February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Cancer expert sues employer for force-out over China program

Associated Press – Feb. 13

Thomas Seller says in the complaint against the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa that he took no part in a controversial effort by China to recruit U.S. researchers for collaborations.  Also posted to PeoplePC, KOKI, New Castle News, SRN News, Rutland Herald, Voice of Alexandria, Rapid City Journal, Valdosta Daily Times, WBTW, West Plains Daily Quill, Island Packet, Durango Herald, WLIO, Bowling Green Daily News, Rochester First, KSL-TV, Marshall News Messenger, Atlantic Broadband, KRQE, St. Joseph News-Press, KOB-TV, Daily Progress Online, WBOY, US News and  World Report, Huron Daily Tribune, Clinton Herald, Citrus County Chronicle, Brunswick News, WNYTSeattle PI, My Mother Lode, San Francisco Chronicle, The Gazette, Brown County Democrat, Winston-Salem Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader, WHTM, Killeen Daily Herald, Toronto Star, The Hour, Watertown Daily Times, WRIC, KAMR, Gulf Coast Business Review, Janesville Gazette, Daily News-Record, Brownsville Herald, KGET, Corvallis Gazette-Times, Grand Island Independent, Opelika-Auburn News, Chippewa Herald, Greenwich Times, WTNH, Herald & Review, Connecticut Post, Fremont Tribune, Winona Daily News, Hanford Sentinel, Journal Times, Decatur Daily, Santa Maria Times, Times-News, Standard Journal, Globe Gazette, Missoulian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ottumwa Courier, CFFR, KSEE, WTOP, Lincoln Journal Star, Daily Sentinel, The Publics Radio, KULR, New York Times, Daily Journal, WZVN; Herald-Standard, Billings Gazette, Beatrice Daily Sun, Sioux City Journal, Ravalli Republic, Times Daily, Columbia Basin Herald, Stamford Advocate, ABC News,

 

EXCLUSIVE: Former Moffitt director speaks out after suing cancer center following China allegations

WFLA – Feb. 13

A prestigious scientist at Moffitt Cancer Center believes his name has been dragged through the mud after he was forced to resign late last year.

 

Doctor sues Moffitt

WFLA – AM

A doctor is taking on Moffitt Cancer Center to clear his name.

 

Former Moffitt Cancer Center director sues over forced resignation

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 13        

A top official at Moffitt Cancer Center who resigned under pressure amid a controversy over exploitation of American-funded research by China has filed a lawsuit, alleging he was unjustifiably forced to leave his job.

 

Former Moffitt Director Files Lawsuit Over China Allegations

WUSF – Feb. 13

Dr. Thomas Sellers says Moffitt’s own investigation showed that his signature was forged on an application to a Chinese program called Thousand Talents, according to the lawsuit.

 

Former Top Moffitt Official Files Lawsuit Alleging He Was Unfairly Forced to Leave His Job

Bay News 9 – Feb. 13

According to our partners at the Tampa Bay Times, Thomas Sellers claims he was unfairly forced to leave his job. Sellers was a vice president and director at Moffitt, until his resignation last year.

 

Former Moffitt director files lawsuit against cancer center claiming defamation

Tampa Bay Business Journal – Feb. 13

The recently resigned director of cancer research at Moffitt, who has been in the limelight of the China investigation, is now suing the Tampa cancer center.

 

Cancer researcher forced to resign sues hospital for defamation

Florida Business Observer – Feb. 13

Former Moffitt Cancer Center director Dr. Thomas Sellers, who resigned from the organization for engaging in what the prominent facility called violations of conflict of interest rules in China, has sued the hospital for defamation.

 

Legislators should take long view on China ties to Moffitt, UF | Editorial

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 13

A state legislative committee this week continued to explore that difficult question following the revelations of secret Chinese payments to researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and the University of Florida.

