Happy Clinical Trials Day: Reflections from the Stanford Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Office (SCI-CTO)

Happy Clinical Trials Day! On May 18th, we honored the incredible work of our staff at the Stanford Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Office (SCI-CTO). We are deeply grateful to our staff and faculty, who are dedicated to accelerating science to find new and better ways to treat, prevent, detect, diagnose, and manage cancer symptoms. Clinical research professionals play a critical role in our patients’ cancer journeys and assist our investigators in conducting research studies. 

“Cancer clinical research professionals are our heroes of cancer research, tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure that clinical trials run smoothly and patients receive the best possible care. Their dedication and expertise are invaluable in the fight against cancer, and we are grateful for all that they do,” acknowledged Heather Wakelee, MD, Deputy Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute, and Joel Neal, MD, PhD, Faculty Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute's Cancer Clinical Trials Office.

We asked our staff what they found most meaningful in their work: 

“It’s so rewarding to me to help participants. It’s wonderful if they benefit from clinical research, but I’ve also found meaning in being a friendly face during a scary time. I get great satisfaction in making this easier for them and their families, even in small ways.”

Sophie Bertrand, Clinical Research Manager


“What personally touches me is that many of the people we help through the Cancer Clinical Trials Information Service are overwhelmed by their diagnoses. As a result, they find it difficult to navigate how to enroll in clinical trials. It delights me to help empower them with the information and resources they need to understand the clinical trials process better.”

 Ellen DiNucci, Community Outreach and Communications Specialist  


“It is truly an honor to be part of the SCI-CTO. As a member of the finance team, I enjoy arranging kickoff meetings where new studies are discussed with the research team. Having this role in the cancer clinical trials process and helping other staff involved with clinical trials is very gratifying!”

Ann Hamon, Administrative Associate 


“I find it meaningful and rewarding knowing that we are doing everything we can to find the best cancer treatments for our patients at the SCI-CTO, especially knowing the formidable nature of cancer. I am grateful to contribute to cancer research, as it allows me to stay connected to my late father, who was both a physician and cancer patient.”

Ghazal Jawed, Clinical Research Coordinator Associate


Due to the SCI-CTO's tireless efforts, around 250 cancer clinical trials are taking place at Stanford at any given time. Every trial represents a beacon of hope for those facing a cancer diagnosis. To celebrate this achievement, we marked the occasion with ice cream, fun trivia games, and plenty of enjoyable company. Let's continue to celebrate the incredible work of the SCI-CTO team and their ongoing dedication to improving cancer care.

May 2023
Article and photo by Sarah Pelta