Burns Lab Safety Award Winner

For the second time, Dr. Marie Burns is being honored for cultivating an outstanding safety culture with her lab.

The Burns' Lab in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, studies photoreceptors of the retina and how they transduce photons of light into electrical signals.

Safety meeting at Burns Lab
Dr. Burns' Lab during a safety meeting. Lab manager Dr. Sarah Karlen is second from left.

Any researcher in Dr. Burns lab knows Friday is a time to party– specifically a cleaning party that’s been coined the “Friday Frenzy”. A timer is set and for the next 10 minutes, everyone takes the time to go around the room and focus on cleaning and safety. The lab manager, Dr. Sarah Karlen assigns different chores— checking eyewash stations, glass bins and hazardous materials. And before they know it, the lab is clean and ready for their weekly group meeting. 

The Burns lab has also kept their stellar reputation for keeping well-organized, up-to-date documentation and sending everyone to lab safety training annually to review the latest rules. Dr. Burns emphasized her lab manager, Dr. Karlen’s, role in promoting lab safety— citing her as “the resident expert in every technique they do”. Her combined knowledge, excellent communication skills and practical lab experience is unparalleled; she’s known for frequenting neighboring labs, using her unusual skill set to help where only she can.

Burns Lab taking flight
Burns Lab members before a flight to Vancouver.