Rob Hershberg is the CEO of HilleVax, a pharmaceutical company that focuses mainly on developing and promoting vaccines. Obviously, anyone that heads up a company like this has to have a fairly unique personality. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t make it as a CEO and they certainly wouldn’t make it in this particular arena. That often leads people to want to know as much as they can about the individuals who are in charge of these types of companies. If you want to know more about him, you’re in luck because there are 10 things about him that you might find interesting, all of them listed below.
1. He’s a dedicated physician
There’s no question about it, he’s one of the most dedicated physicians in the business. He’s worked for a number of years to develop treatments for diseases that other people considered untreatable only a few years ago. Before that, he was an assistant physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, located in Boston. Around this same time, he also served as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, proving that he is more than capable of passing his knowledge on to other people effectively. As a matter of fact, many of the students that had him as a professor considered him to be one of the best that they’d ever had.
2. His focus is on curing chronic diseases that few others focus on
For a time, he worked for a company that focused on boosting the immune system so that the body could naturally fight off cancerous tumors, something that was thought impossible a decade ago. Currently, he is working on creating vaccines for neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. If he’s successful, it’s possible that these types of diseases could eventually become a thing of the past. The hope is that the individuals who are currently affected by those diseases will one day be offered a cure and that others can be treated before they even get sick.
3. He’s also an entrepreneur
He’s largely considered an entrepreneur-in-residence with the company that he currently heads up. Over the course of his career, he’s taken a number of similar positions that would give him the freedom that he needed to do the type of medical research that he feels called to do. In many cases, this has involved working for companies that were very much in the experimental stages of various treatments, relying on backing from investors in order to survive.
4. He’s one of the leading scientists in his field
He’s obviously also considered one of the best scientists in his field, having worked with companies that typically deal with complex diseases that can’t be easily treated. The fact that he helped to develop a treatment that could potentially be used for combating tumors is something to be celebrated in and of itself. The idea that he has now gone on to conquer neurological diseases is something that takes things to an entirely new level.
5. He has a history of longevity
Unlike a lot of entrepreneurs, he doesn’t really have a tendency to jump from one company to another. While he has worked with other companies before, he’s been at his current position for the past 14 years. Obviously, he tends to stay in one place when he genuinely believes in what is being accomplished and he’s able to see that steady progress is being made.
6. He has a desire to help people all over the world
One of the things that he really likes about working at his company is the fact that they have a very specific goal of helping people all over the world, not just some select the group of individuals that can afford to pay exorbitant fees in order to get treatment that no one else can access. One of the things that frustrates him so much about the current state of medicine is that individuals who don’t have a lot of money or don’t have very good insurance are often left out in the cold. He wants to change all of that, along with developing treatments that currently don’t exist.
7. He believes that the technology to create new treatments is at society’s fingertips
As a matter of fact, he’s a firm believer that the technology itself exists to help people. He’s a firm believer that the thing that really gets in the way is the fact that pharmaceutical companies (and medicine in general) has become a for-profit business, not something that focuses on the well-being of human beings. He wants to reverse all of that and he’s always quick to remind his colleagues that they are in fact dealing with human lives, something that is far more important than a bank account.
8. Some might consider him a humanitarian
It’s easy to see why some people say that he’s more of a humanitarian than an entrepreneur. Granted, he is in the business to make money because everyone has to make a certain amount of money to survive and money does indeed make the world go round. However, he believes that there should be a stopping point where money is no longer so important and people realize the importance of other things, such as helping someone live longer.
9. He knows how to get investors to engage
One of the reasons that companies are always so excited to have him on board is because he’s both a gifted physician and scientist, but he also has that entrepreneurial side of him that knows how to get investors to say yes. A lot of people say that he has a somewhat magnetic personality and that it’s almost impossible not to get excited about something when he’s obviously so excited about it. Clearly, it’s a formula that works very well.
10. He’s charismatic
The best entrepreneurs are charismatic individuals that can convince others that they’re onto something special. This is not a quality that everyone possesses but it is one that he possesses in abundance. It’s one thing that has allowed him to secure the financial side of things for many of the companies that he’s worked for, including this one. As a matter of fact, they just secured additional funding to the tune of $135 billion for additional research.