Martine Rothblatt is best known for her role in the bio pharmaceutical industry. She is a leader in the industry who is well-respected for her contributions. We wanted to know more about her past and how she went about building her career and were were impressed with what we found out. She's led a fascinating life and Martine's journey to the top of the industry is worth sharing, so here are twenty cool facts about her that you probably didn't know.
1. She has an impressive education
Martine attended the prestigious University of California at Los Angeles, otherwise known as UCLA. During the time that she spent there, she pursued a double major program. When she graduated in 1981, she received her master of business administration degree. She also received her JD degree in law from the University. She came out of the university with the necessary education to pursue a career as an attorney as well as work at executive level in the business sector.
2. She is the creator of Sirius XM Radio
One of the new things that we learned about Martine Rothblatt that we didn't realize before is that she is the co-founder of Sirius XM radio. The Company was established in 1990. She stayed with them until after the new business made its initial public offer in 1993 to become a publicly funded entity, listed on the stock exchange, and available for public trading. She left Sirius XM shortly thereafter.
3. Her daughter was involved in controversy
Recently, a senior executive at the company that Martine Rothblatt leads was sued in a court of law. The executive just happened to be Jenesis Rothblatt, who is Martine's daughter. The lawsuit was filed by a United Therapeutics Corporation former employ and the allegations accused Jenesis of sexual harassment.
4. She is a PhD
When Martine made the choice to enter the medical field, she needed to continue her education. She was accepted into and enrolled in the doctor program at the Royal London College of Medicine & Dentistry. There she earned her PhD in medical ethics. It was after this that she went on in her career to become the founder of the United Therapeutics Corporation, in 1996. She currently serves as the chief executive officer of the company and leads the biotechnology business in research to meet the needs of patients who are diagnosed with life threatening and other types of chronic health conditions.
5. She's the highest paid female CEO
Martine Rothblatt earns an incredibly high salary in her CEO position with United Therapeutics. She was named the highest paid woman CEO in 2013 at which time, her annual salary as $38 million. She has a estimated net worth of $380 million.
6. Rothblatt developed WorldSpace
Yet another significant contribution that Martine Rothblatt has made to the world is the development of WorldSpace. This is a global satellite system which is used as a replacement for shortwave radios which are used for organizations who offer tele-education services for people who are located within developing countries. This is a major contribution to educate the world from one corner to another. It seems that nothing Martine does is on a small scale and her efforts have changed the lives of millions of people around the world for the better.
7. She is responsible for the development of life saving drugs
When her daughter Jenesis was given a diagnosis that was essentially a death sentence at the time, Martine wasted no time in establishing a research facility and pharmaceutical company that could develop a drug that would make a difference in her life as well as the lives of millions of others suffering from primary pulmonary hypertension throughout the world. Initially, thee was only one IV drug used to treat the condition and thanks to Rothblatt's efforts, the company that she founded developed an injectable drug called Remodulin in 2009, then afterwards, in 2013 an oral version that was called Orenitram. After suffering setbacks from two FDA rejections, the drug was finally approved in its oral form and was made available for use as a treatment for the condition.
8. She takes her theories to the ultimate limits
One very important fact that we learned about Martine Rothblatt is that she is brilliant and she has developed some amazing theories, but she doesn't just leave it at that. She pursues possibilities relentlessly. A good example of this is her development of the BINA48 which stands for Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture 48. To sum the creation up, it is a sentient robot, also referred to as a social robot, a gynoid, a cybernetic companion and an android. Some of the more remarkable features of the robot are eyes that can actually see, a face which is capable of movement, hearing though its ears and a digital mind that is dedicated to the task of carrying on conversations. It is estimated that in time and with more research and application of knowledge discovered in the AI industry, the BINA48 will eventually possess a digital mind that is capable of surpassing the memory and speed of the human brain and technicians will be able to upoad the memories and consciousness of real humans into these beings.
9. Martine Rothblatt was born a male
We learned that Martine Rothblatt has a very good reason for advocating for global acceptance of gender reassignment. She herself underwent this type of surgery in 1994. She was born a male but made the choice to become a female. In addition to changing her physical sex from a man to a woman, she also legally changed her name and to this day, she continues to advocate for worldwide acceptance of persons who are transgender.
10. Martine is stimulating our curiosity in preparation for the future
What if grandparents who were long deceased could communicate with their ancestors? With the kind of cyber androids she sees coming in the future this could become the norm instead of the exception in the future. It could happen through digital downloading of memories and thought process, in essence cloning the human brains of individuals for transference into an android.