 

Jacob J. Adashek, DO, on Immunoregulatory Molecules, Cancer Genes, and Therapeutic Insights

The ASCO Post – Feb. 13

Jacob J. Adashek, DO, of the University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses data on combining immunoregulatory inhibition and targeted gene therapy, which may offer patients better outcomes (Abstract 10).

 

Moffitt Researchers Say Multiple Drug Adaptive Therapy is Possible

Newswise – Feb. 13

Personalized cancer treatments have greatly improved the lives of patients; however, many eventually develop resistance to these targeted drugs. Instead of simply using another targeted agent against a resistant tumor at a maximum tolerated dose, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are approaching the problem of resistance from a different direction — evolutionary science.

 

Hypomethylating Agents for AML

OncLive – Feb. 13

Rami Komrokji, MD: But it has evolved as the standard for patients not fit for intensive chemotherapy.

 

Oral Azacitidine Maintenance in AML

OncLive – Feb. 13

Panelists: Harry Erba, MD, PhD, Duke Cancer Institute; Naval Daver, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Rami Komrokji, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center; Mark Levis, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Dan Pollyea, MD, MS, University of Colorado Cancer Center

 

Legislators should take long view on China ties to Moffitt, UF | Editorial

Tampa Bay Times – Feb 12.

A state legislative committee this week continued to explore that difficult question following the revelations of secret Chinese payments to researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and the University of Florida. 

 

Anixa Biosciences and Moffitt Cancer Center Announce Completion of Viral Vector Reformulation for CAR-T Program

PR Newswire – Feb. 12

Anixa Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on harnessing the body's immune system in the fight against cancer, today announced that the research team lead by Dr. Jose Conejo-Garcia, Chair of the Department of Immunology at Moffitt Cancer Center, Anixa's development partner, has completed and validated the reformulation of the viral vector necessary for its CAR-T program. 

 

Exploring FDA-Approved Treatment Options for Patients With Myelofibrosis

Targeted Oncology – Feb. 12

Andrew Kuykendall, MD, assistant member at the Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the current treatment landscape for the patients with myelofibrosis (MF) and how this evolved over the last decade.

 

Immunoregulatory Molecules, Cancer Genes, and Therapeutic Insights

The ASCO Post – Feb. 12

Jacob J. Adashek, DO, of the University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses data on combining immunoregulatory inhibition and targeted gene therapy, which may offer patients better outcomes.

 

House continues probe of research institutions, including Moffitt

Tampa Bay Business Journal – Feb. 12

A House investigative committee late Monday delved further into the issue of Chinese meddling at Florida research institutions, following a recent case at Moffitt Cancer Center.

 

FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 11                       

McPherson, the field director of the Tampa office, spoke Monday to lawmakers in Tallahassee about the federal investigations into Chinese meddling that has shaken Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida in recent months. 

 

Moffitt gives $1M back to Florida over China ties

Tampa Bay Business Journal – Feb. 11

Moffitt Cancer Center officials returned more than $1 million that is suspected to be connected to Chinese conflicts of interest.

 

Moffitt officials present new protocols to prevent ‘economic espionage’

The Center Square – Feb. 11

The select committee was convened in January by House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, after an investigation revealed four researchers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute did not disclose on federal grant applications that they also were being paid by a Chinese talent requirement program.

 

"Personalized Oncology: Age, the Tumor and the Patient"

WGCU – Feb. 11

Our guest is an expert on personalized oncology for older patients. Dr. Martine Extermann is Professor of Oncology and Medicine at the University of South Florida, and she is Program Leader in the Senior Adult Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. 

 

The Point, Feb. 11, 2020: Felons Must Pay Fines And Fees Before Voting, But Florida Courts Struggle To Collect

WUFT – Feb. 11

Tampa Bay Times ($): FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF. “A legislative committee lead by State Rep. Chis Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, met Monday afternoon to hear from officials with Moffitt Cancer Center, the University of Florida and the FBI address instances of Chinese meddling in American-funded research.”

