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Texas cancer centre ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns

HOUSTON — A prominent cancer centre in Houston says it has ousted three scientists whom federal authorities suggested are involved in Chinese efforts to steal American research.

Peter Pisters, the president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, told the Houston Chronicle that the National Institutes of Health could withhold funding if the centre didn’t act. MD Anderson received $148 million in NIH grants last year.

The three scientists haven’t been identified. The newspaper reports they’re Chinese.

The agency wrote to the cancer centre last year detailing conflicts of interest and unreported foreign income by five faculty members, and gave it 30 days to respond.

The dismissals come amid heightened concern in Washington, D.C., that foreign governments including China have been using students and visiting scholars to pilfer intellectual property from confidential grant applications.

The Associated Press