Professor Merlic appointed to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Safety Commission

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Prof. Craig Merlic

Professor Craig Merlic has been appointed by the Under Secretary of Commerce / Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology as one of seven members of the newly formed NIST Safety Commission.

Merlic’s selection was in recognition of his outstanding work with the UC Center for Laboratory Safety promoting research safety at UCLA, the University of California system, and universities across the nation.

The NIST Safety Commission is composed of seven nationally recognized members who will provide advice to the NIST Director on matters relating to safety policies; safety management system, practices, and performance; and safety culture at NIST. These actions are in response to recent incidents at NIST and the impacts of the pandemic on researcher safety.

Excerpted from the NIST announcement:

NIST Safety Commission Members

Craig A. Merlic, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Executive Director, The UC Center for Laboratory Safety
University of California, Los Angeles

Craig Merlic joined the faculty in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1989, after a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University.

Merlic’s research focuses on applications of transition metal organometallic chemistry to organic synthesis and extends from catalysis to synthesis of new chemotherapeutic agents. His most recent work focuses on copper, iridium and palladium catalyzed cross coupling reactions. He has published more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals and received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and various corporate sponsors.

He created award-winning internet-based educational projects for course management and teaching spectroscopy in organic chemistry. These projects earned a MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources, a StudySphere Award of Excellence and a StudyWeb Excellence Award. In addition, for his in-class teaching he received a Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Merlic has been very active promoting chemical safety at UCLA, the University of California system and universities nationwide. He serves as chair of the UCLA Chemical and Physical Safety Committee and is a member of the UCLA Safety Oversight Committee. At the University of California systemwide level, he is the executive director of the UC Center for Laboratory Safety, which conducts safety projects for use at all 10 UC campuses. The center also manages the Safety Training Consortium, which provides online safety training for more than 50 universities across the nation. 

Merlic obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, in 1982 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry as a Hertz Foundation Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1988.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,