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Sisters in science

26 May 2014

Malaghan researchers Shiau-Choot and Ching wen Tang

Growing up in Wellington, sisters Ching wen and Shiau-Choot revelled in uncovering the mysteries of nature through science. Whether it was learning about the formation of rainbows, trips to the rocky shore, or making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, the sisters found 'geeky' delight in learning about science in their everyday lives.

Fast forward to 2014 and the sisters are both working at the Malaghan Institute using their early curiosity of nature and discovering how things work to contribute to the science community. However, despite working in the same building, the sisters don’t really see themselves as working together.

Shiau-Choot is currently investigating the mechanisms used by the immune system to initiate a Th2 immune response. Ching wen on the other hand is focusing on an adjuvant-antigen delivery system which aims to improve how the immune system recognises and attacks tumours. 

Being able to work on separate projects in the same building has definitely had its benefits for the sisters. In her first two years at the Malaghan, Ching wen really appreciated having her sister alongside her, saying that “it was such a big learning curve and I really had the support that is needed to transition into the work force.”

Additionally, the sisters say that "having the ability to talk science techniques and protocols freely, as well as the mutual understanding of what it feels like when an experiment doesn’t go well has been a real big bonus.”

Together, the sisters both enjoy doing experiments, finding implications and making discoveries all in the name of making sense of the “big puzzle” that is science.

Ching wen and Shiau-Choot bring an incredible energy to the Malaghan Institute and we feel very lucky to have them on our team.