Meet Nathanael, Regulatory Documentation Scientist at Roche

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Your name:

Nathanael Cottam

Your Location:

Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Your current position:

Regulatory Documentation Scientist

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Following an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, I undertook a PhD in cell biology that enabled me to make new discoveries about a group of rare inherited diseases.  A year later in 2014, I moved from laboratory research to a Regulatory Affairs consultancy group and this allowed me to use my writing skills to facilitate the approval of new medicines.  Joining Roche in July 2016 was a great opportunity to become involved in the clinical aspects of drug development as a medical writer.

In which Roche location do you currently work and what can you tell us about that location as a work environment?

Welwyn Garden City.  When they say “Garden City” it really is!  There are lots of green areas close by so it’s easy to get out for a nice walk, yet London is conveniently only a 25 minute train ride away.

As for the Roche site, I like the open, bright design of the building and the wonderful restaurant.  Many informal meeting areas (with a café nearby) encourage networking, and our state of the art video conferencing rooms make it easy to connect with colleagues across the globe.

Why did you decide to join Roche and why at this location?

From the moment I came for interview, I could sense this was a positive environment where employees are motivated to make a difference in patients’ lives.  I’ve been here almost four months now, and that hasn’t changed.  For me, the people I work with are the most important factor – companies that invest in people to realize their potential are the ones that produce long-term results and maintain a good reputation.  I can see that happening here at Roche.

What is your current position at Roche?

I’m a Regulatory Documentation Scientist but in general industry terms you could call me a “medical writer”.  It means that I use my regulatory and scientific skills to interpret clinical data and then present this to Health Authorities.  There are new things to learn every day and job satisfaction comes from knowing what you do has impact for patients.

How would you describe Roche as an employer?

Roche has a substantial onboarding process for new starters.  In addition to useful training sessions, I was assigned a “buddy” – someone already doing a similar role who helps with questions and offers assistance to get started on project work.  Furthermore, I have a line manager who is dedicated to support me in my personal development and career progression.  There is an attractive annual bonus and my contribution to the pension scheme is matched twofold by Roche.  My opinion is valued and the company wants to hear ideas that will improve how things are done.

How would you describe the people working here?

Supportive, friendly and passionate about the work they do.  This is a busy and stimulating work environment but people are very willing to listen and answer questions.

How is your job connected to “doing now what patients need next”?

I’m working on two new drugs, one is for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and clinical trials have demonstrated how it can slow disease progression in many patients. The other is a new therapy for hemophilia type A patients for whom the current treatment is not working well.  My efforts as a medical writer at Roche are helping these new products reach the marketplace so that patients can benefit from them as soon as possible.

Tags: Career Blog, UK