteria menus, staff development workshops and the on-line Employee Handbook are just some of the topics covered on the HR&S web page.
Check it out today at http://www.jlab.org/hr. This is a spot you'll want to bookmark for future use!