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Hemispherian Oncology

Feel the Pain, then Push Harder

Published February 26, 2020

It is a moment in every marathon race where you can either quit, fold, or say to yourself, ‘I can do this’. We know, it is a cheap trick to use sports lingo to describe entrepreneurship. However, in the case of Adam Robertson, Chief Scientific Officer and scientific founder of Hemispherian Oncology, it is more than tempting. It is necessary. Adam is a no-bullshit type with the stamina of a sleigh dog, his upbringing being far from winter and snow.

During boyhood years he was fed on Brunswick stew, peanut soup, and marble cake in Virginia, the birthplace of America. His father’s military assignment brought him to Guam for three years before he attended Virginia Tech and later University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for doctoral work. It was, however, as a postdoctoral researcher and group leader at Oslo University Hospital he understood that academic life was really not for him. Another day, another paper. Adam wanted to feel the pain, push harder, make an impact. He invented a novel CRISPR-like technology called RACeR, but what finally made him pull out of academia was the discovery that a group of small molecules would selectively kill glioblastoma cells. Glioblastoma patients have a median survival of 15-16 months. It was a no brainer: he wanted to make an impact, he exited academia.

Hemispherian Oncology has been hand built and bootstrapped by Adam, his Swiss partner Zeno Albisser (CEO), and a small dedicated team of scientists. This year they will do a seed round, imagine what they can do with money. Back to the sports lingo. The marathon is not really about the running (or the running entrepreneur), it's about the shared struggle. You will not be surprised that Adam is a marathon runner both intellectually and as a matter of fact.

Adam Robertson will give the lunch seminar at ShareLab 5 March 2020 at 11 am titled ‘Glioblastoma: not licenced to kill’. The seminar is open to all interested. Bring your lunch. Coffee, tea, and pastry will be served. Check more details here

Esben A. Nilssen