Chronic Fatigued Researcher Sued

A research institute has filed a lawsuit against its former employee, Judy Mikovits, who claimed to link a mouse retrovirus to chronic fatigue syndrome.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Nov 15, 2011

XMRVWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Just over a month ago, the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) fired its former research director, Judy Mikovits, who led the study that identified a link between a mouse retrovirus to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which has since been widely discredited. Now, the non-profit institute has filed a lawsuit against Mikovits, ScienceInsider reported, claiming that she took lab notebooks and documents from her computer that she had no right to take and that could hinder the institute's research efforts.

"Without these materials, WPI's ability to continue its important research on finding a cure for these terrible diseases impacting over 4 million Americans each year is severely hampered," the complaint stated.

WPI discovered the missing notebooks after opening a drawer in Mikovits's desk that was normally kept locked. Mikovits had the only key, but the institution had the desk's manufacturer send an employee...

The courts have already granted WPI an order to temporarily forbid Mikovits from "destroying, deleting, or altering" any of the files, and will hear argument on a request for preliminary injunction on November 22.

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