Safety Advisory Forum on Experimental LABoratories (S.A.F.E.LAB.)

Safety Advisory Forum on Experimental LABoratories (S.A.F.E.LAB.)

In response to a 2011 external audit of University of Chicago Laboratory Safety programs, the University Provost appointed a Laboratory Safety Committee (Provost’s Laboratory Safety Committee-PLSC). The Deputy Provost for Research, who also held an appointment as a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, chaired this committee. Included among its membership were two additional faculty members and several key University administrators, including the Director of Environmental Health and Safety. A working group called the Provost’s Laboratory Safety Committee Working Group (PLSCWG) was established to support the Laboratory Safety Committee. The PLSCWG membership included the University Biosafety Officer, several staff members of Environmental Health and Safety, and several senior laboratory workers.

In 2014, President Zimmer established the Office of Research Safety and the PLSCWG membership was expanded to include, in addition to those already members of the PLSCWG, graduate students, research facilities managers, representatives of University Safety Committees, including the Institutional Biosafety Committee and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and members of the Radiation Safety Program. The PLSCWG was renamed the Safety Advisory Forum for Experimental Laboratories (SAFELab) at this time.

SAFELab is an advisory committee chaired by and supporting the Office of Research Safety, UC’s primary resource for campus-wide research laboratory safety, student and investigator training and information. SAFELab is a management tool to recommend improvements to the University of Chicago’s Research Safety Program and to identify corrective measures needed to eliminate or control recognized safety and health hazards in the laboratories. The committee consists of representatives from all divisions, which have a relation to research or teaching laboratories. This includes the Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Environmental Health & Safety departments (University and UCMC), as well as building managers, lab safety contacts and graduate students. Safety is fundamental part of the University’s mission. Research and safety should not be seen as separate endeavors but rather integrated aspects of a responsible research culture. SAFELab’s goal is to discuss ways to minimize the risk to all individuals working with or around hazardous substances as well as to the surrounding environment.


  • Joe Kanabrocki, Associate Vice President for Research Safety
  • Chantene Zichterman, Research Safety Administrator
  • James Wright, Chemical Safety Director/Senior Chemical Safety Officer
  • David Tooley, Building Manager - Hull Court, CLSC, Kovler, Biological Sciences Division
  • Jay Schroeder, Laboratory Safety Specialist, Biological Sciences Division
  • Jeff Melton, Laboratory Safety Specialist, Biological Sciences Division
  • Kimberly Mormann, Laboratory Safety Specialist, Physical Sciences Division
  • Moshe Dolejsi, Graduate Student Researcher, Institute for Molecular Engineering
  • Mary Beth Neilly, Laboratory Operations Manager, Biological Sciences Division
  • Mike McCarthy, Building Manager, Social Sciences Division, Institute for Mind and Biology
  • Jennifer Palombizio, Safety Director, University of Chicago Medical Center, Facilities Planning, Design & Construction, Safety and Environmental Compliance
  • Krista Cooley, Executive Director, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Heather Sims, Senior Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Adam Santos, Senior Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Nick Noriea, Biological Safety Officer
  • Anthony Wang, Biological Safety Officer
  • Eric Jensen, Environmental Health & Safety Manager, Chemical Hygiene Officer, Marine Biological Laboratory
  • Simon Muchohi, Lab Research Safety Manager, Biological and Radiation Safety Officer, Marine Biological Laboratory
  • John Bivona, Biological Safety Officer
  • Jim Marsicek, Director of Radiation Safety/Radiation Safety Officer
  • Krista Dillingham, Health Physicist/Laser Safety Officer
  • Pamela Postlethwait, Regulatory Compliance Manager, IBC/IACUC
  • Habib Khan, Chemical Safety Officer
  • George Langan, Associate Dean of Research Resources, Biological Sciences Division
  • Joshua Berg, Executive Administrator, Biological Sciences Division, Organismal Biology and Anatomy