Celebrating 35 Years of Service

Barbara Meechan

In the current era of frequent job changes, it is extraordinary to have an employee who has been at Stanford Blood Center since its inception. Barbi has had an interesting and varied career at Stanford over the last 35 years. She began working at Stanford Hospital transfusion service, transferred to the blood center, then became the supervisor of the components production area of the blood center, and currently oversees the information technology section of the Blood Center. Her very broad experience, understanding of critical elements in determining and controlling blood donor and blood product suitability, keen analytical skills, and creativity made her an extremely valuable contributor to the small California group that developed the Safetrace blood establishment software system. This software is now a commercial product used widely across the nation in blood centers and transfusion services.

For the past several years, she has managed a growing information technology staff that handles all the various software products, as well as the hardware needs for the Blood Center, the Histocompatibility Lab and other research labs established at the blood center. Because the blood center activities are strictly regulated by the FDA in a good manufacturing environment, the computer systems she manages are vital to maintaining compliance. Because of her roots based in the world of blood banking, Barbi has been able to provide insight and oversight of the various niche products used at SBC. The group that she manages has for years sustained the ever more complex and expanding IT needs of the blood center operational and research groups. Barbi is truly a story of someone who has built upon their knowledge year after year.

JoAnn Tucker (Supervisor)

Wayne Moore

FACS analysis of blood cells to chart normal and disease processes is one of the very first "big data" applications in biomedicine. Wayne is one of the key architects of the technology used for these broadly applied flow cytometry data analyses, which range from monitoring the success of bone marrow transplants to charting algae blooms in water supplies. With over 30,000 FACS instruments in use worldwide, FACS has become central to cancer diagnosis and therapy, HIV treatment and prognosis, blood disorder diagnosis and therapy, and much else. In addition, FACS is central to the discovery of stem cells and to many other basic biological advances that are currently working their way into medical technology. Wayne's work, alone and in collaboration with David Parks (another honoree this year), is one of the cornerstones on which this phenomenal and highly successful technology effort rests.

When Wayne started working in flow cytometry, FACS data were collected with an oscilloscope and Polaroid camera; computers had not yet been seriously introduced into biology and medicine. Using unique state-of-the-art approaches, Wayne brought computers into a central role for FACS. Early on, he developed the now universal "probability contour" FACS data displays and pioneered visual, point-and-click methods for collecting and analyzing scientific data. Later, in collaboration with David Parks, he co-developed the logicle scale for FACS data display and many other FACS improvements, each of which in its time changed the way flow cytometry data was routinely collected, displayed and analyzed throughout the world.

In his early work, Wayne also developed automated data collection, storage and retrieval software that has operated continuously for years here at Stanford. Today, as a result, the Shared FACS Facility has a continuously growing collection of FACS data dating back to the 1980s, currently containing more than two million samples from 120,000 experiments that collectively occupy more than 6TB. In addition, and more broadly important, the biomedical research and medical practice have access to high-speed FACS data collection and analysis programs grown from the models that Wayne and his colleagues developed, and continue to develop, here at Stanford.

Wayne is now working on methods to improve and automate the routine data analysis required for fluorescence compensation. In private life, he is an avid motorcyclist and volunteers in efforts to circumvent state censorship of the internet.

Lee Herzenberg (Supervisor)

Hung Pham

Mr. Hung Pham has been an exemplary Stanford employee for the past 35 years. I have had the pleasure of having Mr. Hung Pham be my laboratory manager for the last 14 years. Hung was a medical student in Vietnam but had to leave at the end of the war. Soon thereafter, he joined Stanford as a laboratory assistant. Luckily for me, he took on the position of lab manager for our federally-funded program in tissue engineering of the hand.

Over the past 14 years with me, he has mentored over 40 undergraduate students, medical students, residents, and post-doctoral fellows. All of these researchers have been very grateful for Hung's role in advancing their careers.

James Chang (Supervisor)

Diane Rapacchietta

Diane Rapacchietta received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh in June of 1972. She then worked at the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA in the Division of Oncology/Radiotherapy in the Clinical Radiation Therapy Research Center for four years, specializing in solid tumor research in mice, performing tissue culture, cloning, irradiation, chemotherapy, and histology before coming to Stanford in November of 1976. She was hired as a Research Laboratory Technician under the direction and tutelage of the then Division Director, Dr. Robert F. Kallman. Diane was promoted to a Research Assistant in 1983, again specializing in solid tumor research. She worked with several of the visiting scholars and also served as histologist for the division. She spent ten years studying the effect of the combination of fractionated irradiation and chemotherapy in mice. Diane made significant contributions to this research with her analysis, resulting in co-authorship of eight publications.

