New York University's medical school is in talks to hire David Sabatini, a cancer biologist who was forced to resign from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for sexual misconduct, according to Science.
MIT placed Sabatini on leave last August, while the Whitehead Institute, where Sabatini ran a lab, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which funded him, cut ties following an investigation into claims of sexual harassment, as the Boston Globe then reported. That investigation found Sabatini violated the Whitehead's policies on sexual harassment, it added.
Sabatini further sued his accuser, the Whitehead, and the institute's director for defamation, as the Globe reported in October. It added that Sabatini said he had a consensual relationship with his accuser, a graduate student, who he alleged "fabricated claims" of sexual harassment. Earlier this month, MIT officials recommended that Sabatini's tenure be revoked, leading him to resign.
Now, Science reports that NYU has been holding discussions about hiring Sabatini, adding that he appears to have the support of Robert Grossman, the dean of the medical school, and Dafna Bar-Sagi, the executive vice president and vice dean for science.
This potential hire has led to consternation among faculty there, Science says. It notes that a letter to the dean and vice dean signed by more than three dozen faculty members says the hire "may profoundly damage our culture and reputation."