Employee Recognition  

Lynne Olds began her career on The Farm as a research assistant at Children's Hospital at Stanford in the laboratory of Dr. John Miller from 1972-1992. Her research in the Miller lab was focused on the basic science of juvenile arthritis.

Lynne subsequently worked at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Moss investigating the pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis.

Lynne is currently a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Sibley in the Department of Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In the Sibley Lab, she is involved in research on the mechanisms regulating intestinal development.

Over the years, Lynne has contributed as an author to 25 research publications, has trained numerous Stanford students, residents and fellows in laboratory methods, and has provided outstanding research support for the faculty with whom she has worked. Congratulations Lynne!

Eric Sibley (supervisor)


1. What do you find most rewarding in your job?

I love doing research and working at the bench doing experiments. When I get data that confirm my hypothesis, I am “over the moon”. Lab work can be very demanding with its tediousness and the need to be meticulous, but when everything works, the reward is worth the time and effort. Research is much like working on a gazillion piece puzzle: what you do may not seem important at the time, but, when your “piece of the puzzle” fits into the whole and a picture emerges, the feeling of having made a contribution is wonderful.

2. What is one standout moment or memory you have of your Stanford career?

My fondest memories are from the time I spent working at the old Children’s Hospital before it became Packard Children's and moved to its present site. The Department of Pediatrics had an “off site” lab in one of the original buildings of the Stanford Children's Convalescent Hospital. It was so old it had been condemned for patient use but I guess they figured that we “lab rats” were expendable. It had no heat in the winter until pity was taken and space heaters were brought in. Even so, it was often cold enough that I wore a full length wool coat under my lab coat. In the summer we could either run the air conditioners or do our bench work but not both without blowing the fuses. Many times it felt as if we were doing research in a third world country. Still, we were a close knit group, both in the lab and in the hospital itself, and had so much fun both at and outside of work. The adage "if you do something you love, you never work a day of your life" is a perfect description of that time period.

3. What are some of the biggest changes you've seen?

It would have to be computers and the internet. I can remember the early days of computing at Stanford: trying to learn WYLBUR and ORVYL on remote IBM terminals and feeling completely frustrated. The early internet search engines of Gopher and Netscape seemed so revolutionary at the time. But what was really revolutionary was the way computers completely changed life in the lab, everything from email to running all the instrumentation. The ease of doing research/literature searches through Google and Pubmed is without parallel. Gone is the need to spend hours in the stacks of Lane Library.

4. Do you remember your first day at work--what was that like?

I don’t remember much about it except for the anti-Vietnam war protests outside the building. I remember bundling up the lab notebooks every night to go home with the P.I. in case the protesters burned down Jordan Hall. I was never sure how that was going to happen since Jordan was more stone than wood.

5. What advice would you give to new colleagues/employees?

Advice to new colleagues would be to keep flexible. Research and science move so fast now that to be successful, you must keep re-inventing yourself.

6. What do you do when you're not here at work?

Outside of doing research, I love, in no particular order, gardening, traveling, photography, reading and playing with my dogs.

7. What's in your future---with the School of Medicine or after?

My future is up in the air right now. Funding for research in the biological sciences is problematic and will not soon be improved given the political atmosphere in Washington. Now is when I take my own advice in question #5: be flexible.

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