News & AnalysisCancer Research

Spain's 'Lonely Fighter' Steps Down Amid a Highly Public Spat

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Science  20 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6032, pp. 907
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6032.907

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Mariano Barbacid is leaving the helm of Spain's flagship cancer center the way he has spent much of his time there: fighting fiercely. Since the Spanish government lured the Madrid-born scientist back from the United States 13 years ago to create the National Cancer Research Centre, Barbacid has been involved in a series of conflicts with the government and his staff members. Just as he is about to give up his post, another ugly spat has erupted in public. At stake this time is Barbacid's plan to raise private money to work on a potential cancer drug target his team recently discovered, a plan the government has called "illegal."