Our resident MD Alexander Ebinger has been at the helm of Hart Biologicals since he took over from company founder Alby Pattison a little over a year ago. Alex is a man of many talents, both inside and outside of work. He sat down to chat about his life, career and biggest passions in life.
Tell us about yourself and how you got involved with Hart Biologicals
I was always a science kid at school and decided to pursue my interest further by studying biochemistry at university. I had a passion for chemistry and biology from a young age and became fascinated by the application of science to the human body. I also became interested in the methodology of diseases and how biochemistry could improve the lives of everyday people.
I knew Hart Bio’s founder Alby Pattison through a family connection. My father was the CEO of one of Hart Bio’s major customers, and they had a longstanding business relationship.
I decided I wanted to work in industry after graduating from university to put my scientific knowledge to good use. I worked on various projects with Hart Bio over the summer holidays to gain hands-on practical experience of industry life.
When I finished my degree at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany, I returned to the UK to co-found Hart Innovations back in 2012. A sister company of Hart Biologicals, Hart Innovations focussed on providing bespoke research for organisations in the biomedical sector who wouldn’t normally have the time, capacity or the expertise to conduct it themselves. Hart Bio and Hart Innovations, and their teams, always had a close working relationship, and after Alby’s retirement, I took over Hart Bio in July 2019. Later that year, we officially integrated Hart Innovations into Hart Biologicals Ltd, allowing us to combine resources and experience across departments more effectively.
What’s your favourite thing about working for Hart Bio and why?
The short answer is the people. I was inspired by the challenge of building the right team around me and the ongoing professional development of our staff, so we stay at the cutting edge of the sector.
One of the things we’re very keen on at Hart Bio is to nurture the next generation of scientific talent. We have some excellent universities in the North East and have worked actively with Teesside, Sunderland, and Northumbria to develop our internship programme.
We’ve found it remarkably easy to attract and retain top talent, the students and interns we have in the business receive on the job mentoring to learn specialist knowledge of the haemostasis sector. This can also be seen in our senior management team, where we’ve had minimal turnover as the business had grown, something I know is uncommon, especially in healthcare.
What are your biggest passions outside of work?
One of the great things about my job is that I get to travel the world, meet new people, and experience new cultures. Travelling is one of my passions in life. While at university I went on an around the world trip with some friends. We toured Japan, China, New Zealand, and Los Angeles and had some fascinating experiences along the way.
I love the great outdoors and anything that takes me outside, especially field sports. I have a particular interest in clay pigeon shooting. While I’m a member of a local shooting club in Seaham; I’ve also visited half a dozen different locations across the region in the past year alone.
Can you tell us anything you think people may not know about you?
I have a scuba diving license. One particularly memorable trip I took at university involved my friends and I hiring equipment and driving to a nearby lake in my Mini Cooper, which of course is not a very large car. It was interesting with all the equipment and ourselves; we went diving for several hours, which was great fun. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing ever since, although the vehicles we use usually have more space now.
I’m also musically minded and play the jazz trumpet. I played in a band in my younger days, playing local gigs and events. I don’t get to play quite as often as I would like to nowadays, but I made great friends from it.
Asian cuisine is one of my favourite things. Inspired by my travels, I own various cookbooks and recently have started trying my hand at Korean food.
If there was one piece of advice you would give to your younger self, what would it be?
I was always a high performer at school; being near the top of the class came very easily to me. When I got to university, things were very different, and I found myself surrounded by students who were just as good, if not better.
One of the things I’ve realised is to not to be so hard on yourself. Also having talent is no excuse not to work hard, but talent and the will to work hard is a powerful combination.
To learn more about our history, visit our Hart’s Heritage page.