Briefs

Hazmat Team Wins Best in County: UCSD’s Hazardous Materials Response Team won first place in the county at the annual County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health’s Hazardous Materials Division “Hazcat” competition last week. The team competed against groups such as the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to identify unknown, hazardous chemicals.

“Our team did an outstanding job in the Hazcat,” UCSD Director of Environment, Healthy and Safety Department Garry MacPherson said. “All the teams were extremely competitive and represent some of the county’s brightest minds when it comes to responding to hazardous materials incidents.”

Governor Signs Domestic Violence Bill: Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 400 last Friday, protecting domestic violence victims from discrimination or grounds for termination in the workplace. The bill, spearheaded by San Diego private school teacher Carrie Charlesworth, was introduced after Charlesworth was fired due to a domestic violence situation.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to know that because SB 400 has been signed into law, thousands of domestic violence victims won’t have to experience what I did,” Charlesworth said to NBC San Diego. “By signing SB 400, the governor is helping victims better their lives without the fear of losing their financial security.”

National Engineering Forum: UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla teamed up with the National Engineering Forum  last week to host an event discussing engineering leadership in the San Diego region and UCSD’s continuing engineering advancements.

“[UCSD] was proud to host this event and have a leadership role in this national discussion on how we can advance America’s interests through engineering,” Khosla said. “Universities play an important role in addressing the National Engineering Forum’s 3C’s — the capacity, capability and competitiveness of our engineering workforce.”

Professor Receives Million-Dollar Grant: Distinguished UCSD professor of ophthalmology Robert N. Weinreb received a $6.4 million grant from the National Eye Institute last week, as part of a five-year study on the genetics of glaucoma in African-Americans.

Using the grant, Weinreb and the rest of his team hope to understand and identify glaucoma genes to create new drug therapies for the debilitating optic disease.

“A better understanding of the relationship among the stage of disease, the rate of change, ancestry and other important risk factors being tracked in the ongoing African Descent and Glaucoma Study will allow us to evaluate the relationship between genetics, visual loss and structural damage in this high-risk group,” co-investigator and fellow professor Linda Zangwill said.

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