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NIH ethics investigation

Cash gifts from grantees prompt congressional investigation of NIH officials

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)

Richard D. Klausner, former director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and other current and former senior officials of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are being investigated by a congressional committee for possible violations of federal criminal and ethics laws. The investigation centers on the acceptance by Klausner and other officials of "lecture awards" and other cash gifts from universities and research institutions that receive NCI and NIH research grants.

In a June 26 letter, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. James Greenwood (R-Penn.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, ordered NIH Director Elias Zerhouni to turn over numerous documents relating to "management and ethical concerns at the agency" by July 11.

John Burklow, associate director for communications at NIH, said in a statement: "We just received the letter. We are not aware of any ethics rules violations;...

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