— Meet Tam

I look forward to putting what I know into practice and making an impact – even in a small way – to help progress healthcare and ultimately better patients’ lives.

Let’s start with an introduction!

I am Tam, I come from Milan, Italy and currently I’m doing my Masters in biomedical engineering focusing on innovative digital technologies and how they can be applied to Healthcare. In my bachelors I developed a keen interest in computer programming, medical informatics and machine learning. I could put my learning into practice when I worked in a small medical device company where I applied  machine learning to medical imaging. Here at Roche, I continue to hone my skills in the exciting field of data science and machine learning.

When did you first hear about Roche?

To be honest, I did not know much about Roche until Corona hit. Through the news, I learned a little about Roche through the Covid tests. At the time my understanding was quite vague. I started looking into Roche when I visited a friend who lives near the Rotkreuz site. Then I learnt more day by day about Roche’s mission and work around healthcare, and the company motto which truly resonated with me as I had chosen a med-tech path. After getting to know Roche, I got excited about the possibility of working here and applied for a few positions. Although they were unsuccessful, one hiring manager pointed me towards the Healthcare Xplorers programme as he thought I would be a great fit for the project.  I applied, and now here I am!

What was your challenge question about?

The challenge I applied for was leveraging generative machine learning models to generate synthetic data from sensitive trial data. So the focus of the main project I am part of is on the patient reported outcomes. These are questionnaires submitted by the patients themselves on their subjective quality of life. My challenge was to generate these patient reported outcomes data in a way that the synthetic data resembles as much as possible the original data, yet at the same time protecting the patient’s privacy. I am working now on building validation methods to evaluate the quality of the synthetic data so I am looking forward to seeing the results of that effort.

How was the Xplorers camp?

The camp was the first of its kind for me as I have never seen anything like it! I was able to develop my own ideas to solve the challenge. They gave us some literature as a starting point but I also had my own more unconventional idea. Presenting it then to a panel of experts on the day was both scary and exciting. It really puts your communication and presentation skills to the test. I appreciated that after the presentation they gave us feedback directly, which for me was that I needed to be more technical in the presentation. This is really helpful to grow, and something not present in all interview processes.

What was Roche like? Was it as you expected?

I expected a diverse, international, exciting environment and that’s exactly what I found. I enjoy learning about the wide variety of projects going on. The shift from working at a small company to now such a big one was really eye opening for me. Beyond that, I really appreciate the openness of the people in the company. You can just reach out and connect with someone regardless of role or position or location.

What are you looking forward to in the future?

This experience within Roche was really eye opening and sparked within me the desire to continue learning. I still see how much there is to learn and contribute to the field. I look forward to putting what I know into practice and making an impact – even in a small way – to help progress healthcare and ultimately better patients’ lives.

Would you recommend Healthcare Xplorers? Why or why not?

Of course I would recommend healthcare Xplorers! I recommend it to everyone who wants to put themselves to the test. If you are passionate about revolutionizing healthcare and applying cutting edge technologies, contributing to cutting edge research  in such an important field, then this is for you. It’s an amazing opportunity to not only push forward in the Healthcare field but practically get work experience in such a diverse and international company.