Sloan Kettering Hit With Another Controversy Over Exclusive Deal With For-Profit Startup It Has Financial Stake In
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and its officials hold an equity stake in the artificial intelligence startup to which the center has granted exclusive rights to use its vast archives. The connections raised some eyebrows so soon after the resignation of the center's chief medical officer over his failure to disclose financial conflicts.
ProPublica/The New York Times:
Sloan Kettering’s Cozy Deal With Start-Up Ignites A New
An artificial intelligence start-up founded by three insiders at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center debuted with great fanfare in February, with $25 million in venture capital and the promise that it might one day transform how cancer is diagnosed. The company, Paige.AI, is one in a burgeoning field of start-ups that are applying artificial intelligence to health care, yet it has an advantage over many competitors: The company has an exclusive deal to use the cancer center’s vast archive of 25 million patient tissue slides, along with decades of work by its world-renowned pathologists. (Ornstein and Thomas, 9/20)
Are Health Systems On The Hook To Disclose Faculty Conflicts Of Interest?
Health systems are debating how to ensure research and conflict of interest transparency in the wake of Dr. Jose Baselga's recent resignation from Memorial Sloan Kettering over undisclosed conflicts of interest. The New York City-based research institute's chief medical officer resigned last week, days after reports that he did not disclose several millions of dollars in payments he received from drug and healthcare companies in dozens of research articles. In fact, an investigation by the New York Times and ProPublica found Baselga failed to report industry ties in 87% of the papers he published or co-wrote last year. Baselga also sat on the board of Bristol-Myers Squibb since March, and radiation equipment supplier Varian Medical Systems since 2017, according to the report. (Johnson, 9/20)
In other news on members of the health research community —
The Washington Post:
Cornell Professor Brian Wansink Resigns, The School Says
A Cornell professor whose buzzy and accessible food studies made him a media darling has submitted his resignation, the school said Thursday, a dramatic fall for a scholar whose work increasingly came under question in recent years. The university said in a statement that a year-long review found that Brian Wansink “committed academic misconduct in his research and scholarship, including misreporting of research data, problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship.” (Rosenberg and Wong, 9/20)
Scientific Leaders Urge New Efforts To Curb Sexual Harassment In The Field
Leaders of one of the nation’s most prominent scientific groups are calling for the research community to “act with urgency” to address sexual and gender-based harassment in the field. “It’s time for systemic change,” three leaders of the American Association for the Advancement of Science wrote in an editorial published Thursday in Science. The editorial — penned by AAAS president Dr. Margaret Hamburg, chair of the board Susan Hockfield, and president-elect Steven Chu — follows on the heels of a new policy on harassment adopted by the organization last weekend. (Thielking, 9/20)