Driving Personalised Healthcare forward as a Data Scientist

Roche is a company that aims to provide Personalised Healthcare (PHC). The idea is to get the right drug to the right patient at the right time. How can we do this? And how can we apply real world data?

Hi, my name is Aijing. I joined Roche in 2006 after I finished my PhD in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Prior to my PhD, I studied preventive medicine and worked in the department of epidemiology at the Medical University of Shanghai (now part of FuDan University), China. As a data scientist, I am involved in many strategic discussions concerning drug development and market access for assigned molecules. I lead the strategy on how to use real world data (data collected in routine clinical care) to optimise the development of innovative medicine and speed up the patient’s access to it.


There are so many things to learn, and these things can’t be learned from textbooks - you have to learn them by doing.


Our impact

We as data scientists have a responsibility to identify and apply meaningful data at scale to address important research questions. These research questions include understanding disease history, treatment patterns, effectiveness and safety, use as external control, etc. Addressing these questions could help optimise the design of clinical trials, obtain faster regulatory approval, and gain faster market access. In the end, patients could get the right drug much quicker. Our work is a mixture of meetings and scientific work, which includes designing studies and protocols and preparing statistical analysis plans.

The place to Work

Roche is a family-run pharmaceutical company. It has a long-standing reputation for treating employees well. In the past 12 years at Roche, I had the opportunity to work in different departments and was also able to attend internal or external courses and conferences. We are also encouraged to publish our work at important conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. Roche cares about the well-being of its employees. There is a swimming pool, a fitness centre, yoga courses and other fitness facilities on site. People can work in a flexible way, including working from home. Managers care about their employees’ career development. They discuss the development plan together with the employee and give guidance on the next steps.

Our workplace

I work in the Roche tower, which is the highest building in Switzerland. Living in Basel, it is possible to cycle to work, since it is faster than taking public transportation. But we don’t have a designated desk. The ‘activity-based working model’ provides a lot of flexibility and offers the chance to meet more people and even work from home. In the offices, there are lounges for coffee breaks or informal meetings. There are also many quiet booths and meeting rooms of different sizes.

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