We have the technology that has leapfrogged cancer research forward.
Lisa HazenIT Project Manager
From studying public policy at Stanford to becoming a professional marathon swimmer, IT Project Manager Lisa Hazen has always been a distance-oriented person. It’s a trait that has served her well since joining Labcyte over 15 years ago.
What is your role at Labcyte?
I am an IT Project Manager. When I joined Labcyte in 2002, I was the IT group doing everything for a number of years. When I was able to hire someone, I became the IT director. About two years ago, my role changed to incorporate project management. On a daily basis, I’m juggling both long-term project planning and day-to-day IT work. As a company gets bigger, so do the IT problems. I still end up getting into the weeds, helping people, but I like that.
What’s the best part of your job?
I really enjoy helping people with solutions that facilitate them doing their jobs. When I was in more of a support role, I had a very direct impact. Given my role in Project Management, I now get to facilitate this kind of impact on a larger scale. Being involved in larger company-wide projects that have massively positive ramifications for the entire company is very rewarding. I like having a variety of different things to do, and I like the challenges.
What did you do before joining Labcyte?
I worked for a medical device company, Accuray, for three years as IT Manager, but I got my start at Oracle. I was a public policy major at Stanford, with no IT experience, but managed to get a job at the help desk at Oracle shortly after graduation. That helped get me on the path towards computer work. I’ve had a lot of fortunate steps in my career. I’ve been lucky enough to have wonderful friends that have referred me into new positions at various companies.
What do you do for fun?
Everyone outside of work knows me as a swimmer. I was competing by the age of seven, I made it on to the Stanford team, and swam professionally as a marathon swimmer for six years in the late 90’s. I participated in Olympic trials twice in my life: in 1980, and in 2007. Swimming is a part of my life, always has been, and always will be.
I also foster German Shepherds. My husband and I are what they call “foster flunkies” – we take them in and can’t let them go. We’ve got three right now. One we’ve had for six years, even though we were told she only had six months to live.
If you could cure any disease, what would it be and why?
Pulmonary fibrosis. If they had a cure for it, my mom would possibly still be here today. It’s rare and not really understood.
For the good of all, I’d say cancer, because it’s just so prevalent. Personally, I have known so many people who have died from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. There are very few signaling types of symptoms, so it’s often caught too late. Through my work with the Canary Foundation, I’ve learned that if you catch cancer early enough, you have a fighting chance. I would like to know what has changed over the past two or three hundred years to make cancer so much more prevalent. The nice thing about working at Labcyte is knowing that the customers who buy our equipment are figuring it out. We have the technology that has leapfrogged cancer research forward.
Who is your favorite influencer?
My parents. We don’t often think about the impact our parents had in shaping who we are. The recent experience of writing a eulogy for my father made me reflect on it, and I realized my inherent nature was formed by them. Both of my parents were orphans who loved medicine (dad was a surgeon and mom was a nurse) and had a passion for helping people. They laid a great ethical foundation and taught us strong values.
What’s your best career advice?
Do something that makes you happy. No job is going to be happy every day. Inherently if what you are doing brings you satisfaction, that’s a good day.