Tags: China | chinese | scientists | FBI | NIH | scrutiny

Chinese Scientists At US Research Centers Under NIH, FBI Scrutiny

national institutes of health building in bethesda, md.
(Mark Wilson/Newsmakers)

By    |   Thursday, 13 June 2019 06:30 PM

The National Institutes of Health and FBI are targeting ethnic Chinese scientists, including U.S. citizens, searching for a cancer cure, Bloomberg news reported.

According to Bloomberg, the FBI is telling companies, universities, hospitals—anyone with intellectual property at stake—to take special precautions when dealing with Chinese business partners and employees who might be “nontraditional” information collectors.

The FBI is pursuing economic espionage investigations “that almost invariably lead back to China” in almost every one of its 56 field offices, FBI Director Christopher Wray says, Bloomberg reported.

According to the news outlet, award-winning cancer researcher and naturalized American citizen Xifeng Wu was one such target – and has stepped down as director of the Center for Public Health and Translatonal Genomics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center after a three-month investigation into her professional ties in China.

Her resignation, and the departures in recent months of three other top Chinese American scientists from Houston-based MD Anderson, stem from a Trump administration drive to counter Chinese influence at U.S. research institutions, the news outlet reported.

Though the aim is to stop China’s theft of U.S. innovation and know-how, the collateral effect has been to stymie basic science, the foundational research that underlies new medical treatments, Bloomberg reported.

In Wu’s case, though she hasn’t been charged with stealing anyone’s ideas, she’s effectively been accused of secretly aiding and abetting cancer research in China, Bloomberg reported.

 “MD Anderson was very much an open door. The mission was ‘End cancer in Texas, America, and the world,’ ” Oliver Bogler, the cancer center’s senior vice president for academic affairs from 2011 to 2018 and now chief operating officer of the ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico, told Bloomberg.

To Wu’s friends and many colleagues, her case represents overkill. “Innocent yet meaningful scientific collaborations have been portrayed as somehow corrupt and detrimental to American interests. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Randy Legerski, a retired vice chair of MD Anderson’s genetics department and former chair of its faculty senate, told Bloomberg.

Adds Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University: “The only thing we’ve lost to China is our investment in Xifeng Wu.”

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The National Institutes of Health and FBI are targeting ethnic Chinese scientists, including U.S. citizens, searching for a cancer cure, Bloomberg news reported.According to Bloomberg, the FBI is telling companies, universities, hospitals-anyone with intellectual property...
chinese, scientists, FBI, NIH, scrutiny
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2019-30-13
Thursday, 13 June 2019 06:30 PM
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