publication date: Oct. 5, 2018

Craig Thompson resigns from two corporate boards as MSK crisis shifts to board roles

By Paul Goldberg

Craig Thompson, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, resigned from two corporate boards of directors—the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., and Charles River Laboratories International Inc., a company focused on early-stage drug development and manufacturing of novel compounds.

Thompson announced his resignation from the corporate boards in an email to the MSK faculty and staff Oct. 2.

“I’ve heard from a number of you that you’d like me to be even more present at MSK,” Thompson wrote. “I take that feedback seriously and intend to lead by example. To that end, I am resigning from my positions as a member of the Board of Directors of Merck and Charles River, effective immediately. I believe this is the right decision for Memorial Sloan Kettering and will allow me to redouble my focus on MSK priorities: quality patient care, faculty, scientists, and staff.”

The scandal began on Sept. 8, when The New York Times and ProPublica published a story stating that José Baselga, MSK’s chief medical officer and physician-in-chief at the time, had systematically failed to disclose conflicts of interest. On Sept. 16, the Times published an editorial about conflicts of interest at the cancer center.

On Sept. 20, another Times-ProPublica story questioned MSK’s role in establishing Paige.AI, an artificial intelligence start-up that aims to use the hospital’s pathology archive—consisting of data from 25 million patients—to develop machine learning algorithms and create a decision support system for pathologists.

Thompson’s decision to resign from the two boards comes after The New York Times and ProPublica … Continue reading Craig Thompson resigns from two corporate boards as MSK crisis shifts to board roles

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