Joint Research Safety Initiative

Chemistry happens. Don’t let it happen to you.


sustainable safety culture
educational tools
organized and centralized resources

By Researchers, For Researchers

The Joint Research Safety Initiative (JRSI) is a new safety community run by students, post-docs, and research assistants on campus that aims to provide centralized and accessible safety and educational resources for students and faculty. Our safety and efficiency is up to us, and only us.

What We Do

gather departmental data

We develop and implement surveys to measure the effectiveness of our initiative and the culture of our departments.



facilitate open dialogues

We put on events, safety demos, vendor fairs, and safety programs to encourage open dialogue and participation.


train lab safety contacts

We are working to improve the quality and availability of training resources for current and future LSCs.



Serving Chemistry & IME


ryan menssen


Ryan received his B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from St. Olaf College and is now a 5th year graduate student in the Tokmakoff Lab. His research utilizes ultrafast two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy and temperature jump spectroscopy to study the mechanism, kinetics, and dynamics of DNA hybridization and dehybridization. 

jeff ting

Vice President

Jeff received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Jeff is now a postoctoral researcher working in the Tirrell Lab where he works on the synthesis and assembly of polyelectrolyte complexes.

NIST-CHiMaD Postdoctoral Fellow

sarah zinn

Outreach & Publicity

Sarah received her B.S. in ACS Certified Chemistry and also in Applied Physics with a minor in Applied Mathematics from Ohio Northern University. She is now a 4th year graduate student in the Engel lab where she studies highly efficient organic optoelectronic materials.

NDSEG Fellow, 2018

james lettow

Financial Officer

Hailing from Edina, MN, James received his B.S in Materials Sciences and Engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2016. James is now a 3rd year graduate student in Molecular Engineering, being co-advised by both Prof. Stuart Rowan and Prof. Paul Nealey where he is researching polymer nanocomposites featuring cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs).

ben slaw

Educational Officer

Ben Slaw is currently a third-year graduate student in Prof. Ka Yee Lee’s lab in the Department of Chemistry. Originally hailing from Tarrytown, NY, Ben obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Vassar College in 2015 and an M.S. in Chemistry from UChicago shortly thereafter. His research interests broadly include studying the physical and mechanical properties of lipids, membranes, and membrane-associated proteins. 

jon keim

Educational Officer

Jon received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor university followed by a master’s degree at the University of Nottingham and is currently a 4th year graduate researcher working in the Snyder group. His research interests include method development and the total synthesis of highly unfunctionalized terpene natural products.

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