 

Ashley Moody's rising political profile — Prosecutors seek prison time for Roger Stone — Early voting lawsuit settled

Politico – Feb. 11

‘DIFFERENT RULES’ — “FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF,” by Tampa Bay Times’ Justine Griffin: “FBI Special Agent Michael McPherson painted a picture of espionage and fraud as he described the threat Chinese influence and exploitation poses to Florida’s research institutions and universities.”

 

Matty B's journey continues: Manatee Co. man returns to Moffitt to battle leukemia for 2nd time

WFTS – Feb. 11

A 26-year-old is scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant on Valentine's Day after fighting cancer for the second time. Matt Bauer returned to Moffitt Cancer Center to receive treatment.

 

Genetic Counselors Medicare Payment Bill Gaining Support Despite 'Scope of Practice' Disagreement

Genome Web – Feb. 11

So far, more than 250 organizations have signed on to NSGC's letter of support for H.R. 3235, including genetic testing companies such as ARUP laboratories, Ambry Genetics, Invitae, and Myriad Genetics; large reference labs such as Quest Diagnostics and Laboratory Corporation of America; and well known cancer centers and healthcare systems with personalized medicine programs including Memorial Sloan Kettering, Geisinger, Intermountain Healthcare – Precision Genomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Moffitt Cancer Center.

 

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 2.11.20

Florida Politics – Feb. 11

“FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF” via Justine Griffin of the Tampa Bay Times

 

Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton Releases Children's Book to Help Parents Talk to Kids about Cancer

News-Line – Feb. 11

Fritzy Finds a Hat is a publishing partnership between  Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation and Moffitt Cancer Center.

 

Moffitt leaders outline reform efforts after ‘predatory action’ by Chinese government

Florida Politics – Feb. 11

Employers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute have robust methods to verify job applicants’ resumes. 

 

Leidos Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board to Advance its Pre-Clinical Drug Development

PR Newswire – Feb. 10

Jose Conejo-Garcia, MD, Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Immunology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Research Institute, and co-leader of the Immunology Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. 

 

FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 10

McPherson, the field director of the Tampa office, spoke Monday to lawmakers in Tallahassee about the federal investigations into Chinese meddling that has shaken Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida in recent months. Several esteemed scientists have resigned amid the probes.

 

Moffitt leaders outline reform efforts after ‘predatory action’ by Chinese government

Florida Politics – Feb. 10

Employers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute have robust methods to verify job applicants’ resumes. But the institute’s leadership found itself less prepared to deal with individuals concealing connections to China.

 

Florida Poly: No signs of foreign influence on research

The Ledger – Feb. 10

Concerns about foreign influence in research also arose after the CEO and researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa resigned following a review that linked them to Thousand Talents.


Imaging Needed to Identify Bone Metastases in Advanced PCa

Renal and Urology News – Feb. 10

Julio Pow-Sang, MD, Chairman of the Genitourinary Oncology Department at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, said the new findings are not surprising. 

 

More Fallout

Politico – Feb. 10

“Moffitt returns $1 million to state. Money was linked to scientist with Chinese ties,” by Tampa Bay Times’ 

 

Moffitt needs our support

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 9

This Tampa Bay Times story on H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Research Center’s fund-raising efforts comes amid a time of negative publicity. But here are some facts to keep in mind: Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked sixth in the nation and is a superb facility.

 

Sierra Club sues to block Pasco road project that cuts through nature preserve

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 8

The route east of the parkway goes through Lennar’s planned Angeline residential and commercial project that includes an 800-acre commerce park that already has attracted a proposed H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center expansion as its lead occupant.


In Brief

The Cancer Letter – Feb. 7 issue

Krystyna Kowalczyk named CEO of Moffitt’s immunotherapy CRO.

 

FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 10

McPherson, the field director of the Tampa office, spoke Monday to lawmakers in Tallahassee about the federal investigations into Chinese meddling that has shaken Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida in recent months. Several esteemed scientists have resigned amid the probes.

 

Moffitt leaders outline reform efforts after ‘predatory action’ by Chinese government

Florida Politics – Feb. 10

Employers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute have robust methods to verify job applicants’ resumes. But the institute’s leadership found itself less prepared to deal with individuals concealing connections to China.


