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Barbara Hill, Melchor Madrigal mark 45 years on staff at med school

A School of Medicine lab technician and maintenance person were recognized for 45 years of employment at the university during the Cardinal at Work Celebrating Staff Careers event.

- By Kimber Price

Melchor Madrigal, Barbara Hill and Lloyd Minor at the Cardinal at Work Celebrating Staff Careers event on May 24.
Marcia Cohen

When it comes to years of service to the School of Medicine, two staffers stand out.

Barbara Hill and Melchor Madrigal marked their 45-year work anniversaries at the school last year. Both were recognized May 24 at the Cardinal at Work Celebrating Staff Careers event, which honored major career anniversaries of employees across the university.

“The dedication that Barbara and Melchor have shown to Stanford Medicine for nearly half a century is deeply inspiring,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “Their work is integral to our mission to improve health, and I truly appreciate their service.”

Hill was 18 years old when she was hired as a glasswasher in the Department of Developmental Biology. But she didn’t stay in that position long, she said. The faculty noticed that she was interested in learning new things, so she transitioned to lab work and continuously learned new techniques. Now a laboratory technician working with Drosophila, she said the best part of her career has been training students and working with the faculty. “We’ve always had a good connection,” she said.  

“She’s got a great sense of humor, is humble and kind and never complains,” said lab manager Todd Galitz. “She does what’s required to get the job done, even if that means staying late into the night.” Much of the work that has come out of the laboratories that she’s supported wouldn’t have been possible without her knowledge and dedication, Galitz added.

Madrigal came to the medical school in 1972 to work as a veterinary technician in what later became the Veterinary Service Center. He said some of his favorite memories of working at the school include meeting Stanford surgeon Norman Shumway, MD, PhD, who performed the first successful adult human heart transplant in the United States at Stanford Hospital, and providing husbandry to the sheep and dogs that received heart and lung transplants as part of research efforts.

Madrigal rose in rank and responsibility in animal care until the division grew to the point that it needed a new maintenance person. Madrigal took classes and trained with technicians and is now known for his expertise in repairing equipment, such as autoclaves and automatic watering systems, in the Department of Comparative Medicine. “Melchor’s can-do attitude and high commitment to the VSC and the department has always been a reflection of his personality,” said Mike Renzi, the department’s director of finance and administration. 

Madrigal had one word to describe Stanford: “Great!”

A full list of the medical school employees celebrating work anniversaries is available online.

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at

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