Board Members
Merlic Photo 2016-4
Craig Merlic – Executive Director
UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
(310) 825-5466

Professor Merlic obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1982 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry as a Hertz Foundation Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1988. After a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University he joined the faculty in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1989.

Professor Merlic's research focuses on applications of transition metal organometallic chemistry to organic synthesis and extends from catalysis to synthesis of new chemotherapeutic agents. His most recent work focuses on copper, iridium and palladium catalyzed cross coupling reactions. He has published almost 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Petroleum Research Fund and various corporate sponsors.

He created award-winning Internet-based educational projects for course management and teaching spectroscopy in organic chemistry. These projects earned a MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources, a StudySphere Award of Excellence and a StudyWeb Excellence Award. In addition, for his in-class teaching he received a Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor Merlic has been very active promoting chemical safety at UCLA and in the University of California system. He serves as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Safety Committee and chair of the campus-wide Chemical and Physical Safety Committee and is a member of the UCLA Safety Oversight Committee. At the University of California system-wide level, he directs an information technology group creating safety software tools for use at all ten university campuses. He received an Outstanding Product Owner award from UC Davis Information Technology Services for his leadership directing a software development team.

Colin Dimock
Colin Dimock - Interim Chair
Assistant Vice Chancellor
UCLA Department of Environmental Health & Safety
(310) 206-8204

Colin Dimock has worked in UCLA’s Office of Environment, Health and Safety for more than 15 years and currently serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for EH&S.

He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Occidental College after which he went to work for Brown and Caldwell Analytical Laboratories as an environmental chemist. Over his nine years at BCA he performed a wide variety of inorganic and organic extractions, mass spectrometry analysis, biological culturing, as well as field sampling. He also served as the company’s Radiation safety Officer and developed unique soil extraction methods for analyzing radioactivity in soil samples for military clients. He joined UCLA in 1999 as part of the Radiation Safety Office and has worked in a variety of positions throughout the organization giving him a thorough understanding of safety issues from many perspectives in the research laboratories and in clinical settings.

As the AVC for EH&S, he continues to work with faculty to elevate UCLA’s safety culture and to share the university’s experience with other campuses.

Jeff Foisel
R&D EHS Delivery Leader/Lab Process Safety Technology Leader 

Jeff joined Dow Corning in 1989 as a Manufacturing Engineer and Capital Project Engineer in Carrolton, Kentucky.

Jeff has worked in Process Engineering on projects for handling byproduct chlorosilanes as well as being the Science and Technology safety/facility coordinator for many of Dow Corning’s facilities. Jeff has been a part of the process to implement the RC14001 management system within Dow Corning. This work resulted in clarity and consistency of our Dow Corning safety standards and provided him with the opportunity to be a global auditor for both safety and quality. He has written the global lab compliance assessment tools to aid managers in establishing and verifying safety practices for their people. Dow Corning employees have benefited from his courses in Lab Safety training. With the acquisition of Dow Corning into Dow, he continues to work in the area of lab safety, in particular the application of process safety concepts to experimental work. He has given talks at the Kentucky Safety and Health Network conference regarding Safety Communications and how to obtain VPP star status. Jeff has also presented papers for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Jeff was awarded the prestigious Technical Achievement Award in 1999 and the Manufacturing Achievement Award in 1991. As part of his outreach from Dow he serves as MiOSHA Advisory Committee for PPE; NFPA 45 Technical Committee member; Past Chair of the NFPA Industrial Fire Protection Section Board of Directors, and Member of the NFPA Standards Council. 

