Meet Moritz, Scientific Application Developer at Roche

Hi, my name is…

…Moritz. I grew up in Mainz in Germany, a city similar in size to Basel and located about 30 km west of Frankfurt/Main. I studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Bingen and completed my degree in Bioinformatics in 2007. From there I moved to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg where I wrote my diploma thesis in the Bioinformatics Group and, after that, worked there for two years in the Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics. At the end of 2009 I followed my wife to Switzerland (she worked at this time for Roche Diagnostics in Rotkreuz) and worked in a bioinformatics software company before I finally joined Roche in November 2012.

I live with my wife and our two little children in the middle of the Jura mountains where I enjoy spending time outside doing activities like mountain biking, hiking or camping.

My typical day at work is…

…In my current position, I implement scientific software solutions for Roche's Research department pRED (Pharma Research and Early Development). These can either be very specialised and focused programs or big software solutions which have to fit into our architecture landscape. In the latter case we work a lot with external software developers and my role is to act as the link between our scientists, who provide the requirements, and the Software Development Team that is implementing the software.

This is exciting as it allows me to build solutions using cutting-edge technologies and also puts me in close contact with the scientists. My work is also challenging as it requires the ability to “switch languages” (science to technology) and to adapt to different situations which makes almost every day stimulating and unique.

The location I am working at is…

…Basel, the Roche Headquarters, and as I live outside of Basel I commute here almost every day by using the excellent public transportation system of the Basel region. The main site, on which my office building is located, has changed during the last years and this will continue also in the next years with a CHF 3 billion investment plan for new office and lab buildings, new restaurants and improved sport facilities (e.g. a brand-new indoor pool or a fitness centre).

My work helps Roche to …

…bring targeted treatments to patients. As part of the research informatics (pRED Informatics) department, my work contributes directly to the invention of new treatments by supporting the scientists and research laboratories with software that helps them to work more efficiently. Today, research has to deal with lots of data and our scientists should be able to focus on their research instead of thinking about how to handle or analyse the data as best as possible. The demand for data analysis and management solutions is growing with the progression of science, and Roche as a research-focused company has growing needs for these kinds of IT solutions.

Roche as an employer is…

…the best thing about working at Roche is the great teams that I'm working with every day. My colleagues have different backgrounds (scientific, technical, etc.) and are also very international.   

As a family guy, work-life balance is very important for me and Roche respects this and offers many benefits like Roche child care facilities or financial support. 

In my department we are looking for people who…

…like to translate current and future scientific problems into modern technical solutions. We design, develop, build and deliver innovative integrated scientific informatics solutions and platforms focusing on the data capture, analysis, and visualisation of chemical, biological, and biomedical data information and knowledge. 

What can you say about career development at Roche?

The chance to move forward in my career at Roche is great. I started as a scientific application developer and quickly had the chance to lead the first projects. Accepting these challenges paid off last year by being promoted to a Senior Scientist.

What do you do to help balance life and work?

I dedicate the working hours to work and don't take it home in the evening. The weekends and the evenings are for the family first and, if there is still some time left ;-), for my hobbies.

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