Celebrating 30 Years of Service

Pam Bernstein


Start date: 9/1/85

More than simply a stellar employee, Pam is, quite literally, the bond that ties the research portion of the department together. Our department consistently ranks highly in term of NIH awards for Dermatology departments in the country. Each of the faculty members would attest that this is due in no small measure to the consistent, thoughtful, and efficient work done by Pam on a daily basis. 

As the amount of NIH-awarded dollars has increased over the past several years, the size of the laboratories and number of investigators has grown, and this has increased the scope of Pam's job. More and larger awards mean more research personnel and with more postdoctoral scholars from more countries, with greater entrance restrictions; Pam's personnel scope alone has increased substantially. More and larger awards have meant more equipment, which means not just purchasing and inventory issues, but maintenance of equipment, and service contract negotiation and execution. Pam manages the department's Program in Epithelial Biology, which has grown, as well. This program encompasses ten departments and fourteen laboratories within the University. This has meant an immense amount of activity on Pam's part, including organization of a major weekly seminar series, coordination of shared equipment, and management of interdepartmental initiatives related to the Program in Epithelial Biology.

Perhaps most importantly, Pam's in-depth and detailed knowledge of Stanford policy and procedure in all areas – research management, finances, human resources, property management, health and safety requirements – as well as her ability to quickly and efficiently identify and manage specific problems and still keep the "big picture" in focus, make her an invaluable resource both to all the laboratory students and staff as well as the research faculty. Through all of this growth, Pam is the "go to" person in our research labs, and is the person that holds everything together.

Phil Yamahiro (Supervisor)

Susan Bryson


Start date: 5/4/81

Susan Bryson, M.A., joined the Laboratory for the Study of Behavioral Medicine 30 years ago as a programmer. Since that time, in line with the expansion of the laboratory and hence with her work, she has become the data manager for the various projects that have been flowed through the laboratory over the past 30 years. Because the laboratory has engaged in multisite projects as the Data and Coordinating Center over the last 15 years or so, Susan's responsibilities have become more complex, involving coordination of data collection at multiple sites.

In addition, Susan supervises several research assistants as well as student research assistants. Within these relationships, she has been valued for her excellent skills in teaching hands-on statistics and experimental design. In addition, she has kept the various databases in good order, provided the data sections for reports to data and safety monitoring committees, and is among the first to spot incipient problems.

All in all Susan is a wonderful contribution to evolving science.

Stewart Agras (Supervisor)

Marita Grudzen

Medicine/Family & Community Medicine

Start date: 4/16/81

During her 30 years at Stanford, Marita Grudzen, MHS, has made extraordinary contributions to Family Medicine education as an academic coordinator, a teacher, an advocate for students, and as a program manager. She has been the course coordinator for most Family Medicine pre-clinical and clinical courses over time and co-directed and developed the McGann Women's Health Lecture Series and the Women's Health Clerkship. As original work, she co-developed and directed the Spirituality in Medicine course which won a national award and attracted international attention. She has been invited to give talks in several countries and received a friendship award from one. Since its inception as a national model program for education and research in ethnogeriatrics, Marita has assumed an active management role in the Stanford Geriatric Education Center, developing and collaborating with community partners to prepare health professionals to care for ethnic elders.

Marita's passion to improve care for the underserved and provide quality experiences for students, along with her many skills and flexible nature, are evident to all who work with her. Thank you, Marita, for your unending, innovative contributions.

Nancy Morioka-Douglas, MD, MPH (Supervisor)

Joan Hebert


Start date: 5/4/81

Joan Hebert has been a scientific curator for the Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base (PharmGKB, http://www.pharmgkb.org/) in the Department of Genetics for the past 6 years of her 30 years of service at Stanford University. In previous settings, Joan has made contributions on several key projects, almost all within the department of genetics and involving studies of humans. More recently, Joan has been a scientific curator for the PharmGKB, an NIH-support resource with the mission of gathering and disseminating knowledge about how human genetic variation impacts drug response. 

