ION-DRI Programme


ChemInventory Pilot: Managing specialist chemicals

We are introducing a new system to manage & regulate specialist chemicals across the Institute. Justin Hoke, Dr Rob Lesniak, Dr Sergey Novoselov & Kully Sunner, tell us about taking part in the pilot

We’re working on a series of new initiatives that will change the way we work. We’re currently trialling new technologies and systems that can improve on our current methods, embracing collaboration and sharing facilities to create an efficient and sustainable ways of working that we could roll out across both Grays Inn Road and Queen Square.

ChemInventory is a chemical management software tool to ensure specialist chemicals are effectively managed and access tightly regulated across all Queen Square institute of Neurology sites. 

This will standardise the management of specialist chemicals across Queen Square and 256 Grays Inn Road and make auditing easier.

Dr Sergey Novoselov and Justin Hoke taking part in the ChemInventory pilot

Key Benefits

  • Space-saving: consolidating specialist chemical holdings stored on-site
  • Standardised procedures, training and practices compliant with relevant legislation 
  • Time and costs savings via a single contract and ease of generating chemical returns data
  • Removal of legacy chemicals prior to GIR migration 

Piloting ChemInventory…

The pilot began in October 2022 with Gipi Schiavo's group, before being rolled out to the Epilepsy department and the Drug Discovery Institute.

Research groups tested the software for managing general chemicals, setting up inventories of all their holdings, as well as identifying legacy chemicals for disposal in preparation for the move to Grays Inn Road. 

Kully Sunner, Lab Operations Manager for the ION-DRI project says: 
“This software allows us to consolidate our specialist chemicals and reduce onsite holdings, as well as improving standardising training and practices associated with specialist chemicals.  

“It should also make auditing and reporting on our chemical holdings much easier as well as staying on top of compliance with relevant legislation. We also have the option to set access permissions to partly or fully restrict inventory sharing, enabling research groups to fully control how other labs see their inventory. This is a very useful function for research groups holding high risk specialist chemicals.”

Specialist Chemicals

How does it work…

Lab Managers and senior research fellows will be responsible for their inventories.

When chemicals are delivered, the Lab Manager affixes a unique bar code and updates the inventory with the details of the chemicals, bar code and storage location. The CAS number, which automatically links to the relevant data safety sheet, is added to the container record in the software. These processes enable people to search for chemicals by their chemical name, CAS number or bar code. The barcode enables chemicals to link to the system information, making auditing and reporting more efficient. 

Justin Hoke, Lab Manager in the Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy department, who has taken part in the pilot says:

“I think ChemInventory  will be very useful for teams to aid in keeping track of controlled substances. Knowing exactly what you are meant to have on hand, and where it should be, saves time when doing annual audits of such substances. The system is pretty straightforward and navigating is fairly easy. The only time-consuming bit is uploading your stocks in the first instance.”

Sergey Novoselov, Senior Research Associate in Schiavo Laboratory agrees:
“This initiative will not only substantially ease locating reagents by researchers but will make users more aware of associated hazards and allow easy generation of stock reports, including for annual hazardous chemicals returns.”

Rob Lesniak, Senior Research Fellow at dept of Neuromuscular Disease says:
“Synthetic chemistry is essential for progression of research projects at the ARUK UCL DDI and naturally requires the storage of large amounts of reagents and chemicals. Cheminventory is a convenient system for rapidly registering incoming chemicals and importantly, it enables lab chemists to quickly discern a particular chemical’s location and safety information. Cheminventory allows the user to input as much relevant information that is required for each chemical and can be tailored to the individual labs requirements."

Cheminventory y software

Legacy Chemicals…

In creating the chemical database, we have also been able to identify legacy chemicals that will need to be removed before our move to Grays Inn Road. 

The software will now be rolled-out across all research groups to start the process of identifying and removing legacy chemicals via UCL’s waste processes and support the annual chemical returns.

Further information and training will be provided. Contact Kully Sunner for more information