Linh Nguyen, Employee of the Month, December 2014

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

My first encounter with Linh was very memorable.

Vishal Sharma, a research assistant in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, wrote in a letter nominating Linh for the Department of Medicine’s Employee of the Month award.

“On my first day, Linh was caring, sweet and helpful. During my first lab meeting Linh presented her research talk and made sure that I understood everything that she discussed and answered every question I had.” Linh’s thoughtful nature stuck with Vishal and countless others, and is one of the many reasons why she is December’s Employee of the Month.

Colleagues said Linh, a research associate in Dr. Aida Habtezion’s laboratory, is know for her intelligence and her devotion to her work. They described her as supportive and genuine -- someone who strives to make others feel comfortable and appreciated.

“Linh is the epitome of brilliance, diligence and kindness,” wrote Chohee Yun, a gastroenterology and hepatology fellow. “She does not hesitate to go out of her way to help other lab members with her projects. She is not just a great scientist; she’s an amazing person. We are lucky to have her.”

Aida Habtezion, assistant professor (gastroenterology and hepatology), said Linh cares deeply about others. “She does not hesitate to help anyone and has been very supportive in helping others achieve their potential. She supports so many people in our lab and division. For example, when other were going on maternity leave, she stepped up and finished their experiments and data analysis, and continued to support their research needs.”

Path to Stanford

After completing graduate school at the University of Wisconsin of Madison, Linh returned to her home state of California to complete her postdoctoral training in immunology and lymphocyte trafficking with Dr. Eugene Butcher at the VA. In her own words: “ Given that northern California is where I grew up and where my family still is, I was doubly happy to return after graduate school and fortunate to have trained with Dr. Butcher.”

She joined the Department of Medicine three years ago as a research associate in Dr. Aida Habtezion's lab, where she studies inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis, with a particular focus on the molecular mechanisms that govern lymphocyte migration to the inflamed gut. “My day-to-day job usually entails doing experiments using cell culture, animal models or human tissues,” she explained.

When asked what she loves about Stanford, Linh responded with three answers:

  1. Stanford is an exciting place to do research.
  2. I’m really excited about my research project.
  3. I really respect and admire my supervisor, Aida, whom I had met while working in Dr. Eugene’s lab, and whom I regard as a professional and personal role model. There are nine of us in the lab currently – including postdocs, clinical fellows, instructors and a research assistant – and my colleagues are the TOP reason I enjoy my job. We’re supportive of each other and it’s always fun!