Graduate Alumna Focus | Esther Suikinpar Thang
"The Biomedical Science courses at Hood College offered a strong core foundation and principles that are essential in stepping into the scientific research world. This is the main reason why I choose Hood College to study Biomedical Science"
Esther Suikhinpar Thang, Biomedical Science M.S.'19
- Biomedical Science (M.S.)
Graduate Hood alumna, Esther Suikhinpar Thang, graduated with a master's in Biomedical Science in 2019. She is currently working as a Flowcytometry Scientist at Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda.
Please tell us about your background.
I grew up in a very small village called Lumbang in Myanmar, where access to education was very limited. My family came to America when I was 16 years old. Coming from such a poor educational background, I really struggled in my early years of school. However, I was determined to finish school and earn at least a bachelor’s degree.
I chose to study Clinical Laboratory Science at Salisbury University and received my B.S in 2013. During my study there, I was particularly interested in the immunology courses. I chose to further my studies at Hood College and received my M.S in Biomedical Science in 2019.
Currently, I am working as a Flowcytometry Scientist at Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda.
What made you choose Hood College and your program of study?
After working in a clinical lab industry for four years, I knew I wanted to continue my career in science but was interested in exploring the research aspect.
The Biomedical Science courses at Hood College offered a strong core foundation and principles that are essential in stepping into the scientific research world. This is the main reason why I choose Hood College to study Biomedical Science (M.S).
What have you enjoyed about Hood College and what is your favorite memory?
I really like the small class sizes that allow students to interact closely with one another and with the professors. I love the flexibility of the faculty to accommodate students who are working fulltime.
What I miss most about my program was the unity of students working restlessly together to understand the subjects, especially for the core classes such as Protein Biochemistry and Cell Structure and Functions.
What inspired you the most when doing your thesis projects?
My project thesis was inspired by a research paper I read in an Advance Immunology class taught by Dr. Senta Kapnic. My project was to mimic the research with improved technology to see if it would yield better results.
What really inspired me to go above and beyond were my project advisers Dr. Rebeca Erwin-Cohen, Dr. Craig Laufer, Dr. Senta Kapnic, and Dr. Anne Boyd. Dr. Boyd reiterated many times in seminar class that this final project will reflect how much information we had absorbed over the course of the program, how well we can apply that information, and even to prove how well they taught us.
I wanted to prove that I leaned something during my time at Hood, earned my degree, and was ready to take the next step in my career.
What are you interest outside of your professional and education pursuit?
I love traveling. Exploring new places and cultures truly allows me to see life from different perspective. These explorations make me a more open-minded person, and in a way make me a better person.
I believe this should be the goal for everyone; to become the best version of ourselves.