Celebrating 30 Years of Service

Sharon Clarke

Department: Radiation Oncology 

Sharon is a key member of our Radiation Oncology team. Joining the department in 1987, Sharon has provided outstanding support to the Division Director and administration office. There is no job that is too big or too small for Sharon to accomplish. From managing a complex calendar schedule, to multiple grant submissions per year, as well as coordinating and preparing the manuscript and illustrations for the publishing of Dr. Amato Giaccia’s medical textbook, Radiobiology for the Radiologist Eighth Edition, and previously, the seventh edition. Sharon is the definition of loyalty when it comes to support to her division. She is a very dedicated employee and thrives for success. She pays very close attention to detail and never misses a deadline. Her assistance on grant submissions has been a strong contributing factor to the Department’s research success. Sharon’s longevity gives institutional knowledge that helps newer members of the Department navigate Stanford’s complex processes. Sharon is an asset to our team, and we thank her for her continued dedication and contributions to Stanford.

Marcos Figueroa

Department: Lane Library

For thirty years Marcos has been a valuable member of the Lane Medical Library’s Access Services Department and is an integral part of library operations. Marcos began his Stanford career in the late 1980s as a student assistant while attending Sequoia High School in Redwood City. Marcos quickly became a full-time employee and has since trained over 100 student assistants and many coworkers. Marcos has a great “can-do” attitude and is extremely responsible. He brings common-sense approaches and good humor to problem solving. He Providing fast, courteous, and reliable service to library patrons comes second nature to him. We are proud and honored that Marcos has spent 30 years of his career at the Lane Medical Library! 

Marcos is a fountain of historical knowledge about the library. He knows just about every past and present procedure of the Access Services Department. He knows all of the important changes and memorable events the library has seen over the last 30 years, including the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and the IRT Tech Bar moving in as our neighbor in 2016. And, if there is ever a book or item missing or is mis-shelved, he is THE person you want to help you track it down. If no one else can find it, you can bet Marcos will.

Another not-so-easy task which Marcos has long been responsible for is to collect overdue fines. He has handled this task extremely well with skill and diplomacy throughout the years. He deserves kudos, as well, for successfully managing the library’s annual Food-for-Fines food drive program to help the local food banks feed the hungry.

Lastly, Marcos has also built many lasting relationships with faculty, staff, students, and coworkers. Med school alumni, retired faculty and staff often ask for him when they come back to visit the library. We hope that Marcos will be with us for many more years to come. We are grateful for his service and it is a privilege to congratulate him on achieving this great 30-year milestone.

Michele King

Department: Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection

We honor and congratulate Michele King for celebrating her 30 years of service at Stanford.

After emigrating from Switzerland in 1985, she began her Stanford career in 1987, when she joined the French and Italian Department. In the spring of 1990, John Etchemendy, then the Director of the Center for Study of Language and Information, hired Michele for the position of Program Manager. In this role, Michele coordinated the Center’s Industrial Affiliates Program. The Center was founded by Stanford University, SRI International, and (the former Xerox) PARC, and serves faculty and students researching computational, logical and stochastic modeling of cognitive function. Michele worked for the center until 2006, when she joined the newly created Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection (ITI) in the School of Medicine.

As the Program Manager for ITI, Michele works closely with the Director, Mark Davis. In the early start-up days of the Institute, Michele was a one-woman show. She managed HR, coordinated all Executive committees and retreats, hired new staff, managed facilities, faculty affairs, ITI membership, and assisted with service center billing for the core Human Immune Monitoring Lab. She even made mulled wine for the Holiday parties! As the Institute has grown, and more operational staff was hired, Michele has devoted her time to planning and organizing the different research symposia and seminars, faculty affairs, website design and liaisons with Development, Marketing, and Industry partners. Her background has provided her with key expertise and insight in this unique environment.

ITI promotes educational and translational research opportunities in the wide spanning areas of immunology, transplantation and infectious diseases. ITI teams consist of a complex variety of fields, personalities and challenges. Michele still navigates it all with a smile and always has a witty comment. She continues to wear many hats and is known as the go-to person when you have a problem. Even if she can’t solve it for you, she will help you find someone who can, making you howl with laughter the whole time. One will often hear the tones of her native French or German floating out of her office, a testament to her position as our international ambassador. Michele is one of a kind and ITI wouldn’t be the same without her!

Thank you for your 30 years of service to Stanford and for all you do for the ITI team!

Gladys Morales

Department: Research Management Group

Gladys Morales began her journey at Stanford in January 1987 as a Budget Manager in the School of Earth Sciences. From there she joined the Solar Physics Group in the Hansen Experimental Physics Lab (HEPL) working as the Financial manager in an amazing NASA/ESA project, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) which, at the time, was the second largest contract on campus, under the direction of PI Philip Scherrer. 

