WE THE PEOPLE of the Bennett Lab, in order to form a more perfect laboratory, establish and equitably assign lab improvement goals that pursue an increasingly efficient and orderly workspace, promote the general welfare of members, and advance the scientific capabilities, do ordain and establish this Lab Improvement manifesto of the Bennett Lab.

General Lab Duties

  • Log needed supplies for order through Quartzy.
  • Log received orders on Quartzy, and accurately mark the location and quantity.
  • Date all chemicals upon receipt.

Yearly Lab Duties (Jan)

  • Update lab duty allocation and descriptions.
  • Update protocols: lab orientation, lab exit protocols, lab reading list. Consider new protocol wikis to be written or existing ones updated.
  • Update website lab members and paper links.
  • Update freezer inventory.
  • -20° freezer maintenance: spot clean of ice where problematic. Defrost overiced freezers. Check gaskets.
  • -80° freezer maintenance: scoop ice from floor and door, vacuum/rinse out filter, gently vacuum condenser coils. Check gaskets.
  • Quartzy
    • Add locations to unmarked items; update existing item locations.
    • Check that item classifications are correct.
    • Delete atypical brand consumables not to be reordered (reduces clutter and confusion)
    • Convert personally-owned items to Matt Bennett-owned when properly location-marked and classified.
  • Benchling
    • Make Biodesign the owner of your Benchling folders; click Save.
    • Webmaster: ensure properly named and organize folders. Delete/archive unused project folders. Ensure org ownership of projects.
    • Update Benchling enzyme list, in accordance with Quartzy and reality.

Specific Lab Duties




Lab Improvement ManagersShyamIdentify and see to the completion of lab improvement tasks, of short-, long- and yearly-term scales. Schedule lab improvement meetings to address these. Assign unassigned/irregular/one-time tasks among lab members and hold assignees accountable. 
WebmasterManage lab memberships on all Bennett Lab websites (Slack, Benchling, wiki, Google Group & Drive, Quartzy, Booked) and update the lab directory/roster with new members, permanent email addresses, and reagent initials.
Maintain the website content: clear junk, upkeep organization and file structure, enforce standards and conventions.
Clear MS Teams clutter and moving worthwhile content to the wiki or Drive.
Maintain Benchling and Drive file structures and conventions. Ensure accurate Quartzy and freezer databases.
Schedule lab meetings, socials, photo sessions, and coordinate with presenters. Update lab calendar with meetings, important seminars, etc.
Website, Twitter(?)


Update website: lab members, news, papers.

Safety Officer


Ensure lab and lab members comply with safety policy (training and practice). Make safety rules. Liaise with EHS.



Order supplies and receive and store deliveries.

Microscope Room Maintenance


Ensure the scope rooms and their equipment are in working order and clean; communicate with Brian Temple, Kalli Landua, and Eric Rothsgebo.

Cytometer Maintenance


Maintain cytometer. Run full clean once per week when in use.

Macroscope MaintenanceCharisMaintain macroscope and software link. Clean when necessary.
Shaker/Incubator MaintenanceAll LabClean the shakers when necessary. Manage repairs and upkeep.
Centrifuge MaintenanceAll LabClean and service centrifuges when necessary. Clean centrifuge bench as necessary. Clean collection tubes? Bleach miniprep waste in fume hood.

Gas Inventory/Ordering


Check gas cylinders. Order new ones when necessary.

Vacuum Pump MaintenanceCharis



Communicate tasks to Lucy

Biohazard Waste


Take sealed biohazardous waste boxes to the biohaz waste room in GRB every 1–2 weeks, when ≥3 boxes accrue. Bring back new boxes when supply is low.

Pipette Tip Refills


Refill tip boxes when low.



Autoclave: tip boxes when they are refilled, 8/12/24/96-well plates/blocks (foil-topped), centrifuge bottles, tube bins, and occasionally other items on the empty tip box bench.
Plates/blocks must be autoclaved 45 min in a monolayer filled to the brim with tap water, optionally reautoclaved if emptied and dried while hot.

Gel Area Cleaning

All Lab

Clean gel area and electrophoresis chambers as necessary, scrubbing chambers with electrodes removed. Make new 50× and 1× TAE when low.

Weighing Bench Cleaning

All Lab

Clean weigh area, microwave, and stir plate area. Check on supplies (weigh paper/boats, stir bars, spatulas)

Computer Maintenance


Update and backup lab computers, NAS (Meidi); liaise with Rice IT.

Tubes/Glassware Cleaning

Lucy Lopez

Wash all dirty glassware, including culture tubes.

Bead Cleaning


Collect waste beads from benches; clean with 10% bleach. Glass Beads Protocol. Aliquot into culture tubes and autoclave.

Agar PlatesShyam, Xiao, Cole, CharisMake single-antibiotic plates. Shyam: plain LB and LB amp100; Xiao: chl25; Cole: kan50; Charis spt50 (mg/L)
Competent Cell PrepShyamMake competent cell aliquots of cloning strains for the lab, NEB Turbo, DH10B.ALT, and DB3.1
Common Stock AliquotsXiao10 mM dNTPs, 10× T4 ligase buffer (precipitates resuspended first), 1000× antibiotics: chl25, amp100, kan50, spt50 (g/L).

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