"I have my team's back"
Every day there are new and unique challenges that I am allowed to face as a group leader at Roche. The organisation of the helicopter flight was something completely new for me and my team. No day is like the next.more
My name is Asha Jacob and I am a toxicology project leader at Roche, Basel. In this capacity, I am responsible for the non-clinical safety of our new medicines. Prior to this, I was a research project leader in the antibiotics discovery team. I have a unique and exciting opportunity to witness the entire drug discovery and development value chain. I work with and lead project teams with varied expertise and learn something new every day. The wealth of knowledge and expertise that resides within this company is remarkable. I received my PhD from Waterloo, Canada and did my postdoc in Boston, USA.
One of my favourite quotes is by Hans Christian Andersen: "Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
In line with Roche’s key focus of delivering the best medicines to patients with urgency, my work helps Roche evaluate the non-clinical safety of new medicines and interactions involving health authorities for drug approvals with industry-leading strategies and ethics.
At Roche, I have found in essence my dream job: a job that challenges me to be the best I can be, both professionally and personally. The opportunities that are available for my development are unique. While I was in the antibiotics team, for example, I was encouraged by my then boss to move out of my scientific and leadership comfort zone and explore new challenges. This led me to my current role. There is no “pigeon-holing” here. If you have the will to do something, you have the opportunities to make it happen. Here, visionary scientists and leaders mentor me and I find myself at the forefront of groundbreaking science and technology. Personally, as a mother of young children I value the flexibility that the company provides with their work-from-home policy. I am encouraged to take time off to decompress and the camaraderie at the company is second to none.
Drug discovery and development is a challenging path. Teams have become my extended family. Knowing that your colleagues have your back in challenging times and will raise a glass with you to celebrate the good times is comforting and inspiring. What never ceases to surprise me is the humility that envelops this organisation, be it the leadership or scientists who are experts in their respective fields.