LAURELS: CA&ES Lab Takes Top Safety Prize

Group photo of lab team
The Slupsky Lab, from left: Back row — Kirsten Roslund, Darya Mishchuk, Xuan He, Carolyn Slupsky, Shannon McClorry, Gillian Cabral, Jesus Mendez, Sydney Thomas, Hanna Lee. Front row —Eddie Romo, Ellie Ahles, Samantha Diaz, Mariana Parenti, Hareem Siddiqi, Aidong Wang, Caitlin French and Jules Larke. Not pictured: Akanksha Deepak, Rachel Lombardi and Zhichao Zhang.


  • Lab Safety Awards, six college and school winners
  • UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and Christian Baldini
  • Frank Zalom, Department of Entomology and Nematology
  • Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, diversity award

Safety Services announced its 2021 Lab Safety Award winners, one for each college and school with lab operations, and, from among the six winners, named the Slupsky Lab in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences emerged as the grand prize winner.

Carolyn Slupsky headshot
Carolyn Slupsky

The Slupsky lab works with biohazardous samples and hazardous chemicals in studying how nutritional and environmental exposures influence children’s growth and development.

“Communication of lab safety is key,” said Caroline Slupsky, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and the Department of Food Science and Technology. “There is a lot of lab safety-related information that my lab members need to acquire and apply to our research work.”

Read more about safety in the Slupsky Lab.

The grand prize totaled $6,000, of which $5,000 came from Safety Services and $1,000 from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Slupsky said she and her team had not decided how to spend the money, “but perhaps a new lab desktop computer to allow faster access to safety-related information.”

Here are the winning labs and their leaders from the other colleges and schools (each link will take you to a Safety Services article about the lab):

  • Gomes Lab — Aldrin Gomes, professor, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences. Top safety risk in the lab:
  • Advanced Composites Research, Engineering and Science, or ACRES Valeria La Saponara, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Pantic Lab Emilija Pantic, associate professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Letters and Science
  • M&M Lab Manuel F. Navedo, professor, and Madeline Nieves-Cintron, assistant professor, both in the Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Miller Lab Lisa Miller, professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine

Christian Baldini environmental portrait and album cover
Christian Baldini conducts all the music, including one of his own compositions, on the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra’s first professional album.


The music website Sequenza21 has given a rave review to the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and its music director and conductor, Christian Baldini, for the orchestra’s first professional album.

“A cohesive and valuable program with fine performances of every work, this CD is one of our ‘Best of 21,’” Sequenza21 co-editor Christian Carey wrote in his review for the “volunteer musical community.”

“Moreover, it puts UC Davis Symphony and Baldini on the map as performers of contemporary concert music to watch closely.”

Varèse, Ligeti, Lutosławski, Baldini (Centaur Records) presents four works by the composers listed in the title. The first three — Varèse’s “Amériques,” Ligeti’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, and Lutosławski’s “Chain 2: Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra” — are pivotal European modernist works, while Baldinis piece, “Elapsing Twilight Shades,” negotiates similar territory, according to Carey. The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra performs the first three while the Munich Radio Orchestra performs Baldini’s composition.

Baldini conducts all four in performances over the last 10 years, leading the Munich Radio Orchestra in Salzburg, Austria, in 2012, and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Frank Zalom headshot
Frank Zalom

He has been a member of the Entomological Society of America, or ESA, for 47 years. He is an ESA fellow and former president. Now Distinguished Professor Frank Zalom has been named an Honorary Member — the highest accolade the society gives, awarded in recognition of his “long-term dedication and extraordinary contributions” to the 7,000-member global organization.

Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist, is an emeritus faculty member of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, but still active on recall, continuing his work in integrated pest management through more than $1 million in grants — from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture — that he has received since his retirement.

He is among five new Honorary Members of the ESA named this year. A ceremony for them is planned as part of the society’s annual meeting, Entomology 2021, scheduled from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Denver.

Read more about Zalom in Kathy Keatley Garvey's article in Entomology and Nematology News.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing has received a 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, one of 50 bestowed across the United States by Insight Into Diversity magazine.

“We value cultural inclusiveness, new perspectives and nontraditional journeys and our student diversity advances that,” said Stephen Cavanagh, dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. “We must embrace the diversity of our voices, identities and experiences if we are going to achieve our mission to transform health care through health education and research.”

Read more in this UC Davis Health news release.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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