Joan has been instrumental in curating data for large international pharmacogenomics data sharing consortium focusing on breast cancer treatment which requires keen attention to detail, as well as patience in dealing with scientists who do not have experience formatting, aggregating and distributing their data. The PharmGKB is visited by about 25,000 visitors each month. Joan serves as the first point of contact to the user help desk for PharmKGB, where she answers questions from a broad spectrum of users.
In summary, Joan Hebert has demonstrated great scientific expertise and professionalism in multiple positions within the Department of Genetics, and is currently serving the field of personalized medicine through her work helping to build and disseminate the PharmGKB resource.

Teri Klein (Supervisor)

Robin Holbrook

Microbiology & Immunology/Baxter Labs

Start date: 6/8/81

I am writing in highest praise of Ms. Robin Holbrook. She has spent nearly a dozen years of her 30 years of service at Stanford University working with me and it is difficult to find words to express how extremely fortunate I feel. Ms. Holbrook first worked with me as my assistant when I was Chair of Molecular Pharmacology and since then has held the position of Administrative Services Manager for the entire multi-PI, multi-disciplinary Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, which I direct.

Robin is a Godsend and I cannot adequately express how lucky I am to have her as the key member of my 'team' in the Baxter Laboratory. Indeed, in her quiet way, Ms. Holbrook coordinates all the complex functions of the Baxter laboratory, which include personnel management for more than 60 people and managing a budget of more than $10 million. This is no mean feat and Robin does it in queenly manner, seamlessly. Ms. Holbrook is highly dedicated to her work, she readily puts in extra time and effort to make sure the job is done just right.

She goes far beyond the call of duty. She is highly professional, and even when faced with immense and often overwhelming personal trials and tribulations, Robin manages to carry out her duties with panache. She completes a diversity of tasks, often troubleshooting difficult situations, always with thought and sensitivity. She is exceptionally competent and has notable skills as a writer.

As a person, Robin also excels; she is extremely well-liked by the members of the Baxter Laboratory and our Department of Microbiology and Immunology. I often hear how pleasantly she handles the phone and how well she mediates conflicts. She seems to find time and make time for everyone, from student to professor, handling the stresses and sturm and drang of daily life in a most professional manner. 

Robin loves challenges. She has mastered complex financial and other software programs, presents an excellent annual budget report, routinely oversees faculty searches, is responsible for paychecks, visas, course and seminar scheduling, hosting and organizing timetables and meetings of distinguished visitors. She is also responsible for the grant reporting and submission process, assistance with manuscript submission, and oversight of HIPAA compliance. She is excellent at editing letters and other documents, creating bibliographies or slide-making, and switches readily from one task to another. 

Beyond her routine duties at Stanford, Robin has taken on special projects: she coordinated a multi-disciplinary Franco-American Gencell/Aventis Collaboration, the Frontiers in Gene and Cell Therapy seminar series, three department retreats for Molecular Pharmacology and annual retreats for the entire Baxter Laboratory over the past 10 years, the First Stanford Symposium on Aging with William Mobley (then Chair of Neurology) and me, the Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Seminar Series, and most recently a Gordon Conference which she was determined to make happen, undaunted by being in the midst of Hurricane Irene.

She has a "can-do" attitude and simply gets everything done that needs to be done and goes that extra length to do it right and do it fast. She rises to every challenge, loves new responsibilities, and only hates to be bored. She is exemplary in every way. In summary, Robin is an extraordinarily gifted Stanford employee, very effective and a delightful colleague.

Helen M. Blau, Ph.D. (Supervisor)

Nancy Lennartsson

Medicine/Biomedical Informatics Research

Start date: 2/2/81

Nancy Lennartsson began her Stanford career in the university libraries, renting 16 mm films for students to show in the dorms. During her time in the libraries, great changes were taking place, and Nancy dependably helped keep projects on track, while maintaining her usual friendly, sunny and collegial attitude. She transferred from Undergraduate Reserves to the Serials Department, and then to the Catalog Department, where she remained until 2009 when she retired as Library Specialist – Operations Manager in the Metadata (formerly Cataloging) Department after 28 rewarding years with SULAIR. She took a year off to get her son into college and spend some time with her aging parents in Alabama, but by summer 2010 she had been away from the farm too long and started working as Student Services Specialist in the Biomedical Informatics Program. 

