James Wright, PhD

Senior Chemical Safety Officer, Assistant Director ORS

James received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California Riverside in 2013 where he studied the chemistry and synthesis of weakly coordinating carborane anions. Through his research, he developed knowledge on the safe handling techniques of many hazardous chemicals and chemical classes. While completing his dissertation, James began his safety career at UCLA in the Office of Environment, Health, and Safety. He supervised the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s compliance with the Los Angeles County District Attorney settlement agreement. He has authored and reviewed over 100 chemical Standard Operating Procedure Templates. He also collaborated in reviewing and updating the 2014 and 2015 Chemical Hygiene Plan for UCLA.

In 2015, James was hired as the Chemical Safety Officer at University of Chicago. His interests in safety involve developing lab safety training, standard operating procedures, tools for researchers, and the incorporation of technology in communicating safety information and assessing risk. His interest in science is diverse as well with new interest in the use of biological systems to synthesize complex chemicals for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. Recent advances in synthetic biology are both fascinating scientifically and from a safety perspective.