Foreign assignment made easy for Roche employees

The Biotech-company Genentech in San Francisco is a subsidiary of Roche US. Dr. Christiane L. received the first class support, which Roche offers employees during their time abroad, when she switched from the US to Germany. In an interview, Dr. Christiane L. reports about her experiences:

Dr. Christiane L. (46) studied Medicine in Freiburg, Breisgau. She is an expatriate from Genentech in the US and now moved to Roche in Grenzach where she works as the head of the hermatology and oncology department.

You came from San Francisco to Grenzach. Could you tell us something about the company you worked for in the US?

I am an expatriate of Genentech, a former Biotech- company which is also a 100 per-cent subsidiary from Roche in the USA, and was now sent to Roche Pharma in Grenzach. Being a subsidiary, Genentech develops and produces the same products as Roche. In the USA, I was involved in the development of medicines against many types of cancer (among others, breast, colorectal and kidney cancer).

Do you also develop medicines at Roche Pharma in Grenzach?

Yes and no, more likely I develop them further. I am head of the medical affairs hematology / oncology department; we conduct studies which extend the existing authorization for medicines, because they allow doctors and patients additional treatment options. Thus, we are in constant dialogue with university hospitals, because the doctors and experts there use our medicines and deliver us important results, for example for which type of tumor our medicines provide us with the best results.

Why did you choose Roche as an employer as you could have worked as a medical practitioner?

I went to the US in 2000 and was doing research work, among others, for breast cancer in a hospital. As Roche and Genentech work on the most advanced drugs, I became aware of the company quite early. For me, Roche is very innovative and a leader in medical research and development. I got the chance to develop innovative cancer medicine and to contribute to the medical improvement for cancer patients.

Why did you want to switch from the US to Roche Pharma in Germany?

My tasks at Roche Pharma in Germany grant more responsibility to me, as an expert as well as a leader: I’m now responsible for the whole area of hematology and oncology and I’m having a considerably larger team. Furthermore, there is a lot of interesting research and development of new diagnostic tests going on at the German Roche facilities. Additionally, there was a personal component: After living in the US for 15 years, I wanted to move back to Germany. Fortunately, Roche took care of the whole moving process including all the paper works. Eventually, I moved with my whole family – including two children and two cats.

©Roche with / 10.6.2015

Tags: Career Blog, Germany