publication date: Jan. 24, 2020

Moffitt’s internal investigation: Scientists did not disclose funding from state-sponsored programs in China

On Jan. 17, Moffitt Cancer Center officials delivered the final report of the institution’s internal investigation to the Florida legislature, alleging that top leaders and researchers at the cancer center had opened personal bank accounts in China and received unreported personal payments and other research support.

The Moffitt document is being released a month after Thomas Sellers, director of the cancer center, and Alan List, president and CEO of the center, stepped down Dec. 18, 2019, following the internal review that revealed that they violated “conflict of interest rules through their work in China,” cancer center officials said (The Cancer Letter, Dec. 20, 2019).

The scientists named in the investigation also agreed to devote substantial personal time in direct conflict with their full-time commitments to Moffitt, and received personal cash honoraria and personal travel benefits during their visits to China, the Moffitt document alleges.

The report summary, published in its entirety here, provides an account of undisclosed relationships with China on the part of six ousted scientists—Thomas Sellers, Alan List, Sheng Wei, Howard McLeod, Dan Sullivan, and Pearlie K. Epling-Burnette. A full report hasn’t been made public.


The text of the document follows:


Summary of Foreign Influence Issues

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports international collaborative biomedical research to advance science and expand biomedical knowledge. Scientific cooperation between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (“China”) was initiated over 30 years ago and has grown rapidly in recent years. Recognizing … Continue reading Moffitt’s internal investigation: Scientists did not disclose funding from state-sponsored programs in China

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