Robin Garrell
UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
(310) 825-2496

Robin L. Garrell was born in Detroit, Michigan. She received her B.S. Degree in Biochemistry with Honors and Distinction from Cornell University in 1978, where she worked with Stuart J. Edelstein to elucidate the structure of sickle cell hemoglobin fibers. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1984. Working with Samuel Krimm, she developed surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to probe adsorption at liquid-metal interfaces. She was an Assistant Professor on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh until 1991, when she joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a member of the UCLA Biomedical Engineering faculty and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). She has served on the Advisory Boards of C&EN, Applied Spectroscopy and other journals. She served on the Coblentz Society Board of Governors (1994-98) and was President of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 1999. She is currently a member of the NIH Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technologies Study Section. Garrell was Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee of the UCLA College (2003-07) and Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate in 2009-10. Her educational leadership roles include serving as Associate Director of the NASA Center for Cell-Mimetic Space Exploration, as member of the Executive Board of the NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program, and as PI/Director of the NSF Nanosystems Chemistry and Engineering Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Since 2006, she has been the PI/Director of the NSF Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) Materials Creation Training Program at UCLA. Garrell’s UCLA honors include the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry at UCLA (1995), the Hanson-Dow Award for Teaching Excellence in Chemistry (1997), the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award (2003), and the Gold Shield Faculty Prize (2009). She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (1985), Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award (1996), Gold Medal Award in the 2007 Masscal Pioneering Micro and Thermal Analysis Technology Competition, and the Benedetti-Pichler Award from the American Microchemical Society (2007). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Robert Emery

Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management

The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston

(713) 500-8100

Dr. Robert Emery is Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Professor of Occupational Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. He has over 35 years of experience in health & safety and holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in occupational health.

Bob is unique in that he possesses national board certification in all seven of the main areas of health;

   Health physics [Certified Health Physicist, CHP]

   Industrial hygiene [Certified Industrial Hygienist, CIH],

   Biological safety [Certified Biological Safety Professional, CBSP],

   Occupational safety [Certified Safety Professional, CSP],

   Hazardous materials management [Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, CHMM],

   Security [Certified Protection Professional, CPP],

   and risk management [Associate in Risk Management, ARM].


Bob is the author of over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reports on practical health and safety topics and makes frequent presentations to organizations at the local, national, and international level. He has provided radio and television interviews on health and safety topics to many local stations along with major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, NY Times, ABC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, BBC, and NPR.

Dawn C. Mason
Technology Manager
Eastman Chemical Company

Dr. Dawn Mason is currently a Technology Manager at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN. Dawn was previously employed with E. I. Dupont de Nemours & Co. Dawn earned her B.S. from the University of Missouri – Columbia and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University with Marcetta Darensbourg. Over the last 10 years, Dawn has held a number of managerial positions and successfully led a variety of technology groups contributing in areas from catalysis to polymer modification and from technical service to process improvement. She has a track record of driving talent and portfolio management to enable organizations to meet their specific goals.

Dawn is a member of the American Chemical Society Leadership Advisory Board.

Ken Smith
Kenneth Smith - Ex Officio Board Member
Executive Director, Environmental Health & Safety
UCOP Risk Services
(510) 882-3499

Ken Smith is the Interim Director of Environmental Health & Safety at the University of California office of the President (UCOP). He is also the Systemwide Laboratory Safety Manager for the University of California and assists all 10 UC campuses, 5 UC Medical, Agriculture and Natural Resources Centers, in addition to remote laboratory locations in their efforts to improve their laboratory safety programs. .

Ken oversaw the development of an online Laboratory Safety Training course for the UC campuses and was instrumental in developing and implementing an online Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool that assisted UC campuses in documenting all laboratory workers on each campus, identifying what chemicals they are using, identifying the hazards of these chemicals, and identifying the appropriate personal protective equipment necessary to protect UC researchers from laboratory hazards. Ken also launched a university‐wide initiative to send laboratory safety experts to all campuses in the UC system to assist with the development of Standard Operating Procedures for every experiment being conducted at UC in order to ensure safe research.

Ken has served the UC system for 24 years in the areas of Radiation Safety and Research Safety. Prior to joining UCOP, Ken served as a research safety manager at UC San Diego from 2006 to 2012 and as a radiation safety officer at UC Santa Cruz from 1994-2006.

Ken is an alumnus of UC Santa Cruz, where he received his degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Ken holds board certifications in Industrial Hygiene, Health Physics and Laser Safety. He is also a registered Radiation Protection Technologist.

Nathan Watson
President & CEO

Nathan Watson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of BioRAFT, a US-based provider of integrated laboratory safety and research management software solutions.

