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Case Goes On

Salk Institute lawyers have asked a judge to narrow the scope of a gender discrimination suit that has been brought against the institute, Nature News reports.

Beverly Emerson, a former molecular biologist at the Salk, filed the suit last July and alleges in it that systemic bias at the institute prevented her from getting needed resources for her research and limited how much money she made, Nature News adds. Emerson also alleges that the institute retaliated against her by allowing her contract to expire at the end of 2017.

Two current Salk investigators, Vicki Lundblad and Katherine Jones, also filed gender discrimination lawsuits against the Salk, but recently settled.

Nature News says the recent hearing touched on the retaliation claim and whether a jury should be able to hear about an email former Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn sent Emerson that said filing a suit would be "ill-advised." According to Nature News, the Salk lawyers argued Blackburn's email was an informal effort to settle the quarrel internally and is thus legally privileged.

The case is scheduled to go before a jury in December.