Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Other People Just Take Pens From Work

A former University of Pennsylvania cancer researcher has been sentenced to a year in prison for using federal funds for a for-profit business, Philly Confidential reports.

Steven Johnson worked at Penn's medical school for more than 10 years, studying cancer and gene expression. But, unknown to his bosses, in 2005, he started a company selling validated human, mouse, and rat primers. According to Philly Confidential, Johnson bought thousands of unvalidated oligonucleotide primers using federal grant money and used lab equipment at Penn — also bought with federal grant money — to validate the primers, which he then sold through his company.

"Johnson used federal grant money, awarded for ovarian cancer research, to fund his own for-profit business. This is obviously egregious conduct," US Attorney Zane David Memeger says in his sentencing memo, according to Philly Confidential. "Research funds are limited, and tax dollars are for public purposes, not private enrichment. … Moreover, the fraudulent use of tax dollars breeds public cynicism and distrust for the government."

Johnson pleaded guilty and was also ordered to pay $69,379.02 in restitution.

Filed under

The Scan

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.