Postdocs off the Docket

Science  21 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5772, pp. 349d
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5772.349d

Two former postdocs at Harvard Medical School in Boston last week admitted that they took research material from their lab without permission, but charges against them were dropped as part of a deal with prosecutors.

The saga began in early 2000, when Jiang Yu Zhu and his wife Kayoko Kimbara shipped reagents from Harvard to the University of Texas, San Antonio, where Zhu had been offered employment (Science, 28 June 2002, p. 2310). Researchers often transfer such materials when they change jobs, but the couple failed to seek permission from their professor, sparking a court case. Prosecutors initially alleged that the couple intended to use the reagents, used in organ-transplant research, to produce a commercial product. After a 2002 arrest, the pair pleaded not guilty. Under a deal with the government, the indictment will be dismissed in 1 year if the spair stays out of trouble.

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