UCSF Debuts 'Excellence in Laboratory Safety' Awards

Kampmann Lab's Jaime Leong Holds Trophy
The entire Kampmann Lab celebrates its win of the first ever 'Excellence in Lab Safety' Awards! P.I. Martin Kampmann shows framed certificate. Lab Manager Jaime Leong holds grand prize trophy.

On March 6, 2019, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Daniel H. Lowenstein, and Vice Chancellor of Research Lindsey A. Criswell, recognized six UCSF research groups for their excellent safety cultures at a luncheon ceremony at the Faculty Alumni House.  

Lab groups who received awards for their outstanding safety performance included the Arun Prakash lab, Gregory Ku lab, Oren Rosenberg lab, Nalin Gupta lab, Dorit Ron lab and Martin Kampmann lab. These labs were recognized for their commitment to safety practices and their constant attention to laboratory safety compliance.

The “Excellence in Laboratory Safety” Awards is a new UCSF Campus research recognition program. This annual lab safety award recognizes and rewards laboratories with outstanding safety records that also promote a culture of safety. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. To maintain a positive safety culture, Principal Investigators and lab managers are encouraged to:

  • Facilitate open communication about safety in their lab
  • Ensure everyone receives proper safety training
  • Act as a good safety role model
  • Incorporate safety practices into their work

 Lab members also have specific responsibilities:

  • Complete safety training ontime
  • Be mindful of potential hazards in the lab
  • Keep work areas organized and safety equipment (e.g., fume hood, biosafety cabinet) functional
  • Do not consume or store food or drink in the lab
  • Provide proper labels/tags for hazardous materials and waste
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)  
  • Help others recognize and correct potentially unsafe behaviors

 To find out how to improve safety compliance and safety culture in your lab, contact your Department Safety Advisor (DSA).

Each year, six winning labs receive awards, including $25 gift cards for each lab group member and framed certificates. In addition, the grand prize winning research group brings back to their lab a special trophy to display (see photo). All campus research laboratories that have been inspected by an EH&S DSA over four consecutive quarters are eligible. More details can be found on the Lab Safety Awards page.

This year, Dr. Martin Kampmann’s lab was awarded the inaugural Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards grand prize. The Kampmann lab, located at UCSF’s Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, develops and uses innovative technologies to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms of human diseases, and to discover new therapeutic strategies.

The Kampmann lab was recognized for their proactive and collaborative development of an excellent lab safety culture. Dr. Kampmann nurtures basic safety attitudes by having open, consistent, and constructive communication with his lab members. To demonstrate safety as a priority, Dr. Kampmann includes a safety component as part of their new employee onboarding orientation. All lab members are encouraged to identify opportunities for improvement and promote a culture of safety.  Importantly, Dr. Kampmann uses the “see something, say something” approach in a positive, friendly teaching manner.  

Lab Manager Jaime Leong plays an important role in collaborating with EH&S and their DSA, Dennis Tsang, for safety compliance and communications. Jaime approaches safety with a positive attitude and promptly corrects findings when identified. Outside of the laboratory, Jaime has regular conversations with their DSA for any new safety updates. Jaime also meets with Dr. Kampmann ahead of the biweekly lab meeting to discuss safety topics.

The Kampmann lab is proud of their lab culture of intellectual curiosity, safety, collaboration, support, diversity, and fun! Read more about the Kampmann Lab.