Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called China the “most sophisticated” actor of foreign countries subverting our biomedical research in last week’s Senate hearing on the topic. This follows the release of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community earlier this month. That assessment, cited by Sen. Burr, noted that “China will remain the top threat to US technological competitiveness as the CCP targets key technology sectors and proprietary commercial and military technology from US and allied companies and research institutions associated with defense, energy, finance, and other sectors.”
In the Senate hearing, panelists disclosed several disturbing cases of research theft by the CCP and its agents. Dr. Michael Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testified that Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, fired its CEO and five other senior people for connections to the Thousand Talents Program. Gary Cantrell, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations at the Office of Investigations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services, provided in written testimony examples of two researchers who had been compromised with China ties as found by OIG fraud investigations.
Cantrell’s first example was a professor of internal medicine who led a team conducting autoimmune research at The Ohio State University and Pennsylvania State University. This professor pled guilty in late 2020 to making false statements to federal authorities to get $4.1 million in NIH grants and failing to disclose “his participation in a Chinese Talent Plan and his affiliation and collaboration with a Chinese university controlled by the Chinese government.”Read More