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House Poses More Questions on Nih Conflict of Interest

May 24, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 21

At a hearing on May 18, members of the House Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee examined two specific cases as part of a probe into conflict-of-interest issues at NIH. One case involved the presentation of a $40,000 cash award to former National Cancer Institute director Richard D. Klausner by the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. The award raised conflict-of-interest concerns in that it was awarded to Klausner following the settlement of litigation involving both NCI and the university, and the award--generally given to an individual who made the most progress in medicine for the year in question--was awarded to Klausner for work he had done in 1995. In the second case, at issue is whether Emanuel F. Petricoin from FDA and Lance Liotta from NCI should have been allowed to consult for Biospect, a biotech company, while serving as coprincipal investigators on a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement with Correlogic Systems, a biotech company with a mission similar to that of Biospect. The two began consulting in 2002 and have just recently ended the relationship. The hearing is part of an ongoing congressional investigation of conflict-of-interest problems at NIH (C&EN, May 17, page 11).


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