Presenting the Kim Lab – A Platinum Certified Green Lab!

By Ramsey Baden | July 8, 2018

Pictured from left to right: Bijan Mahboubi, Caitlin Shepard, Tatsuya Maehigashi, and Jess Holler. Not pictured: Adrian Oo, Si’Ana Coggins, Sylvie Rosenwald, Daniel Won, and Baek Kim.

In the Center for Drug Discovery at Emory, Dr. Baek Kim and his team are working hard to uncover and fight weaknesses in HIV and flu viruses. In the world of molecular research, plenty of plastic is used once and discarded without any possibility for recycling. Thankfully, Green Labs like Dr. Kim’s are using creative and surprisingly simple methods to practice sustainability.

One of these methods is the use of reusable glass pipettes. According to Caitlin Shepard, Dr. Kim’s lab manager, undergraduate students in the lab use a Nalgene pipette cleanser about once per month to “wash, and sterilize by autoclaving, the pipettes.” She has also created signs and placed them throughout the lab, reminding everyone to conserve electricity by turning off and unplugging equipment that is not in use. In addition, she makes sure that she keeps waste reduction in mind when placing orders for lab supplies.

“Using glass pipettes is kinda like using cloth diapers. They’re reusable, and you have to wash them, but you can recycle them. We have glass pipettes that we wash and autoclave.” – Caitlin Shepard

In Shepard’s words, Kim’s lab “wants to create a future for people to enjoy the Earth, because it’s beautiful.” She and her coworkers have seen the negative effects of waste on the planet and are doing their part to minimize their own waste. The Kim Lab has a Platinum Green Lab certification, the highest level available. To read more about the Green Labs program, click here.

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