Nancy's contributions have been tremendous. She not only expedited processes and increased productivity, but over the years her facility with various computer applications made her a valuable resource for less technically-savvy co-workers.

Among her major accomplishments for the libraries is the coordination of the project that eventually led to the closing of the manual card catalog and advancing to the online system. She also managed the bar coding project for library serials and analytics, ensuring electronic access to the materials so that they could be relocated to an off-site library storage facility. In addition, Nancy developed an email template system for processing patron requests for library materials that expedited the processing of new materials delivery to a two-day turn around standard.
Nancy has done wonderful work for the libraries and is following in the same tradition in her new position in Biomedical Informatics. We are especially impressed with the way she has taken over our very complex website layout and is able to quickly adapt it to our evolving needs.

A very caring person, Nancy maintains warm relationships with students and staff from the 1980s to the present and enjoys spending her leisure time working with the children's choir (Kids of the Kingdom) at Bridges Community Church in Los Altos.

Mary Jeanne Oliva (Supervisor)

M.A. Malone

Communications & Public Affairs

Start date: 11/10/81

To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning, how do we love MA, let me count the ways. 
She's produced a trillion videos that have been seen by a gazillion eyeballs across the globe. She's the best friend of every competent television reporter/producer/executive producer/editor/line editor/anchor person/production assistant/intern in the biz.

She's beloved by faculty. She extols their uniqueness, touts their brilliance, sings their virtues and turns any speck of criticism into praise.

She never rests. Contrary to preferring a sedentary life, after 30 years at Stanford she's still pushing the envelope and reinventing the broadcast and new media platforms. 
She's always curious. Always asks the questions about what's next, what's out there, what's outside the box and around the corner.

She's a mentor who encourages young'uns to thrive, excel and explore. "Here's the reins kid, now take it for a run."

She's a colleague who matters. Whether inspirational or comical, satirical or intellectual, her insights make us all step up our professional game. 
How do we love thee, MA? It's really impossible to count.

Paul Costello (Supervisor)

Karen Mulkey

Research Management Group

Start date: 3/1/81

Karen Mulkey has spent most of her 30 years at Stanford as a research administrator. For the past 15 years, she has served as a Research Process Manager (RPM) in the School of Medicine. Karen is one of the original RPM's hired for the "pilot" program in 1996. The RPM is the University's sponsored projects institutional representative for the School of Medicine and is the primary point of contact for sponsors, faculty and University grant and contract administrators. Prior to her appointment in RMG, Karen spent six years in the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and nine years in the departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery as the Assistant Business Manager.

Karen's vast knowledge and experience have made her a valuable asset to Stanford. She is well-liked and trusted by faculty and staff alike. Outside of her work, Karen's interests include, traveling, cooking and reading.

Amy Barelli (Supervisor)

David O'Brien

Institutional Planning

Start date: 9/2/81

David began at Stanford with unique talents for his new role and during the subsequent three decades, his talents and responsibilities have expanded at an impressive pace. From his Analyst position he progressed to the Financial Management positions, and then became the Director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis in 1986, ending in his current position of Director, Office of Institutional Planning.

Throughout David's School of Medicine career, he has been involved in numerous and significant projects, including strategic plans related to facilities planning, as well as strategic planning for the areas of education and research. He has provided leadership to departments, faculty, and senior leaders and has provided planning tools and expertise, helping to bring organization to the myriad of goals and initiatives that cross-over various disciplines--the end result to support a shared institutional vision and mission.