In 1997, after the launching of the SOHO spacecraft, she took a leap of faith to join a newly-formed team in the School of Medicine called the Research Management Group (RMG) as a Research Process Manager. RMG was created to manage research administration for all departments in the School of Medicine. The environment was very much like a start-up as the team developed a new approach to supporting faculty with their grant proposals. Over the years, Gladys was involved in every step along the way; she has worked with nearly all departments within the School. As RMG has grown and continued to expand services, Gladys has always joined in the conversation about where we are and where we would like to be in the future. 

When she is not working on proposals and awards, Gladys enjoys going to the symphony, spending time with her nieces and nephews, and traveling. One of her most recent memorable trips was to Europe with her 2 nephews. Although keeping up with 2 active teenage boys was challenging, it was a wonderful experience. Gladys is also keeping very busy with her recently adopted cat, Ava, and a poodle named Pongo.

Bita Nouriani

Department: Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

Bita has been the organizing and research production force of our Center on Stress and Health since 1991. She carried out the complex tasks of preparing grant applications, managing IRB submissions, hiring and supervising staff, recruiting and running research subjects, and coordinating activities among staff, collaborators, referring physicians, trainees, and research subjects. She is a stickler for detail, which makes the quality of the work superb. She has done all this with grace and sensitivity, getting the work done while treating everyone with care and respect.

Early in 1991, Bita began working as a volunteer in our laboratory videotaping Supportive-Expressive Group Therapy SEGT sessions at Stanford.

In July 1991, Bita was hired as fulltime staff to work on Mind-Body Network studies funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

1991-1999 MacArthur studies

Hypnosis studies--Bita collaborated with Dr. Spiegel in design and implementation of the psychophysiological research laboratory to conduct the following studies:

  • Evoked Potential studies of individuals with Conversion, and Dissociative Identity Disorders
  • Effects of Hypnosis on Mind-Body interactions using visual, auditory, and somatosensory evoked potentials

Breast cancer studies

  • NIH NIMH Effect of Group Therapy on Breast Cancer Survival: Bita organized this complex clinical trial for women with metastatic breast cancer.
  • Bita collaborated with the team to develop the following pilot studies and then conducted the studies by setting up the protocols, recruiting and assessing study participants:
    • Effects of Psychosocial Treatment on Quality of Sleep (women with
      metastatic breast cancer).
    • Semi-Structured Interview of Goal Reappraisal (women
      with metastatic breast cancer). Development of the interview, 
      conducting the interviews, and worked on
      developing the rating system.


2001-2005 NIH National Institute on Aging Program Project Grant: Stress, Diurnal Cortisol, and Breast Cancer Survival.

Bita was successful in meeting the recruitment and assessment goals of a difficult population and complex protocol.

2006-2011 NIH NCI Sleepstudy: Sleep, Circadian, Hormonal Dysregulation, and Breast Cancer Survival.

The Co-PI/Project Director of the study, Oxana Palesh, had left Stanford.  Dr. Spiegel assigned her the role of project director. Bita successfully implemented the proposed project, after working with the team to make major revisions to the biologically complex study protocol designed for women diagnosed with metastatic BC. She recruited, trained, and supervised a large number of staff members. She was successful in meeting the recruitment and assessment goal of one of the most complex studies we have had.

2015 NIH NCI: Impact of Affect Reactivity and Regulation on Breast Cancer Treatment Decisions.

Bita was responsible for working with the PIs to put together the grant and to prepare it for submission plus working on the sections she usually does (past responsibilities during grant writing were in study protocol development, budget, and human subjects sections, but not the entire grant preparation and submission). This was our first major proposal to be funded after the 1st submission.


  • 1991-2002 Clinical training
    • Under Dr. Spiegel's supervision, received training in conduction of supportive expressive group therapy, as well as assessment of hypnotizability and inducing trance states.
    • 2002: Received clinical license as a Marriage and Family Therapist

Karla Palmeri

Department: Hopkins Marine Station

Karla Palmeri has been a research associate in the Marine Biology lab of Irv Weissman at Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University for 30 years. She has been the soul of the lab, guiding students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and even extended scientists and junior faculty for years. Her expertise in marine protochordates has allowed even molecular biology nerds to begin to understand the marvelous life histories of these links between invertebrates and vertebrates. When the field matured, mainly by the work of Karla and Kathy Ishizuka, it was possible to bring molecular biological approaches to understand the genetics of histocompatibility, or the genetic determination of stem cells, etc. Karla reinvented herself and became proficient in these fields, as well. She is a most valued long-term employee whose high standards, technological excellence and collegial empathy and mentoring has led and sustained this distant branch of the Weissman lab in Pacific Grove for years. Sometimes one can only begin to understand the importance of individuals by imagining how the enterprise would function without them. I have thought about this with Karla, and I can say with full honesty that it would not exist at all, much less at its currently highly productive level.

Vida Shokoohi

Department: Stanford Functional Genomics Facility