From the Los Angeles Times
NIH Scientist With Ties to Pfizer Takes the 5th
Scientist's supervisor tells a House panel that the alleged wrongdoing warrants firing.By David Willman
Times Staff Writer
June 15, 2006
WASHINGTON — A senior scientist at the National Institutes of Health exercised his right against self-incrimination Wednesday, refusing to answer questions from a congressional subcommittee investigating conflicts of interest at the agency.
Dr. P. Trey Sunderland III, who remains chief of the geriatric psychology branch at the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health, had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from Pfizer Inc. while collaborating with the company in his government role.
Sunderland listened to condemnations of his conduct during the first two hours of a hearing convened by a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
His supervisor, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the mental health institute, testified that "given the severity" of Sunderland's alleged misconduct, he should be fired.
Insel and the NIH's deputy director for on-site research, Dr. Michael M. Gottesman, told the subcommittee that some of Sunderland's actions have been referred to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and to the Justice Department.