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Robert F. Fischetti

Group Leader, XSD and Life Sciences Advisor to the APS Director

Dr. Fischetti’s expertise is in developing X-ray instrumentation for determining the structure of biological molecules to understand how proteins work and aid drug discovery and vaccine development to combat diseases.


Robert (Bob) Fischetti is the Life Science Advisor to the Advanced Photon Source Director and Group Leader of The National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Cancer Institute Structural Biology Facility (GM/CA). The facility includes the first hard X-ray, dual-canted undulator beamlines.

Bob is an expert in applications of synchrotron radiation including X-ray optics, beamline design, construction, and operations. His experience with synchrotron radiation started in 1981 as a user at SSRL. Since then he has built several instruments and full beamlines and applied a variety of techniques including X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS), and Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) to study challenging problems in the biological and environmental sciences.

Fischetti became involved in the APS community in 1996 when he joined The Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) at the Illinois Institute of Technology to participate in building, commissioning, and operating the NIH funded beamline for XAS and SAXS at the APS. In 2001, Fischetti became the GM/CA Project Manager and led the design, build and operation of a suite of three beamlines funded by NIH. The team developed world-leading micro-crystallography capabilities that researchers have used to determine over 2,800 protein structures, and publish over 1,700 peer-reviewed papers many of which are high impact. As the Life Sciences Advisor, Fischetti supports the user community by developing strategic plans and coordinating activities across the U.S. light sources.

In his spare time, Fischetti enjoys cycling, astronomy, and photography.


  • Ph.D.  Physical Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • B.S.  Physics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia


  • R&D100 Award Hard X-ray Uni-body Quad Collimator for Structural Biology”
  • Impact Argonne Award
  • Argonne Pacesetter Award
  • Argonne Education Volunteer Award for 10+ hours


  • U.S. Patent 7,712,960 B2, May 11, 2010, Ruslan Sanishvili and Robert F. Fischetti Device for Optimization of Experimental Parameters on Synchrotron Beamlines”
  • U.S. Patent 2010/0322382 A1, December 23, 2010, Oleg Makarov, Shenglan Xu and Robert F. Fischetti Pin Based Sensor for Macromolecular Crystallography”


  • Safety Academy for Excellence (SAFE) workshop, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Committees and Membership

  • Member, Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC), DOE
  • Member, Program Evaluation Board for the European Molecular Biology Laboratory PETRA III Beamlines, Hamburg, Germany
  • Chair, MacCHESS NIH External Advisory Committee, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Member, CHESS, External Advisory Committee, Ithaca, NY
  • Member, BioCARS NIH External Advisory Committee, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL
  • Member, The Center for Biomolecular Structure at NSLS-II, External Advisory Committee, Brookhaven, NY
  • Member, (Founding Chair) APS Life Sciences Council, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL
  • Member, American Crystallographic Association