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A day in the life

Marlene Staib

Machine Learning Engineer
3 November 2021   |  
X minutes
In this series, we spotlight different people in our team and learn what a typical day at Healx is like for them.


"I know, I start pretty late compared to most of my colleagues; but hey, something has to stay consistent and that was the time I got started during pre-COVID office times. When I go to the Healx office, I leave around 8:20 for my London-Cambridge commute - otherwise, commute time is rebooked into lie-in-bed-and-brace-for-the-day time."


"I join one of our regular team standups. I take the opportunity catch up with my closest collaborators to see how far everyone got with their work. Yesterday, I discovered that one of the machine learning models I trained for producing automatic text annotations gave some unexpected but interesting results, and I use this as an opportunity to get some quick feedback and ideas from the team."


"This morning I’ll test out a few of the models I trained with different settings and compare the annotations they produce. Sometimes a small difference in how the biomedical papers I use are preprocessed can make a big difference in the results we find, so it is important to assess these methods carefully on a range of test data sets."


"One of my favourite things about working from home is that I get to have lunch with my partner. He's a software engineer as well, so we'll discuss different technical problems, how our days are going, a joke someone made in standup today, or how technology will save the world. Today it's how tech can help fight climate change."


"I have a meeting with a cross-functional team of biocurators and Natural Language Processing (NLP) experts to discuss a project for creating our own internal rare disease NLP data set. I really like this kind of work because I can learn about rare disease biology, work with smart people from diverse backgrounds, and create something very valuable that will help us find better treatments for rare diseases."


"I'm most productive when I’m in the middle of writing code - once everyone is logged out of Slack and it’s just me and my IDE from now on. On other days I just organise my todo list for the next day before closing my laptop for some classic paper-on-paper-reading time. It's important for me to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in my field, which helps me come up with new ideas for improving our systems."


"I'm quite sociable and try to get out in the evenings after work. You'll often find me wall climbing, playing squash, meeting friends for a drink or cooking up elaborate meals. This evening I pop out for my standard lockdown walk, where I encounter an old friend of a different kind: a duck perched on top of a nearby water fountain, where it is regularly spotted by keen photographers!"



We’re a diverse team of talented people working to revolutionise the way rare disease treatments are discovered and developed.

Our team has a broad range of expertise, experience, and perspectives but what unites us is our drive to make a positive difference to rare disease patients and their families.

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