Chronic Fatigue Researcher Fired

Researcher who found connection between virus and chronic fatigue fired for not releasing her research samples.

Oct 4, 2011
Edyta Zielinska

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, PAUL SAPIANO

Judy Mikovits, the lead researcher of a study that suggested that the retrovirus XMRV might cause chronic fatigue syndrome was fired from her institution for refusing to share her cell lines with another researcher at the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, where she worked, reported the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.

Her study was partially retracted last month (September 22), when two of the authors of paper detected contamination in their samples. Still, Mikovits stood by the original findings.  When the president of the Whittemore Peterson Institute requested the cell lines for another scientist at the institute, Mikovitz refused.  About a week later, she was fired.

The majority of the researchers in the field agree that there is no connection between XMRV and chronic fatigue, and say that the millions spent on further research have sufficiently discredited the claim.  Sufferers of chronic fatigue, however, have continued to uphold the link, as there is currently little else to explain the symptoms.

(Hat tip to FierceBiotech.)