State Lab recognized for sustainability efforts

Based on an article by Lujain Al-Saleh  |  Originally published on UCSF News

Lab members with Sam Hawgood

(L to R) State and Sanders Lab members Brooke Sheppard, Shan Dong, Joon An, Juan Arbelaez, Clif Duhn, and Sonia Lopez with UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS (second from right) at the 2017 Sustainability Awards ceremony  [Photo: Marco Sanchez]

The members of the Department of Psychiatry's State Lab were among the UC San Francisco faculty, students, and staff members recognized for their efforts in supporting and advocating for sustainability measures at the seventh annual Sustainability Awards on June 20.

The lab in Rock Hall was recognized for its efforts in becoming the first laboratory ever to achieve a platinum-level certification in the UCSF LivingGreen program. Last year, the lab received a gold-level certification and was inspired to improve their conservation efforts.

In the State Lab, pipette tip boxes, glassware, cardboard, and Styrofoam are recycled and only compostable or washable items are used in the kitchen. The facility's 20 computer screens are set to sleep after two minutes, which has the added benefit of increasing HIPAA security, and their single shared printer defaults to double-sided printing using 100-percent recycled paper.

To reduce energy consumption, the lab’s -80ºC freezers have been set to -70ºC, reducing energy demand by one-third. Fume hoods, lights, and other equipment are powered down completely or unplugged rather than left in standby mode where possible. To educate new employees and visiting researchers, the lab shares its comprehensive checklist of resource conservation measures.

“Words used to describe these extraordinary individuals included relentless, engaged, devotion, inspiring, diligent, successful, continually, innovative, and leader, to name just a few,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, as he introduced the 2017 Sustainability Award winners.

The State Lab, led by principal investigator and department chair Matthew W. State, MD, PhD, studies the genetics and genomics of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders, with a particular interest in autism spectrum disorder, Tourette disorder, and childhood-onset schizophrenia. Historically, its research has focused on the contribution of rare genetic variations to these conditions, as the identification of rare mutations with relatively large effects can provide insights into underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. As the field has found success in gene discovery, the lab has increasingly leveraged complex genetic architectures to identify tractable treatment targets and strategies.

A full list of this year's Sustainability Award winners can be found at UCSF News.

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.