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Beckerle Back at Huntsman

Mary Beckerle, who was forced out as director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, has been reinstated, ScienceInsider reports. The institute is based at the University of Utah, but has some independence from the school.

Beckerle, a cell biologist, was abruptly let go about a week ago with little explanation, it adds. The move came as a surprise to philanthropist Jon Huntsman, who was in the midst of negotiating an additional donation to the center and said he'd reverse it. Thousands of researchers also signed a petition to bring Beckerle.

In a statement, Utah President David Pershing says Beckerle is resuming her role as CEO and Director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. He notes that she is in charge of its cancer research, clinical care, and administrative functions, and will now report directly to the President of the University.

"I think the affirmation that some autonomy in the cancer center can nurture excellence is wonderful," Bruce Edgar, a researcher at the institute, tells ScienceInsider. "We think this bodes well for university-cancer center relations in general."