A review by the University of Texas System of a controversial $20-million state grant to the university-affiliated M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found no irregularities in the award, which had prompted a Nobel Prize winner to leave the funding group, reports the Houston Chronicle.
Alfred Gilman, chief scientific adviser to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, cited the M.D. Anderson grant as one of the chief reasons for his departure from the institute last month. The Nobel laureate had alleged in letters and e-mails that political and commercial considerations were interfering with the grant process, the Chronicle previously reported.
In addition, the funding application by Lynda Chin, M.D. Anderson’s principal grant investigator and the wife of the center’s president, Ronald DePinho, was apparently not reviewed by higher-ups at the facility, prompting questions about possible nepotism.
Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the university system, said the review found “no deliberate attempt by anyone to circumvent” M.D. Anderson’s grant procedures and no evidence of nepotism of conflict of interest in the process.