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Former Stony Brook University Prof Pleads Guilty to Stealing Cancer Research Funds

Former Stony Brook University Prof Pleads Guilty to Stealing Cancer Research Funds

“was the main investigator on a number of cancer research projects”

He allegedly used some of the money to pay his mortgage.

Newsday reports:

Ex-Stony Brook professor pleads guilty to stealing cancer research funds

A former professor at the medical school at Stony Brook University pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with diverting $225,000 in grant money meant for cancer research to pay his mortgage and other personal expenses, according to officials.

Geoffrey Girnun, 49, of Woodmere, who had been an associate professor of pathology and cancer investigator himself, pleaded guilty to a single count of theft of government funds as part of a plea deal before U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley in Central Islip.

Girnun, who resigned from the university in December, also led a lab and was the main investigator on a number of cancer research projects. He was the senior author of a widely circulated 2012 study about a significant discovery in cancer research that indicated the drug metformin, normally used to treat diabetes, may also prevent liver cancer.

The stolen grant money came from both the National Institutes of Health and Stony Brook.

Girnun was arrested in September and had been charged with theft of state and federal government funds, wire fraud and money laundering. He faces between 24 and 30 months in prison when he is sentenced, and up to 3 years of supervised release after that.

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Comments

What a ridiculously light punishment

What about restitution?

This guy does not possess the ethcial values worthy of a professional license or public trust.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to NotKennedy. | January 20, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    From the linked article it appears Girnun has agreed to repay the $225,000 he embezzled from the grants and university as part of his plea deal.

    The single count Girnun pled to involved the theft of $78,000 in grants. But as part of the deal, Girnun also agreed to make restitution of a total of $225,000 to the NIH and Stony Brook and forfeit another $225,000.

One of my younger sisters is a cancer researcher as well, with her own lab and multiple graduate students/slaves working for her for years. It’s amazing how much of her skills and time must be spent making sure the grant money keeps flowing instead of actual research. But she makes excellent money – just on her salary, not by diverting funds btw – so taking her as a sample point I’m thinking this guy either lacked the skills in science or the skills in writing papers or the skills in writing proposals or was living above his means.

Certain professions, like (US) lawyers, or politicians or science researchers must be good not only in their main field of endeavor but in self promotion to succeed. Which, of course at best leads to waste of time that could be using their (supposed) main skill set, and at worst leads to second rate professionals edging out theoretically better peers. Not sure how that could be fixed.

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