GMU-GWU Lab Collaboration Turns Into Dispute
Washington Post; B1
Researchers at George Washington University (GWU) are angry at their collaboration partners from George Mason University (GMU) over the GMU scientists' treatment of data gathered by both schools through clinical trials of a smallpox vaccine that suggested the vaccine could have protective effects against HIV. GMU apparently did not consult GWU before it issued a news release about the study last week, and GWU also takes umbrage to the fact that the study report has not yet been accepted by a medical journal for publication--one of the steps usually taken before popular press releases. Furthermore, GWU has accused its fellow Washington, D.C.-area school of filing a patent application on the small study's results without any recognition of GWU's efforts in the program. "It's dangerous to bypass the peer-review process," said Peter Hotez, chairman of microbiology at GWU. "The George Mason people are deliberately creating a situation where people who engage in high-risk behavior that could expose them to HIV might seek out and receive smallpox vaccine, erroneously believing that this might protect them."