Employee Highlight: Samantha Tse

Employee Highlight: Samantha Tse

Nov 09

The expressed goal of the Ragon Insitute is lofty: to harness the immune system to prevent and cure human disease. But behind every principal investigator publishing a new finding is a team of support staff enabling their research. In the offices, administrative assistants, regulatory staff, and grant administrators manage the office, monitor funding, and ensure that IRB protocols are strictly followed. In the laboratory, research technicians are not only preparing for future scientific careers, they also perform laboratory work crucial to the research of principal investigators.


Therefore, we are pleased to present interviews with these support staff, to learn more about them and the important role that they play at the Ragon Institute.


Today we talk with Samantha Tse, Clinical Research Coordinator in the labs of Dr. Xu Yu and Dr. Mathias Lichterfeld.


Where are you from? How long have you been at the Ragon?

I was born and raised in Brighton, MA but moved to Belmont during my stormy teenage years. Since graduating from Boston College in 2014, I began working here as a Ragonite – about one and a half years ago!


What do you do at Ragon? What is a typical day like?

I am a Clinical Research Coordinator in the labs of Dr. Xu Yu and Dr. Mathias Lichterfeld. Although my main responsibilities involve writing and editing IRB approvals, FDA documents, and case report forms, I do occasionally have the chance to get my hands wet in the biosafety cabinets – and maintaining my thumb muscles by pipetting. Within the past 2 months, I was involved in starting Ragon’s Technician Committee. The purpose of this committee is to provide a community for the technicians at the Ragon Institute. My days are not so typical, so I am always kept on my toes.


What (Who) got you interested in science?

Ms. Lijek from my AP Biology class in high school. Ever since I got my hands on that green “Axolotl Questions” (aka “Ask-a-lot-of Questions”) t-shirt that we made in class, I have been mesmerized by the intricacies involved in our bodies – especially immunological pathways. I knew I wanted to become a scientist when I began to ask “Why?” for almost everything. Taking part in immunology labs throughout my college years only served to fuel this desire to know more.


If you weren’t a scientist, what would you be doing?

Such a great question. If I did not pursue science, I believe I would be part of a hip hop dance group that travels the nation to attend competitions and to teach hip hop to children in underprivileged areas. Hip hop pulled me through the thick and thin and I would love the opportunity to share that with others.


What is your favorite place in Boston/Cambridge to hang out?

Other than the Ragon Institute, my favorite go-to is the Harvard Co-op. I tend to find myself sitting in their café reading hours-on-end. My most recent favorite: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. My absolute favorite place to hang out, however, is on the snow-capped mountains in New Hampshire. Snowboarding is a big hobby of mine so people can generally find me in the powder.