TAMPA, Fla. — The CEO and president of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute resigned Wednesday amid a controversy that linked him and others to possible exploitation of American-funded research by China.
Dr. Alan List stepped down, along with Thomas Sellers, a vice president and director at Moffitt, and four of the cancer center’s researchers.
Timothy Adams, Moffitt’s board chairman, will assume responsibilities for operating the center while a national CEO search is underway.
An internal review by Moffitt focused on its team members’ participation in China’s “Thousand Talents” Program, which recruits global researchers and academics. Moffitt has shared the preliminary findings of its ongoing review with the federal government.
“At Moffitt, we pride ourselves not only on our life-saving research and world-class patient care, but also on transparency and integrity among all our employees. This was an unfortunate but necessary decision,” said Adams.
There is no indication Moffitt research was compromised or patient care affected.
“This great institution did its job: We listened to the warnings from NIH (National Institutes of Health), conducted a proactive review, and took strong action when it was needed,” said founder and former Speaker of the House H. Lee Moffitt.
Moffitt also is thoroughly reviewing its 12-year partnership with China’s Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital for the training of oncology practitioners, including through international exchanges.