Meet Caroline, Principal Associate at Roche
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Caroline. I am an expert in flow cytometry, which is a technology used to analyse immune cells. I have a Master’s degree from Strasbourg University. During my studies, immunology was always my favourite subject. After my graduation I worked in an international academic research institute in Strasbourg, where I managed the flow cytometry facility. My first industry position was with a Swiss biotech company.
Swimming, snorkelling, and cinema are my hobbies. Even though I prefer the sea, Lake Zurich and the Limmat River are wonderful places to swim in Switzerland.
In which Roche location are you currently working and what can you tell us about that location as a work environment?
I work at Roche Innovation Center Zurich (RICZ), which is located in Schlieren, a suburb of Zurich, at the site of the former Glycart biotechnology company. There are around 140 people working here, representing different functions and departments. The site has been growing steadily since I joined. Now we occupy two buildings and are soon to be relocated and brought together in a new building. The general ambience is casual and friendly. People meet and mix over lunch and coffee in the cafeteria. Zurich is only 7 km away and is a very attractive city. It is the most cosmopolitan city in Switzerland with a nice lake and numerous cultural festivals.
Why did you decide to join Roche and why at this location?
I joined Roche because of its outstanding reputation for excellence in science, and for being a good employer.
As a scientist, my main areas of interest are immunology and flow cytometry. RICZ is active in the research and development of engineered therapeutic antibodies, with a focus on the field of cancer immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy is a relatively new field for me where I can feel my contribution as a scientist. The goal of this area is to activate the immune system of patients to reject the tumour. We all know people touched by cancer and therefore I feel that my job is really important.
I feel like a member of a good team and what I do here is adding value. I also appreciate meeting people from different horizons and cultures.
What is your current position at Roche?
I work as a Principal Associate. Flow cytometry is my key expertise; one of my responsibilities is to take care of the flow cytometry instrumentation, which we use to analyze immune infiltration in tumours. At RICZ, we benefit from state-of-the-art instruments. I also develop assays to test our molecules for particular projects.
How would you describe Roche as an employer?
Roche takes care of its people, with benefits such as flexible working hours. It is also possible, depending on the position, to work from home, so family life is easier to manage. When I joined, Roche offered me a relocation programme and access to German courses to help me integrate into Zurich life.
The structure of the Cancer Immunotherapy Group at RICZ is very new and we are preparing for the integration of the newly hired colleagues. I am physically located in an office with people that are not necessarily from my team, and this gives me the opportunity to exchange and share with people from different groups.
How would you describe the people working here?
The RICZ is like Zurich: multicultural, with many different nationalities from different continents. English is the official language but you hear conversations in different languages in the corridor. In the center we often have opportunities to meet each other outside of work (hiking day, BBQ evening, ski day, Christmas evening, apéro, etc.), which creates friendly links between people and makes everyone feel part of the family.
What can you tell us about the current job openings in your department?
For our team in Zurich we are currently looking for 2 Senior Group Leader level scientists with cancer immunotherapy expertise. We are looking for cheerful and motivated team players who enjoy working in a multi-national environment towards our common goal of inducing immune responses against tumours.
Details about the current open positions can be found here.
What would you advise job seekers who want to join us?
Show that you are motivated to join the Roche Innovation Center Zurich with a well-considered resumé and covering letter.
You can find all the open positions at Roche on our career website: www.careers.roche.ch.