NIH Official Denies Any Deal With Disciplined Psychiatrist

Jocelyn is a staff writer for Science magazine.

A National Institutes of Health institute director says on his blog that there was no "quid pro quo relationship" regarding employment opportunities between him and Charles Nemeroff, a former Emory University psychiatrist who broke federal rules on reporting drug-company income.

Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health, wrote yesterday that a recent story in The Chronicle of Higher Education "suggested incorrectly" that Nemeroff had helped Insel to become director of Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center in 1994. In 2009, after Nemeroff applied for a job at the University of Miami, Insel also said he spoke with the dean of the university's medical school "simply to describe the facts" that a 2-year ban imposed by Emory in December 2008 on applying for NIH grants would not follow Nemeroff if he moved to Miami, which Nemeroff did in December 2009. However, Insel says he will recuse himself from future NIH matters involving Nemeroff to avoid any further misperceptions.

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