Under David's leadership, his team of project coordinators, planners, and managers offer the School, as their mission statement says, "...a place where collaboration happens." David has established a team who can support departments in strategic planning, leadership planning and recruitment, planning and analysis projects, institutional research, and accreditations. The results of all of these efforts are used to address evolving issues across the School of Medicine and help to support critical decision-making and policy setting.

We have been thrilled to have David in this leadership role, and congratulate him for the many years of service and contributions he has made. We look forward to continued collaboration and success through David's direction and leadership.

Dean Pizzo (Supervisor)

David Parks


Start date: 6/1/81

David Parks is one of those people who comes to Stanford and never finds a good reason to leave. He does go away to experience the natural and human scene in various parts of the world and do photography and sound recording, but he always comes back to continue his work extending the capabilities and applications of flow cytometry in biomedical research.

Dr. Parks' career at Stanford began in 1967 with graduate study in nuclear physics leading to a PhD on "The effect of nuclear orientation on alpha and proton scattering from 165Ho." In 1975, he switched gears and joined the Herzenberg laboratory, combining his physics skills and biological interests to carry forward development of the recently invented Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorter (FACS), now a worldwide clinical and research instrument central to HIV patient care, leukemia diagnosis, bone marrow transplantation and stem cell development and use.

Since the mid-1980s, Dr. Parks has led the FACS Development Group in the Herzenberg lab. At the same time, he's been a mainstay of the Stanford Shared FACS Facility (SSFF) since its inception, also in the mid-1980s. In 1989, Dr. Parks became Director of the SSFF when it was constituted in its present form as a Beckman Center resource. In this joint position, he has participated in the invention of technologies that extended the capabilities fluorescence compensation and FACS cloning, the introduction of high-quality log amplifiers and the extension of the number of available simultaneous fluorescence measurements from 2 to 12 and more. In the early 2000s, with (35-year staff member) Wayne Moore, he invented "logicle" methods for improving the display and interpretability of FACS data that are now widely used and incorporated into most flow cytometry software. Along the way, he also served as a board and task force member with the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry and has maintained a commitment to environmental and political activism, including many years on the board of the Fund for Wild Nature.

In 2008, Dr. Parks helped to recruit his replacement as the SSFF Director, enabling him to travel more and spend more time optimizing the use of FACS instruments and supporting researchers in their use of flow cytometry. He currently serves as a Technical Specialist with the SSFF, the Herzenberg lab and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. His assessment is "I've been privileged to take part in the flowering of a major new technology and contribute to hundreds of important research projects while enjoying most of the work. It doesn't get much better than that."

Lee Herzenberg (supervisor)

Georgette Stratos

Medicine/General Medical Discipline

Start date: 12/21/81

Georgette Stratos, PhD, has been instrumental in the success of the Stanford Faculty Development Center for Medical Teachers.

Her organizational, supervising, and educational abilities, coupled with an in-depth understanding and respect for medical faculty, residents, and graduate students has brought about a program that has had an impact on institutions associated with over 65% of US medical schools and institutions in 16 countries. As a co-developer of the Center, she has garnered the respect of medical educators and teaching faculty internationally. She is known for her scholarly and meticulous approach to the analysis of teaching, and an unwavering commitment to openness to alternative approaches to teaching, fostering "teaching experimentalists."

In addition to her academic abilities and contributions, her upbeat personality and genuine enjoyment of the process of helping teachers make her a wonderful asset for Stanford.

Kelley Skeff (Supervisor)

James Taskett

Visual Art Services

Start date: 7/13/81

Eva Vasquez

Educational Programs and Services

Start date: 10/5/81

Eva Vasquez has been at Stanford University for thirty years--the vast majority of them at the Medical School. Over the years, Eva has specialized in Student Services, as MD students can testify. Equipped with an encyclopedic knowledge of medical school requirements and procedures, Eva has played an important role in shepherding hundreds of students from matriculation to graduation.

Unfailingly gracious, Eva is always willing to share her knowledge and experience with others in the student services arena. She is regarded, by her co-workers and supervisors alike, as the "go to" person when unusual situations require creative solutions!

Doug Monica (Supervisor)