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Doctor Ronald Thomas Halberstam (born-unknown, deceased-June 30, 2070), alias Doctor Thomas Shalbermat, was a matrix, otaku and technomancer researcher. During the 2050s, he ran an illegal research project known as Project: Matrix Born which studied the effects of raising children entirely in a virtual environment. When this project was discovered, Dr. Halberstam changed his name to Thomas Shalbermat, and was employed by Mitsuhama Computer Technologies, where his focus shifted to the otaku phenomena.

The Matrix Crash of 2064 set back much of his research, but with the emergence of AIPS Shalbermat was able to convince Mitsuhama to secretly sponsor Project: Remote Object Manipulation.

As head researcher for Project: ROM, Shalbermat kidnapped and ruthlessly experimented on a large number of AIPS patients. Doctor Shalbermat's ruthless use of unethical research techniques allowed Mitsuhama to gain a substantial advantage over its competitors in understanding the technomancer phenomena.

In 2069, seeking to catch up with Mitsuhama, Shalbermat was covertly approached by NeoNET who offered various positions and benefits for his defection. Doctor Shalbermat while amenable to the idea, was reluctant to abandon his research with Mitsuhama, and delayed extraction until June 2070, when NeoNET decided to raid Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong and forcibly extract Doctor Shalbermat. This lead to the Hong Kong Incident, during which Doctor Shalbermat was killed by an escaped patient.

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