Dr. J. Martin Brown assumed the position of Division Director when Dr. Kallman retired in 1992, and Diane continued working under him. She worked with Mary Jo Dorie and Doug Menke in the mouse lab in the Boswell Building and assisted Lab Manager, Dave Betten, by managing the three labs in the Boswell Building before being promoted to Lab Manager in 1999. She continues in this capacity up to the present time, although she now is under the direction of Dr. Amato Giaccia, who became the Division Director in 2004 when Dr. Brown stepped down. She has also worked under three different departmental chairmen as well – Dr. Malcolm Bagshaw, Dr. Richard Hoppe and currently Dr. Quynh-Thu Le.

Diane supervised the move into the CCSR Building from Boswell and CBRL in 2000. As lab manager, she is responsible for training, environmental health and safety, division purchasing, division property administration, equipment maintenance, and supervision of the CCSR Glassware Facility. Diane, in her capacity as the Departmental Health and Safety Officer, has ensured the safety and compliance of our division, particularly in the area emergency preparedness. Her efforts in local emergency preparedness were recognized early on, and since 2006 have served as a model for the rest of the medical center and the possibly the university at large. She works closely with Environmental Health and Safety to make certain that the required training is completed by faculty, staff and lab personnel in the Department of Radiation Oncology and has a laudatory track record in this regard.

Dr. Kallman once remarked on her performance evaluation that "she takes her job quite seriously and seems impelled to adhere strictly to schedules and instructions." This diligence and meticulous attention to detail have caused her supervisors to use such words as "very dedicated, hardworking, diligent, outstanding, detail-oriented, meticulous, organized, thorough, dependable and pleasant to work with." Diane works tirelessly for the Department of Radiation Oncology and goes above and beyond the call of duty in carrying out her responsibilities. All of these qualities make her an exemplary employee and the kind we are proud to have at Stanford.

Amato Giaccia, Ph.D (Supervisor)

Sergio Raygoza

It is difficult to fully express the gratitude we have for the incredible contributions that Sergio has made to the Veterinary Service Center (VSC). Sergio joined the VSC at a young age, starting his career as a cage wash technician. He later advanced to an animal care technician until his true calling was recognized. Sergio became the VSC's first dedicated maintenance mechanic. He acted as plumber, electrician, welder, HVAC technician with an inherent ability to repair an endless list of equipment such as cage washers, autoclaves, caging and electronics. Sergio was truly the first MacGyver. Long before the TV show ever aired, Hollywood must have heard about Sergio and his special skills and aptitudes. We didn't have all the Hollywood car chase scenes or explosions, but if there was a slim chance that something broken could be repaired, Sergio was the man for the job.

Sergio's abilities saved the VSC thousands of dollars in service calls and repair costs. In many cases when equipment was old and obsolete, Sergio was the only resource to repair and get the piece of equipment on-line quickly. Sergio was often sought out by other maintenance technicians due to his expertise. He is admired and respected by everyone in the Department of Comparative Medicine and by many people from outside companies. Sergio retired in January and will be impossible to replace. We wish him the best in his retirement.

Supervisor: DeVere Charron

Yin-Gail Yee

Gail is an outstanding biochemist and a distinguished research associate. For many years, she has been engaged in elucidating factors that are important in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus. More recently, she has turned to the field of renal physiology. Her focus has been to perfect assay of factors that are used in humans to determine the glomerular filtration rate (inulin, iothalamate) and renal plasma flow (para-aminohippurate). She has developed novel assays to determine concentration of these markers in plasma and urine during clearance studies.

She has used high pressure liquid chromatography to attain a level of precision not previously achieved. She combines these assays with others that permit the permeability and filtration capacity of glomeruli to be determined for the first time in humans. Gail's innovations are being applied for the first time to evaluate with great precision the adequacy of kidney and glomerular function in potential living, kidney transplant donors. Combining her biochemical determinations with quantitative morphology of glomeruli obtained by biopsy, it is now becoming possible to estimate the number of glomeruli in the human kidney in vivo, for the first time.

Gail's commitment and novel contributions should allow new, more rigorous criteria to be developed to ensure the safety and well-being of potential kidney donors. In addition to her academic excellence, she is a delightful human being and colleague. It has been a pleasure to work with her.

Bryan Myers (Supervisor)