Researcher pleads guilty to taking fees

December 9, 2006

A U.S. scientist working on Alzheimer's has pleaded guilty to accepting consulting fees and travel expenses from a drug manufacturer without proper approval.

As part the agreement reached Friday, Pearson Sunderland III, chief of geriatric psychiatry of the National Institute of Mental Health, will be sentenced to two years of supervised probation and must forfeit $300,000, the Baltimore Sun said. Charged with conflict of interest, Sunderland admitted to accepting about $285,000 from Pfizer Inc. without authorization.

The institute is a part of the National Institutes of Health, which has said the arrangements between private companies and agency scientists was the worst scandal in the agency's history.

NIH officials said more than 40 scientists were thought to have engaged in outside, fee-based relationships with private companies. Most were disciplined internally or retired, agency officials said.

Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., expected to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January, said the case raises questions about NIH management.

"Sunderland remained on the payroll for years after NIH was given information from this committee about this conflict," Dingell said in a statement. "Will a criminal conviction for conflict of interest be enough to get someone fired from NIH?"

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New estimates show China's carbon emissions were less than previously thought

Related Stories

Is your fear of radiation irrational?

July 14, 2015

Bad Gastein in the Austrian Alps. It's 10am on a Wednesday in early March, cold and snowy – but not in the entrance to the main gallery of what was once a gold mine. Togged out in swimming trunks, flip-flops and a bath ...

Extracting useful scientific information from social media

May 27, 2015

In the second it takes to 'like' this article, 6,000 tweets, 5,000 profile updates, 4,000 photos and 500 blogs will have been posted on multiple social media platforms. As that second extends to a minute, a day and even a ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.