Imaging Needed to Identify Bone Metastases in Advanced PCa

Renal and Urology News – Feb. 10

Julio Pow-Sang, MD, Chairman of the Genitourinary Oncology Department at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, said the new findings are not surprising. 

 

More Fallout

Politico – Feb. 10

“Moffitt returns $1 million to state. Money was linked to scientist with Chinese ties,” by Tampa Bay Times’ 

 

Moffitt needs our support

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 9

This Tampa Bay Times story on H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Research Center’s fund-raising efforts comes amid a time of negative publicity. But here are some facts to keep in mind: Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked sixth in the nation and is a superb facility.

 

Sierra Club sues to block Pasco road project that cuts through nature preserve

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 8

The route east of the parkway goes through Lennar’s planned Angeline residential and commercial project that includes an 800-acre commerce park that already has attracted a proposed H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center expansion as its lead occupant.


In Brief

The Cancer Letter – Feb. 7 issue

Krystyna Kowalczyk named CEO of Moffitt’s immunotherapy CRO.

 

Moffitt Cancer Center returns $1 million to Florida over Chinese ties

WTVT – Feb. 10

Moffitt Cancer Center is returning more than $1 million in state money.

 

Research Institutions Eyed         

FlaglerLive.com – Feb. 10

The House Select Committee on the Integrity of Research Institutions will receive presentations on the “risk of foreign interference in research.” House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, formed the select committee after the resignation of officials at Moffitt Cancer Center because of issues involving work in China. (Monday, 4 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

 

Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida Politics

Florida Politics – Feb. 10

The House Select Committee on the Integrity of Research Institutions meets to hear a presentation on the “risk of foreign interference in research.” House Speaker José Oliva, called for the committee after the resignation of officials at Moffitt Cancer Center who had ties to China, 4 p.m., Room 404, House Office Building.

 

Moffitt Cancer Center returns funding

WTSP – Feb. 9

The Moffitt Cancer Center is returning more than $1 million in state money back to Florida.

 

Moffitt Cancer Center Returns State Money

Bay News 9 – Feb. 9

Moffitt Cancer Center is returning more than a million dollars of state money.

 

Moffitt returns $1 million to state. Money was linked to scientist with China ties.

Tampa Bay Times – Feb. 7

Officials at Moffitt Cancer Center returned more than $1 million to the state on Friday, saying they could not determine whether the money was properly spent by one of its scientists tied to the recent investigation into Chinese meddling. Also posted on Sacramento Bee, WTVJ, WTVM, Keys News, Lexington Leader, Florida Politics, 1 Fort LauderdaleWest Plains Daily Quill, AM 660, Charlotte Observer, Citrus County Chronicle, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, KDOW AM, Eagle, KNTH, Twin Cities Business Radio, Argus-Press, New Haven Register, WZVN, US News and World Report, Clay Center Dispatch, Bradenton Herald, Middletown Press, Olympian, Sun Herald, Kansas City Star, Belleville News-Democrat, Tri-City Herald

 

Florida Playbook

Politico – Feb. 7

MORE PLEASE — “Moffitt’s push for state money is clouded by China investigation,” by Tampa Bay Times’ Justine Griffin: "A scandal that recently forced six Moffitt Cancer Center employees to resign has not dampened the center’s push for nearly $400 million in state money to fund a major expansion….Moffitt’s allies in the Legislature are staying positive, while also acknowledging the awkward timing.”

 

Lightning players team up to fight cancer in ‘Kan Jam’ event

WTVT – Feb. 7

The event will benefit the Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Program at Moffitt Cancer Center.

 

Lightning Players Host “Can Jam”

WTSP – Feb. 7

You can never do enough to help those with cancer and cancer research and it is great we have Moffitt Cancer Center here in Tampa that is a huge support for those who get diagnosed, and we are really happy that it has turned out the way it did.

 

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