Prior to founding BioRAFT in 2003, he spent twelve years as a bench researcher at the University of California San Francisco Medical School and Dartmouth Medical School studying the molecular underpinnings of cellular differentiation and metabolism of brain tumors. For nine years he also served as a laboratory supervisor overseeing the daily lab operations and research administration for large teams of research scientists. His research focused primarily on the Id genes, dominant-negative inhibitors of helix-Loop-helix transcription factors, which are ubiquitously expressed throughout early development, rarely expressed in adult tissues, and highly expressed in many types of brain tumors. His findings that the Id genes play a key role in glucose metabolism in developing tissues (and in central nervous system tumors) led to collaborations that revealed their role in the relationship between the circadian clock and glucose metabolism.

In addition to running BioRAFT, Nathan is a member of MindShare and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, and serves on the board of directors of The Laboratory Safety Institute, an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and ensuring laboratory health and safety.

Caren Wenner
Acting Senior Manager

Planning Operations and Assurance Deputy and Department Manager

Nuclear Weapons Program Management Unit (NWPMU) Rapid Response Department at Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Caren Wenner is the Senior Manager for Technical Capabilities for Mission Assurance. This group is responsible for providing specialized technical expertise, such as Statistical Science and Human Factors Engineering, to support mission execution across the laboratories. Caren was previously the Manager for the Nuclear Weapons Program Management Unit Rapid Response Department, supporting the executive office and Nuclear Weapons program office.

Caren has more than 15 years of experience in providing human factors support within the DOE/NNSA complex, including various efforts relating to human performance, safety culture, human error prevention and mitigation, and usability assessment. Caren was previously the manager of Sandia’s Human Factors Department. In that role, she led a team of industrial engineers and cognitive psychologists performing diverse human factors work across Sandia, including support for the nuclear weapons enterprise, safety and security organizations, and other programs. Her department also provided significant support for safety culture efforts across the laboratories.

In recent years, Caren has participated on the Accident Investigation Board for the Site 9920 accident at Sandia National Laboratories, participated on a safety culture assessment at WIPP, supported the development of the DOE’s Consolidated Report for DNFSB Recommendation 2011-1 Actions 2-8 and 2-9, supported the joint Sandia/NNSA Safety Culture Review, participated on a joint Sandia/Pantex Casual Analysis related to the W76-1, and was a member of the Independent Review Board formed at Sandia in response to Sled Track accident. 

Caren has previously supported Sandia’s Safety Basis Department as the Readiness Review Project Lead, and was responsible for conducting readiness assessments at both nuclear and industrial facilities throughout the laboratories. She has a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Human Factors and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. 

DJS Photo
Dan Scanderbeg
Associate Professor and Associate Director
UCSD Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences

Dr. Dan Scanderbeg is an Associate Professor and Associate Director in the Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences at UC San Diego. He  oversees Brachytherapy and Regulatory Affairs at all UC San Diego treatment centers. He received his Bachelor’s degree in physics from UC San Diego and continued on to receive a Master’s degree in physics with a specialization in Materials Physics and a PhD in materials science and engineering. He also did a two year residency at UC San Diego in Medical Physics before joining the faculty.

Dan has focused on improving quality and safety in radiotherapy and was recently selected as one of the top video submissions by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for their competition on methods to improved quality and safety. He has also consulted on various projects at the IAEA on early detection of radiation treatment errors. He has performed and presented on failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) with regards to radiation therapy treatments.

In addition to clinical work, Dan has research interests ranging from novel, custom brachytherapy treatments and devices, to deformable image registration and dose accumulation, 3D printing for medical applications, and educational methods and platforms. He also enjoys instructing residents and students as well as spending time on educational outreach.

Dan has produced several instructional presentations and videos on brachytherapy treatment planning that are freely available and is working on curriculum with Radiating Hope to assist in developing programs in low and middle income countries. He serves on multiple committees at the University as well as with local, national and international organizations including the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) where he serves on the Public Education Committee and Brachytherapy Sub-Committee and the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) where he serves on the Membership and Physics Committees.