Lab Values and Safety

The Malhi Molecular Anthropology Laboratory uses genomic tools to address questions of interest in the life sciences, social sciences and humanities.

As a group, we work on a diverse array of projects but through a common lens of addressing community needs along with scientific interests. We work to develop awareness of current and historical injustices in science as well as harm enacted by scientists. We promote using genomic science as a tool that benefits the communities we partner with and we integrate processes in our research to mitigate inequities. 

Within our group we see merit in maintaining healthy lifestyles (e.g., work/life balance), working together, and making science accessible. Our lab culture is built around these four values: 

  • Being Respectful
  • Being Honest
  • Being Supportive
  • Working toward Anti-Racist Science

Care of samples

To obtain genomic information in our research we take biological tissue samples from present-day and ancient individuals for destructive analysis. To respect the people who provided these samples we pledge to:

  1. Take care in our research process to minimize destructive analysis by using stringent protocols to prevent exogenous contamination.
  2. House samples in a respectful manner.
  3. Use humanizing language in our research process to remind us that we are working with tissue samples from people in communities in which we have established a partnership.
  4. After a project is complete, ensure that all samples and derivatives from the research process (i.e., DNA extracts, DNA libraries, etc.) are returned to the community or follow a community-approved protocols.


COVID-19 safety protocols 

Working in the labs during the COVID-19 pandemic is voluntary and if you do not need to complete lab work, we strongly recommend you work from home. If lab work is needed, we will abide at all times by the requirements set forth in the DRS document for essential COVID-19 researchers or any updates and additional documents provided by OVCR. In particular:

  • Check your temperature before coming in, stay home if you feel ill, contact CUPHD or McKinley if necessary
  • No meetings or discussions in labs or offices
  • Wear PPE as required; wash hands regularly (especially for restroom usage)
  • No water fountain usage, bring hydration; snack break OK (not in lab)
  • You must take the DRS training online and get PI approval before entering the lab
  • Only one person will be allowed in each lab (RM 73, 75, ancient DNA lab) at a time
  • Use the calendar to schedule when you will be in the lab
  • Use the Slack channel or text PI to let us know when you have entered and left the lab
  • Text PI or use Slack channel to let us know if you are experience any issues or problems while in the lab


The requirements of the DRS will be fulfilled. This includes cleaning counters to be used at the start and end of every work shift, washing hands, sanitizing door knobs and other common surfaces, and swiftly reporting low levels of PPE or disinfectant. Work will cease if necessary protection is not available. All researchers will notify the PI via Slack or a brief text message or email when they arrive for the first time each day, and before they leave for the last time each day.

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