11. She started her career in satellite communications
Martine pursued her undergraduate degree from UCLA in satellite communications. After spending two years in classes there, she took a break from her studies and she traveled through Europe and other parts of the world observing their satellite systems. After graduation, she was hired by Covington & Burling where she served as an expert and attorney for television broadcasting, representing the industry in Federal Communications Commission hearings focusing on the areas of spread spectrum and satellite communication.
12. She moved into the biotech industry
The biotech industry is a far cry from satellite communications but Martine Rothblatt had a personal and vested interest in pursuing research in this industry. Her daughter was diagnosed with a medical condition that proved fatal in most patients who were diagnosed within two years, at the time of the discovery. The medical condition was pulmonary arterial hypertension and there were no known treatments to extend the life or the quality of life for patients at that time so Martine took an active interest in the field.
13. She founded the Terasem Movement
In 2004, Ms. Rothblatt founded the Terasem Movement. It is an endowed charity which educates the general pubic about the need for extending human life though an advanced and very futuristic type of technology The focus of the group is upon Digital Immortality, which investigates possibilities for fully simulating the human brain with computer technology an software through advanced robotics, nanotechnology and mind uploading. She authored a book called "Virtually Human: The Promise and the Peril of Digital Immortality."
14. Martine is a prolific author
Ms. Rothblatt has written a total of six books. One of the best selling is a the book that deals with the possibilities of transferring the brains of human beings into robots in a digital format. She covers many interesting facts including how close we are edging to having this kind of capability. This is just one of her many books. Another best selling title which she has written is "Your Life or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve the Conflict Between Public and Private Interests in Xenotransplantation." Her "From Transgender to Transhuman: A Manifesto On the Freedom Of Form. In addition to the books that she has authored she has also published over fifty peer reviewed articles, so when you conduct research in global satellite radios, human genomes, Xenotransplantation or any of the other interesting academic and science related topics that she has covered, her name is likely to come up in your search for sources.
15. She represented the radio astronomy sector
Here is another fascinating thing that we learned about Martine Rothblatt. When she was heavily involved with the global satellite communications industry, she served as a representative of this community. A pat of her mission was to secure "quiet frequency bands" which would be used in astrophysical research. She led the International Bar Association's efforts in preparing a Human Genome Treaty which was specified for the United Nations.
16. Her company develops pediatric cancer treatment drugs
Martine Rothblatt was successful in launching the bio-pharmaceutical company that developed and won approval for a drug that could extend the lives of people with a disease her daughter was diagnosed with, but her efforts were not limited to this area of healthcare and medicine. The company also developed a drug called Unituxin, which has shown success in treating children with a rare type of pediatric cancer. She and J. Craig Venter also developed a human transplant method that uses pig lungs in human beings.
17. Rothblatt is concerned about gender issues on a global level
Some of the work that Martine Rothblatt has been involved with includes advocacy for transgender rights as well as other genders. Ms. Rothblatt has a wife and the couple are married. She even designed the BINA48 after the likeness of her wife.
18. Martine worked with NASA
We're almost wondering what Martine Rothblatt has not done in her fascinating life. We also learned that she developed a passion for working with satellite communications after she had a "profound experience" while working with NASA at their tracking station that was located in the Indian Ocean. After her experiences, she returned to UCLA and completed her studies in law as well as in satellite communication technology. She even launched a new GPS company which was considered to be revolutionary at the time, called GeoStar and she served as the chief executive officer of the company in 1986.
19. She's known as the Transhumanist, Transgender CEO"
Martine Rothblatt is a visionary who does a lot more than theorize about possibilities, although that is one thing that she does well. One of her many life goals is to tear down walls and barriers that exist between the digital world and the biological existence and doing so with the creation of a new species of robot that thinks, participates in mechanical learning, has human like features and movements and processes information similar to the human brain, except faster. She writes about the likelihood that at some point in the near future, there will be digital clones of human beings. Another is to foster an environment of acceptance for transgender people.
20. Martine offers a unique perspective we could all learn from
Martine Rothblatt is one of those unique pioneers in multiple fields of study. Starting out as a male and living in the academic and business world both as a male, then later as a female gives her some very unique perspectives on what it means to be a human being. It is more about the person's heart, soul and personality than it is the body we inhabit or the gender we are assigned. We see a melding of human with digital that also transcends genders and breaks through unseen barriers and notions which we currently embrace about what it means to be human.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson